Your Back-to-Studio Fueling Guide
Fall is around the corner, and your virtual reality is about to change as more studios head back to in-person training. While at-home and hybrid models have challenged dancers throughout the pandemic, returning to the studio means more space, bigger moves, busier schedules and, well, more action!
As schedules fill up with commutes and classes, limited access to both time and food can make planning sufficient meals tough. Pair this with an increase in your body’s nutritional and caloric needs, and you’ll risk under-eating and put yourself at increased risk for injury and mental burnout. If you implement a proactive fueling approach to your dance schedule now, you’ll help your body access the energy it needs to support itself physically and metabolically. Here’s what you’ll need to consider:
- Consistent meals and snacks throughout your day to maintain blood sugar and sustain energy.
- Convenient options that are easily packable and practical for quick snack breaks.
- Variety among your choices, which provides your body with a spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
- Balance of the three macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) within your meals and snacks. This ensures that your body obtains the tools it needs to replenish energy, rebuild muscle and maintain satisfaction.
- Flexible routines that make room for schedule shifts and last-minute plans.
Despite the lure of diet culture’s divisive manipulation of the various macronutrients on our plate, remember that every macronutrient plays a role when it comes to fueling for performance. Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source. Protein is needed for building our tissues, hormones and antibodies. Fat aids in vitamin absorption, facilitates immune function, and indirectly supports bone health. In order to reap the benefits from these nutrients, you’ll want to nourish your body with enough food.
Navigate a hectic schedule with these easy and convenient options that you can prepare often ahead of time and pack in your bag. Here are four dietitian-approved favorites!
Overnight oats in a jar combines rolled oats, milk and nut butter to create a base that’s balanced and easy to prep in advance. Top with fruit and consider a dollop of yogurt for a boost in protein.
Turkey avocado wrap with sliced tomato. Adding tomato boosts the vitamin C content of your meal. Vitamin C helps to strengthen our immune system, and may even offer an extra benefit of combating natural muscular wear-and-tear from intense dancing.
Quinoa bean bowl. Cook quinoa according to package directions, set aside. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chopped green and yellow peppers until tender, add black beans, and season with a taco blend. Assemble your bowl by adding quinoa, black beans and peppers. Top with sliced avocado and salsa.
One of the best ways to ensure that you’re eating enough throughout the day is to plan ahead! Packable snacks like trail mix allow you to get creative. Mix almonds and cashews with pretzels and dried fruit. Add chocolate chips for sweetness.