Nutrition for Dancers

Dancers are special athletes, they require precise nutrition plans mixed with a healthy mindset. As Sports Dietitians we understand this, we were excited to be interviewed by Dance Train to share some important nutrition:

Can you tell us about the diet cycle that many dancers go through with their food choices?

Dancers have specific nutrient requirements because they need to stay lean, maintain strength, stamina and need fuel for adequate recovery and to prevent injury. Often dancers are putting immense pressure and stress on themselves too. Many go through cycles of becoming too strict and create food rules which we have seen lead to unhealthy behaviours like skipping meals, bingeing on sugar, secret eating, overeating or becoming anxious around food.

What we aim for with our dancers:

> Find the right balance of foods that are filling, give sustained energy and maintain lean muscle mass.

> Understand how to time their food to ensure optimal performance.

> Maintain a relaxed and open relationship with food and their bodies.  

Our motto is: It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle to achieving your dancing dreams

How does the nutritional intake of a dancer vary to that of a non-athlete?

Dancers get hungry – very hungry, they often need to consume more energy than non-athletes because of the physical demands of their training. Dancers will also require more water to stay hydrated and potentially have higher of iron needs. A dancers needs will often change, for instance if a dancer wants to safely lean out for a performance or when a dancer has time off/ is injured. This is why it is important to be constantly reviewing nutrition intake with a professional such as a Sports Dietitian. 

Our motto is: It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle to achieving your dancing dreams

What should parents of dancers to know about their dancing child’s nutritional intake?

It’s really important for parents, teachers, a dietitian and their child to work together as a team to achieve goals and provide a consistent message. The more you can get your child to connect with food, such as learning to cook, understanding WHY they are eating then the better the outcomes.

As well as being a dancer, your child is also a child/teenager. This means managing eating out, parties and food related situations realistically so that they can still enjoy food without feeling too restricted. Learn to look for the red flags: aversion or cutting out of whole food groups, not wanting to eat with the family, anxiety around food, substantial weight loss or bingeing. If you are concerned, check in with a professional and get some help.

Contact us to take your or your studios dancing to the next level

We work with many dance schools in Sydney including Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy, The McDonald College, ED5international, Classical Ballet 121 and we would love to work with yours!

 Our services include:

-        Private consultations & body comp measurements

-        Nutrition Presentations inc. part/full time programs

-        Shopping Tours & Cooking demonstrations

Contact us (Click here!)                                                 

We look forward to hearing from you,

Ash and Kat :)