Meal Plan for a Dancer

There are lots of different types and styles of dance ranging from ballet to street dance. However, all, like any sport, require a lot of physical activity and practice, often for long periods and this requires optimum nutrition. In addition to two or three hours dance practice per day, dancers often also perform some cardiovascular exercise or even light weight training a couple of times per week. A well structured nutrition programme will help you keep fit and full of energy for long practice sessions. Good nutrition will also help lengthy concentration, in order to maximise your skill potential.

Here's a sample meal plan which a dancer could follow for a typical day:

Large bowl of unsweetened muesli or porridge + 250ml skimmed milk
2 slices granary bread, toasted + olive oil based spread + natural crunchy peanut butter
250ml fresh fruit juice
4-5 oatcakes with low fat soft cheese
Item fruit
Sandwich made with granary bread + olive oil based spread with lean ham/chicken or large mackerel fillet
100g mixed nuts, seeds & dried fruit
Mixed salad
Low fat, low sugar yoghurt
Handful mixed nuts and/or seeds
Item fruit
15 mins before exercise
1-2 oatcakes
Dance practice
Sip plenty of water or electrolyte replacement sports drink throughout
Immediately post dance practice
25g whey protein powder + 25g dextrose in water
Evening Meal
45 mins later
Lean fillet steak or chicken breast or fish + herbs to taste
Boiled new potatoes or basmati rice or dry roasted sweet potatoes or wholewheat pasta
Loads of vegetables
Low fat, no added sugar yoghurt
1 hour pre-bed
100g cottage cheese / quark / low fat natural yoghurt
Item fruit

This plan is based around sustained slow released low glycaemic carbohydrates to help provide energy for long practice sessions. The structure of food in the plan is to help replenish stores and help attain top physical fitness.

The above plan provides sufficient levels of all nutrients; however, the plan is merely a general guide, and there is no mention of portion sizes; adapt it to suit your own needs according to the amount of exercise you're doing, age, gender and lifestyle; remember men will generally require larger portions than women. You must eat a variety of different meats/fish, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water.

Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.