Fuel Your Body for Success
By: Maren Madsen
As we all know, dancing requires an immense amount of time, dedication, and athleticism to master. As a former member of a collegiate dance team, I can attest to the hours of drilling routines, perfecting technique, as well as conditioning it takes to become prepared for competition season. But if we aren’t taking care of our bodies, then how can we expect to be successful?
As dancers, we need to meet the nutritional needs of an athlete. We need to fuel our bodies properly so that we can perform to the best of our ability! Here are some steps you can take to make sure you are setting yourself up for success this competition season.
You’ve heard this one before, but that is because it is extremely important. Your body needs water, especially when undergoing an immense amount of physical stress. Drink water throughout the entire day of competition.
Cut down your sugar intake.
While sugar may give you energy in the short term, in the long run, too much can lead to a crash. During competition season, cut down on processed foods with added sugar, soda, and candy. Natural sugars are okay! So instead of reaching for the candy bar, try an apple, or other fruit of your choice, instead.
Timing is key.
It probably isn’t the best idea to inhale a cheeseburger 10 minutes before you have to go out on stage to perform. If you eat a meal, try to space it out and give yourself a couple hours to digest. If you are starving and need to eat something before you perform, try eating a light snack such as carrots or pretzels.
Listen to your body!
All of our bodies are different, therefore we all have different needs. Listen to your body. If you are thirsty, drink water. If you aren’t feeling well, don’t tough it out. Try to find the source of the problem, and ask your coaches for help if needed.
With these steps, you can be assured that you are fueling your body for success! The biggest key in nutrition is everything in moderation. There is no need to cut anything out of your diet cold turkey style - use the 80/20 rule. 80% healthy food, 20% not so healthy.
Good luck this season!
The content in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding nutritional conditions.