Dancer’s need to be properly nourished and hydrated. Like any physical activity, taking a dance class requires high energy levels, concentration, focus, and strength. One way to meet these expectations is to eat foods before the class that will help you meet these requirements. Not eating before a dance class and not being properly hydrated can leave you feeling weak and exhausted.
According to research, it is better to eat at least one to two hours before a dance class rather than right before the class begins. Dance class can bring on physical exhaustion, pain, and soreness. Eating certain foods can possibly alleviate some of the soreness and exhaustion. Here are a few suggestions on what you can eat that will give you energy, good nutrition, and help you stay focused.
1. Hummus and Pita Bread/Vegetables
Hummus is nutritious and goes well with pita bread and/or vegetables. Hummus is a good source of protein and fiber. Chickpeas are used in hummus and are high in iron, folic acid, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
2. Peanut Butter with Banana or Apple
One apple or banana with peanut butter provides energy and maintains blood sugar levels. Peanut butter is rich in proteins and also fats.
3. Greek Yogurt and Granola
Greek yogurt provides a significant source of protein for a relatively small portion. It can be found in whole, 2%, and fat-free varieties. Granola is rich in fiber. Eating this combination before dance class helps you maintain your stamina.
4. Whole Grain Sandwich
Whole-grain or multi-grain bread is filled with good carbs and fiber. Sandwiches made with multi-grain bread, fresh veggies, and protein will keep you energized and focused.
5. Avocado Toast
Avocado is full of potassium and fiber. Potassium is very muscle friendly! Adding avocado to multi-grain toast helps provide energy and prevent muscles from cramping.
Nuts are a great source of protein, unsaturated fat, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Nuts help with energy production!
The best smoothies are made with natural, all real, nutrient-dense ingredients that provide vitamins and oils necessary for complete nutrition. Use foods such as yogurt, honey, fruits, vegetables, peanut butter, nuts, and coconut water. Find a few combinations that you love!
8. Green Tea
Having green tea with your meal before dance class will not only help regulate your metabolism, but will also provide antioxidants that help in maintaining concentration. Green tea increases blood flow which in turn increases oxygenation throughout the body. Green tea also contains caffeine which can boost energy levels. (We sell some delicious loose leaf teas in our Whistle Stop Shoppe at Dance Express LLC Dance & Well-Being Studio!)
These are just a few suggestions! Choose foods that will help you sustain energy, keep your focus, and help to prevent muscle soreness. Most importantly, drink water! Proper hydration is key to making it through any dance class!