– Jan Dunn, Dance Wellness Editor
by Derrick Brown, M.Sc.
Is it just a hype?
Click, zoom in, swipe up, left, or right on any social media platform and eventually you will come across someone extolling the dangers of meat and touting the virtues of a plant-based diets. At first glance you might believe that the entire world has gone ‘green’. However in a study published recently (see below) that researched 334 dancers from 53 countries, we can see that of those who opt for plant based diet, only a minority are emerging when compared to those who also consume animal products. Vegetarianism provides a catchall term for a variety of diets, which exclude the consumption of some, or all-animal products.
Contrary to popular claims, appropriately designed and managed vegetarian diets contain foods nutritionally sufficient for health, well–being and physical performance. Vegetarian dancers can meet their protein needs from primarily or exclusively (vegan) plant-based sources when a variety of these foods are consumed daily and energy intake is adequate.
However, the quality and timing of dietary intake is of key importance to meet the physical demands typical of high intensity, intermittent types of dance styles. Poorly planned, calorically restrictive and nutrient poor diets confer a host of deficiencies that diminish health and ultimately performance.
The current recommendations for dancers’ diets are:
– 55 % carbohydrate
This recommendation is based on an omnivorous diet and is an acceptable start point for all dancers across different dance styles. Below are some simple examples that may aid dancers who opt for partially or all plant-based diets.
High-quality carbohydrates are the way to go. [Read more…]