How to plan the perfect dancer's diet

The secret to enjoying an incredible dancing career isn't just dancing – eating right is just as important to maintain strength, stamina and energy.

22nd November 2017
/ By Andrew Wooding

Dancer diet dancing tips FREEFOODPHOTOS.COM

Mandy News deep dives into creating the perfect dancer's diet.

Chow down on the right carbs
A dancer's diet should comprise of 55-66% carbohydrates, according to "the world's largest education resource" Thoughtco. But choosing the right ones is absolutely essential.

Avoiding an excess of dirty, deep-fried, refined or processed foods like fries, onion rings, biscuits, cakes and fizzy drinks is key. They have little-to-no nutritional value and cause gigantic sugar and energy crashes. Sugar is massively addictive and considered socially acceptable so strength and determination will have to see you through.

Focus on good carbs like whole grain pasta, bread, cereals, potatoes, root vegetables and fruit.

Get your liquids straight
Water is your best friend. As with the above, fizzy soft drinks will only lead to major sugar spikes later on. Also keep a close eye on "flavoured" waters. Most of them are packed with sugar and will only cause the same problems. Caffeinated hot drinks like coffee and tea are great for energy but be careful not to go overboard or you will become dehydrated. Again, water is your best friend.

Keep an eye on the clock
Like with many things in life, mastering your dancing diet is all about timing. It is absolutely essential to be well fed and watered at least an hour before your first class or rehearsal of the day. Pick healthy carbs so that you have plenty of energy during your morning warm-ups and don't gorge on high-sugar snacks or you'll suffer a horrendous crash later in the day. 

In the afternoon, your rehearsing will intensify, so be sure to eat plenty more light carbs for lunch. In the evening, you'll want to eat a lot of protein to rebuild muscle after training/dancing your socks off.

Treats and moderation
Yes, we did say stay away from sugar and bad carbs but if it is simply not in your nature to cut out everything, then the least you can do is control. Treats in moderation are fine but stay disciplined to make sure you don't find yourself in an 11-bags-of-crisps-a-day cycle or end up snacking on cakes, sweets and biscuits constantly. Draw up a plan of what and when and stick to it.

The dancer's difference
Every dancer is different, depending on their body type, style of dancing and the show's demands. If in doubt, contact a nutritionist or dietician or ask your choreographer for specific advice, tailored to your needs. 

Want more advice for your dancing career?

Check out Mandy News' guide to staying injury free or our tips on how to smash a dance audition.