Here are some tips for eating the best foods to keep you healthy and performance ready on competition days.
Dance competitions can be strenuous on a young dancer. There are often long journeys to the venue, lots of anxious waiting between performances, warming up and cooling down multiple times for the multiple performances over several hours. This is why here at dance comp diaries we believe in treating your body well.
Nutrition for Everyone
In an ideal world, chocolate bars would provide all the energy we need with none of the sugar, fat or calories! So, until scientists find a way of making this a reality, lets focus on the two main food groups that keep us energised for longer- protein and ‘good’ fats.
Contrary to popular belief, the naturally sourced fats found in nuts, seeds and lean organic meats, will actually sustain our bodies for longer than sugars and carbohydrates. And that goes for adults and children alike; Small amounts of complex carbohydrates can also give the fuel our muscles require, but do stay away from white or refined sugars and carbohydrate’s, as these can cause a ‘crash’.
Start your day with a good old-fashioned dose of porridge oats; This is used by professional athletes worldwide before training and competitions.
Below is a list of snack ideas that encompass proteins and fats, inspired by professional dancers and athletes that are easy to source, carry and snack on during your long and exciting day:
1. Whole Wheat Pitta with Peanut Butter
Whole wheat pittas contain complex carbohydrates and fibre, and won’t make you feel bloated! Combined with the protein filled peanut butter (or alternative nut butters), this snack will keep you energised for longer. Try adding sliced apple and/or celery to the mix, for some extra vitamins, minerals and natural sugars.
2. Carrots dipped in cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is a great source of both protein and Vitamin D, needed for healthy tissue and bone development. The vitamins and fibre content found in carrots make them one of the world’s most healthiest snacks, and we all know that they help our night vision too right? ;)
Popcorn is a fantastic source of whole grains that contains vitamins that help your muscles release and use energy. Snacking on popcorn throughout the day will keep your body and your taste buds happy... just be careful of brands that add artificial ingredients to add flavour.
3. Trail Mix
Make your own trail mix from your favourite dried fruits, nuts and seeds to give you a natural energy boost from those ‘good’ fats and proteins. The ideal recommended mix is 3 parts nuts, 1 part seeds, 1 part fruits. And just like popcorn, be careful of additives found in pre bought mixes.
For more information on good nutrition at all ages, visit https://www.nutrition.org.uk/
Balanced snacking before and after your performance helps keep your muscles’ stores of glycogen at their highest levels. This will improve your performance, and helps you stay clear of nasty side effects such as fatigue, dizziness and muscle weakness.
Contact us for further tips and advice; We can offer you advice that we have researched for medical accuracy, but we can also offer tips and tricks as professional dancers.
Writer - Stephanie Clark Porter