Every dancer has different dietary needs and can find, through trial and error, which foods help them perform their best during full days of dance. But younger dancers will need your help to pick foods that provide energy and focus. Here's a handful of suggestions.
Have you noticed that sometimes you’re bursting with energy during class, and other times, you’re just dragging? What you eat beforehand can make all the difference. According to Jorie Janzen, a nutrition consultant and registered dietitian who has worked with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, you need to make sure you’re getting a mix of carbohydrates, proteins and essential fats one to two hours before working your body.
Why the combo? Your body burns through carbs in a snap, leaving you sluggish if all you had were a few whole-grain crackers before dancing. Adding a small tin of tuna to that snack will help you power through, thanks to the slower-burning fat and protein. Janzen also suggests an apple and a handful of almonds, cottage cheese and fruit or a hard-boiled egg with the yolk removed, stuffed with hummus. The more time you have before class, the larger the (balanced) meal you can enjoy. Once you’re under an hour, keep it small or have a smoothie with almond milk, yogurt and fruit.