Strategic snacking can help your body get through, and recover from, an intense dance class or rehearsal. But what foods should you be eating when?
Before class, you need to fuel for maximum energy. That's best achieved by eating a snack with a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein anywhere from four hours to 30 minutes before class. The carbs will provide the energy you need to dance your best, while the bit of protein will keep your stomach from grumbling by the time you reach petit allégro.
Smart Pre-Class Snacks:
- One cup of cooked steel-cut oats with one ounce of shaved almonds
- One large apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter
- One whole-grain waffle with a tablespoon of almond butter
After a class or show, your body needs protein to help rebuild the muscle tissue that became damaged while you were dancing. You'll want to follow the 2:1 ratio again—but reversed this time, with more protein than carbs. (The carbs will replenish some of the energy you burned in the studio.)
Smart Post-Show Snacks:
- Two tablespoons of natural peanut butter on a brown rice cake
- One cup of fat-free cottage cheese with half a cup of whole grain cereal and a dash of cinnamon
- One medium apple and two sticks of low-fat string cheese.