Hydration

Hydration and Great Drinks For Dancers: 

The thought of hydration is simple, but the execution can require a bit of effort. Let’s face it: Water is boring but you shouldn’t cut it out altogether. Though it’s refreshing after a long workout or a few hours in the heat, it can be hard to remember to drink H2O when you’re not thirsty. While it may be boring, water acts as a solvent for minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and glucose to absorb into your body as needed. It also helps lubricate the joints, detoxify certain organs, and regulate your body temperature.   

Fluid requirements can vary greatly from dancer to dancer, related to genetics, body size, body type, fitness levels, environment, and exercise intensity. 

So, with that in mind, how much and what should a dancer drink before, during, and after class, rehearsal, and performance? 

 

The Simplest of Drinks:  

Water: 

Water is most important to your body, it keeps your body temperature normal, it lubricates and cushions your joints while protecting the most sensitive tissues and important organs and bones in your body.  

Lemon Water and Infusions 

Lemon Water: Lemon juice not only adds flavor, but also is great for your digestive system, immune system, skin, and tissue and bone health. It is recommended that you consume at least half a lemon per day to reap its full benefits.  

Infusions: By adding berries, cucumber, herbs, and spices to your water you can create great flavors without the extra calories. Fill a big pitcher with water, add the fruits and herbs of your choice, and let it sit for a few hours. 

Chocolate Milk  

 When it’s time to choose a refueling beverage after a long, tough workout/dance class. There is a slew of sports and energy drinks out there for you to choose from. Maybe at first glance, you opt for pre-packaged protein water or the ever-so-popular energy drinks or maybe you head to the kitchen to whip up a protein shake. But research shows that there’s another workout recovery drink to add to the list: chocolate milk. 

According to research published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, chocolate milk is an optimal post-exercise recovery aid. 

Maybe the thought of throwing back a glass of straight milk makes your stomach just twist up in knots, take a look at chocolate milk’s ingredient list. Compared to plain milk, water, or most sports and energy drinks, Chocolate milk has double the carbohydrate and protein content that is perfect for replenishing those tired and sore muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost as you sweat during your classes and workouts. Plus, it packs a nutritional bonus of calcium and includes just a small amount of sodium and sugar additives that help recovering athletes retain water and regain energy. Chocolate milk is an after-work out catch-all recovery drink for our high-endurance athletes- according to Joel Stager, PH.D., a physiologist, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Indiana University, and author of the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism study. The high carb and protein content in milk make it an incredibly effective recovery drink, says Stager — even though it’s never been marketed as one. “It’s water plus a whole lot more,” he says of the beverage. 

 

 

Powerade and Liquid IV: 

When compared to most sports drinks, Powerade is the highest in sugar. But despite misconceptions about sugar, this can be very beneficial. Dancers are expected to dance for prolonged periods without access to a snack, such as during long performances. This can also be beneficial to dancers who struggle with performance anxiety as drinking might be easier to stomach mid-show than eating. Also, the main electrolyte in Powerade is sodium chloride, which is ideal for rehydration (according to The Institute of Medicine). Another bonus? Powerade is friendlier on your wallet when compared to Gatorade Zero and Pedialyte. 

Similar to Powerade, Pedialyte, and Liquid I.V. contain some sugar (half the amount). They’re also adequate in electrolytes (sodium, chloride, and potassium) and therefore are great options for rehydration. 

 

Coconut Water: 

It helps replenish electrolytes after a workout. Coconut water has been known to be most beneficial when consumed in conjunction with shorter workouts. If you don’t like the taste of it plain, there are lots of different flavored versions you can buy. 

 

Tea: 

Tea, is rich in antioxidants, can provide a little energy boost from caffeine, comes in a million flavors, is easy to make, and has zero calories (as long as nothing’s added). You can choose to have it hot on a chilly day, or ice if you want to cool off. 

Black, Green, and Oolong Teas 

These three contain higher caffeine levels, though still less than a cup of coffee (black tea has the most, around 40 mg in one cup). They’re extremely rich in antioxidants and have a slew of health benefits like improved metabolism and disease prevention. 

White Tea[Text Wrapping Break]Brewed with younger leaves, white tea is very mild. It has a small amount of caffeine but won’t make you as perky as a mug of black tea. 

Herbal Tea[Text Wrapping Break]These teas are generally made from herbs, flowers, and oils and as a result contain no caffeine. There are lots of flavors available, all with different benefits. Mint tea, for example, can help to soothe the stomach, while chamomile promotes sleep and relaxation. 

 

Probiotics 

Also found in yogurt, probiotics do wonders for your digestive system. You can consume them in supplement form, but why not have them in a fizzy, delicious, low-calorie beverage? Kevita and Kombucha are two such drinks. Kevita is a fermented tea containing probiotics and enzymes and is rich in antioxidants. 

Kombucha is another fermented drink full of probiotics and comes in LOTS of different flavors, including a daily cleanse with lemon and cayenne. 

 

Energy Drinks: 

If you must reach for an energy drink to boost yourself up during a long strenuous class or rehearsal you can reach for a Celsius Energy Drink. Find your finding for a caffeine kick use Celsius and natural energy drink when needing that extra boost. 

Celcius energy drinks contain zero sugar, and no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. Not a trace of high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. Celsius energy drinks are Certified Vegan, Gluten Free, Kosher, and Non-GMO. 

This is the strongest energy drink you will find, aside from the extreme acidity, high caffeine, and added stimulant content the brands that manufacture the Rockstar energy drink, Monster energy drink, and RedBull energy drinks. ( Harmful Energy Drinks )   

As professional dancers, we would consider Celsius to be one of the best natural energy drinks, especially for long nights full of dance performances.  

To end 

Water makes up approximately 60% of our body composition. It’s also an essential medium for metabolic homeostasis, aiding in the digestion, transport, and absorption of nutrients throughout the body along with the removal of waste products. For dancers specifically, hydration even plays a role in maintaining flexibility. 

 

Improper rehydration and dehydration, especially during the summer intensive season, can induce a wide range of negative impacts on performance, including 

  • Difficulty with concentration 
  • Impaired ability to focus 
  • Increased risk of overheating 
  • Muscle cramps 
  • Early onset of muscle fatigue 

 

 

 

 References: 

Sources:[Text Wrapping Break]http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20478472,00.html[Text Wrapping Break]http://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/healthy-eating/types-of-tea-00100000068566/index.html[Text Wrapping Break]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/03/coconut-water-myth-or-mir_n_669572.html[Text Wrapping Break]http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/juicing/[Text Wrapping Break]http://myvega.com/vega-life/vega-blog/top-5-reasons-drink-lemon-water/https://www.thesidelinesecrets.com/blog/natural-energy-drinksfordancers 

https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijsnem/16/1/article-p78.xml 

https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijsnem/16/1/article-p78.xm 

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