(From the July/August 2015 edition of American Dancer Magazine)
Like all power athletes, dancers should follow a sports nutrition plan that supports optimal body composition, energy needs, and health. But unlike other athletes, dancers also prefer to maintain a compact body with minimal mass.
Because of these diverse goals, it can be difficult for dancers to make the right dietary choices. In this article, I’ll offer suggestions for making simple nutritional changes to address three common problems for dancers: losing body fat, maintaining muscle, and eating for energy, health, and enjoyment. Once you evaluate your goals, you can use the suggestions below to address problems in your current nutrition plan.
LOSING BODY FAT
In theory, losing body fat is simple–you can exercise more, eat less, or both. For most dancers, increasing activity is a poor strategy. There are two reasons for this. The first is that daily dance training is intense, and exercising more takes away from valuable recovery time that helps to prevent injury or overtraining. The second issue is that, due to the stop-and-go nature of dance training, the energy requirements are disappointingly low. This means that it would take an unrealistic amount of additional dancing to see meaningful changes in body fat. [Read more…]