It’s a question every dancer asks herself: If I want to perform my best, should I eat before or after rehearsal? The answer: Both.
According to an article in The New York Times, it turns out that eating easily digestible carbohydrates (think white bread or white rice) in the hour before exercising helps athletes work out for longer. That means your fouettés won’t lose steam by hour two or three in the studio.
But if you don’t eat anything after dancing, you’ll probably feel sluggish at the barre tomorrow. Have a bite of carbs post-rehearsal, when your muscles are “primed” to slurp blood sugar out of the bloodstream and replenish lost fuel stores, says John L. Ivy, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Texas at Austin. Even better, mix those carbs with protein, which repairs muscle fibers, and can help you store yet more energy. The best recovery snack of all is actually chocolate milk, which has the ideal ratio of carbs to protein. Plus, it’s just downright tasty.