Nutrition for Dancers
Basics, Performance Enhancement, Practical Tips
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Dancers are top performance athletes on stage – to keep fit and
healthy proper nutrition is an integral part of an optimal dance
training. Nutrition for Dancers provides the principles of nutrition
for dancers of all genres. Authors Liane Simmel and Eva-
Maria Kraft clarify widespread nutritional mistakes and give
advice on how a healthy diet can be incorporated into the everyday
life of dancers.
Table of Contents
1 The basics – an overview
Dancing needs energy
Providing energy – oxygen is key
Digestion – from food to energy
Carbohydrates as energy providers
Regulating blood sugar
Energy reserves for dance
Fats as energy providers
Not all fats are alike
Proteins - Building blocks for the body
Quality lies in the combination
Vitamins, Minerals, & key micronutrients
Vitamins and phytonutrients
Minerals: macro-minerals and trace elements
2. Drinking – Fluids are crucial
Water and its significance for the dancer
Perspiration – an intelligent cooling system
The dangers of lacking fluids
The right drink
Handle with care!
3. What? The agony of choice
Daily requirements – recommendations for planning your diet
Breakfast – getting off to a good start
Main meals - the basis of fitness
The "plate of thirds" – healthy nutrition at a glance
Snacks – energy on the go
Practice makes perfect – some general information
Other senses enjoy the meal, too.
Warm or cold?
Sugar – a How-To?
Food in balance – a planning aid
Dietary Supplements – healthy or unhealthy?
If things don’t run smoothly – digestive problems and food allergies
Digestion is work
4. When? Timing is everything
Eating around a dancer’s schedule
Before dancing: stock up on energy
While dancing: maintain your energy
After dancing: accelerate regeneration
A daily meal plan
Reality can be a different story
No time, no space
5. How? Healthy nutrition as a daily routine
Preparation is key – shop with a plan
Writing a grocery list
Navigating the offers
Seasonal and regional
Organic– yes or no?
"Free of" and "diet" products – the power of advertising
Cooking tips for everyday life
The right amount of water
Oil – a How-To?
Healthy toppings – sprouts, seeds, and co.
Homemade or ready meals?
6. Fit and slim – a challenge for dancers
How many calories does a dancer need?
Your basic energy needs
Your total energy needs – movement is key
Figure and body composition
BMI – the Body Mass Index
Body fat – an unloved necessity
Maintaining body fat
Much ado about weighing
Dancing influences one’s weight
Dancing influences one’s diet
A new living situation alters one’s diet
Putting dieting to the test
Dropping weight too quickly – the body’s emergency plan
How to lose weight the healthy way
Eating disorders – awareness is key
Causes, risk factors, triggers
Is this still normal? – warning signs of an eating disorder
Avoiding eating disorders – tips for the dance world
7. Synoptic of foods and nutrients
Recommended web links
Contact addresses for eating disorders
Liane Simmel, MD, runs an institute for dance medicine, Fit for Dance. The former dancer is now a doctor of dance medicine and was the president of the German Dance Medicine Association for many years.
Eva-Maria Kraft is a certified nutritional expert with the specialization in dance, but also a dance teacher and freelance dancer. She gives nutritional courses and seminars in professional training centres for dance, acting, and musical performance.
"Nutrition for Dancers boasts an information-packed conciseness, excellent readability, and singular clarity in much of the discussion. The clarity is enhanced by the many text call-outs, practical tips, tables, and diagrams. Dancers will find the text useful."
-Journal of Dance Medicine & Science, Vol 23, Number 2 2019