Being one of the hardest working athletes on the planet, ballerinas need a good, stable diet.
A rough estimate are that female dancers need at least 45 – 50 calories per kilogram of body weight. Having enough calories is very important. If your body doesn’t have enough, you won’t have the energy to get you through the day.
A dancer’s diet should be made up of at least 55 % carbohydrates. One – two hours before training, ballerinas should have a meal that mainly consists of carbohydrates. Also, during a long stretch of training, dancers should stop every 40 minutes or so to have a drink of something such as Gatorade or Powerade.
The body uses proteins to produce and heel body tissues. A ballerina’s diet should consist of up to 13 % proteins, so that it can strengthen your muscles so you can perform complicated dance moves. To get proteins, eat meats (including chicken) and beans.
Many dancers are scared that if they eat fat, they will put on weight and not be able to dance anymore. However, fats help organs to function properly, and help absorb vitamins. It can also be used as a secondary energy force. Fats should make up to a quarter of a dancer’s diet! ‘Good,’ fats are available in avocados, nuts and seafood. Preferably consume unsaturated fats, rather than saturated fats.
Minerals and vitamins help the body to function properly. Ballerinas should consume up to four servings of fruit a day to provide minerals and vitamins needed. Vitamins A, C and E are particularly useful in helping a dancer recover from a day of hard work.
Now, last but not least: water. Despite the fact that water doesn't contain vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates or calories, it is one of the most important parts of a dancer’s diet. Water help to keep your body temperature down, and keep your circulation consistent. Ballerinas lose a lot of liquid through sweat, so be sure to drink lots of it!