Hydration for Dancers : Staying hydrated is so very important to a dancer’s performance because the first signs of dehydration are fatigue and poor balance.
Thirst actually only kicks in after the body has lost water so if you feel thirsty, then you are already dehydrated:(.
Here’s the science:
Water makes up approximately 60% of body weight and is the largest component of the human body.
Muscles are about 73% water, your blood about 93% water and even bones and teeth contain some water.
Knowing all of this makes it easier to see how important water is to the body. Basically water helps to maintain balance within the body and important in the thousands of daily bodily functions like digestion and transport and elimination systems of the body.
Ultimately it’s important for dancers to know that being properly hydrated helps keep the body from overheating and promoting heat loss when dancing full out will improve athletic performance and aid in recovery.
Hot costumes and stage lights, anyone?
Think about it, sweat during a performance is significantly more than during rehearsal of the same piece. This is why drinking regularly (even small, regular sips) is an important habit during a show.
DID YOU KNOW?? A dancer can burn between 500-600 calories in a 90 minute dance session!!!
Okay so the million dollar question is: How much water IS really needed? Or can a dancer get fluids from other things besides water?
The answer: There are plenty of alternatives to water, but you shouldn’t cut it [water] out altogether.
While it may be boring, water acts as a solvent for minerals, vitamins, amino acids and glucose. It also helps lubricate the joints, detoxify the liver and kidneys, and regulate your body temperature.
Dancers should drink at least five to six cups of water per day—about half their fluid requirements. The rest can be made up with alternative drinks, as long as you’re not consuming too much sugar or caffeine.
Note: caffeine in small doses, about 180 milligrams, will not cause dehydration.
But I want something besides just water…..
Fruits and veggies have water in them (ie. melon, squash, oranges, apples, pears, grapes, leafy greens and salads). So do drinks like tea, whole fruit popsicles, sports beverages, smoothies, soy milk, almond milk, and yogurts.
If you have a particularly dance-heavy day—for instance, if you’re moving continuously (and, especially, sweating) for an hour or more— a sports drink like Gatorade to replace lost carbohydrates and electrolytes, like sodium is okay. Sports drinks are formulated to help give your body energy and replenish electrolytes so you can stay moving, focused and alert.
However, don’t confuse these with vitamin-enhanced water, which should be limited to one per day to avoid excessive vitamin intake. And although a favourite, coconut water – while hydrating and high in potassium – won’t replace other vital electrolytes as well as a sports drink can.
As for what not to drink?
Stay away from sweet sodas and energy drinks like Red Bull, which have limited nutritional value.
Highly sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, take longer to leave the stomach slowing down your hydration.
And although you may feel a brief surge of energy it is not sustained or healthy energy.
Elan Dance Arts (EDA) offers dancers a new level of dance training through programs that are not offered anywhere else in the city. Starting from ages 2.5 to adults whether it’s for certified examinations or simply for health, fun and recreation, we’re the studio for you! EDA is the only ADAPT certified studio in the SouthWestern Ontario area. We specialize in educating students using the distinguished Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (ADAPT) syllabus created by Brian Foley, one of Canada’s most renowned dance teachers, directors and choreographers. ADAPT offers yearly examinations in the dance disciplines of Tap and Jazz. The syllabus teaches a strong solid technical foundation, along with artistic expression preparing students to enter the dance profession. At EDA we strongly believe that Dance as an art form is one of the most beautiful and exciting experiences one can have in life. We are highly devoted and dedicated to the process of the development and popularization of dance activities among people of all ages. We are also fully committed to providing our students with the highest level of education.