Notes from the Ballerinaâ€™s diet diariesNatasha Aguiar
If you’ve ever wondered about how important good eating habits are in the world of Ballet, we’ve got two words for you: A LOT!.
In the world of professional Ballet Dancing, Ballerinas are often on their feet, training for anywhere between 4 to 8 hours a day. On average, this means they burn close to 1,600 calories in a day. Finding the right balance between eating enough to nourish your body without adding those extra pounds can often feel like a tricky tightrope to walk on.
Why should Ballet Dancers eat healthy?
A well-balanced, nourishing diet is a crucial component in the life of any Ballet dancer. While dancers, in general, need to fuel their bodies with the right kind of diet, we’ve listed down a few key points that highlight the role of clean eating for Ballet dancers:
In addition to providing the body with the necessary energy to dance for long durations, a nutrient-rich diet provides Ballerinas with the much-needed scope for recovery that their bodies need. You would be surprised to learn how far a balanced diet can go when it comes to building endurance, enhancing aerobic abilities, and reducing the risk of injury.
So, what do Ballet dancers eat?
Now that we’ve established that both professional and aspiring Ballerinas need to maintain a healthy diet, it’s time to go into the specifics. So what is it that Ballerinas eat on a daily basis? We’ve put together a list for you.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if you are a Ballet Dancer. Take the time out to plan out your meal the previous day if that helps. Most Ballerinas prefer a high-protein breakfast to give them the energy they need to push them through the day. So Eggs, Bananas, Greek Yoghurt with nuts and berries, and a slice of Avocado are generally considered as breakfast specials.
If you are a Ballerina currently training for a show, you want to find the balance between replenishing your body between practice and not succumbing to a post-meal slump. Most Ballet dancers prefer to keep their meals light, especially if they have a training session right after and prefer to stick to a lean protein meal with either fish, beans and lentils, or tofu and other soy-based food.
Between meals, Ballet dancers snack on nuts, berries and smoothies to keep their energy levels from dipping. Sugary snacks that only amount to empty calories are mostly avoided.
Most people believe in eating light for dinner. But since Ballerinas often eat light meals during the day to avoid the feeling of dancing on a full stomach, they tend to compensate by having a heavy meal for dinner. The Ballet dancer’s dinner plate often consists of some form of lean protein to build muscle, nutrient-rich veggies that help restore and repair muscle and some Carbohydrate components to keep them rejuvenated for the day ahead.
To help Ballerinas cope with fatigue, food rich in anti-inflammatory properties like Ginger, tomatoes, olive-oil and fish are consumed. Anti-inflammatory foods help Ballerinas to recover and rest well.
A little discipline and meal prepping can really go a long way in helping the Ballet dancer in you stick to a healthy diet that will have you spinning around on your toes with grace and poise.
If you have a young and budding Ballerina at home, it helps to get them started on nutritious and healthy eating habits early on as well.
Are you looking to buy a pair of Ballet shoes for your little dancer?