Have you ever considered the importance of nutritional balance for your dance performance? The Internet is full of contrasting information about what we should and should not eat. It can be confusing and overwhelming.
However, when it comes to dancers, there are countless academic studies that prove that hydration, protein, calcium, iron, and carbohydrates are all issues that we should be taking seriously.
We’ll be looking in detail at nutrition over the next few weeks. Let’s get started by introducing one of the most important topics: water.
Why Should I Worry About Water?
If you don’t have enough of it, the first sign is poor balance. For obvious reasons, that is something that dancers at every level need to take an interest in. No matter how brilliant your dance shoes are, if you’re weak and unsteady your performance will suffer.
How Do I Know That This Is True?
Thankfully, the biological need for water does not require much scientific proving. Muscles are 73% water, and they are fuelled by blood, which is over 93% water. That old saying “you are what you eat” also applies to what you drink.
As H2O is such a crucial component of our biological structure, it is involved in every process that keeps us alive. It powers the crucial digestive systems that turn proteins and carbohydrates into energy. A lack of water can therefore make for wobbly, forgetful brains and equally wobbly muscles.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Humans need around 2 litres of water per day. This does not have to be from a bottle: nature is full of water. It can be sourced from everything from fruit and vegetables to cups of tea. However, when exercising, the water volume requirement increases. If you are dancing, the golden rule is to keep a bottle of water on hand and drink it “little and often”.
There are times when a rosy tint suggests pure dedication to the art. However, in general, overheating neither looks good nor feels good.
Hydration doesn’t prevent sweating. In fact, a shimmer cools the body down, acting as nature’s refrigerator. If the body does not have enough water, this basic safety mechanism shuts down. The result is stress, fatigue, and poor performance.
Even if you don’t feel thirsty, have a cool drink if you’re feeling hot. It’s particularly important to remember this during long practice sessions – where it is easy to forget to drink – and during performances, where unnaturally hot lights can change the ambiance.
If you are worried about feeling unsteady on your feet, water might be the key. It can also help to have a chat with your professional dance shoe manufacturer to ensure that you are working with the ideal ergonomics. We’re always delighted to talk about everything to do with dance, whether it’s shoes or nutrition. Get in touch using this link!