Ok so we know everyone tells you ALL THE TIME to drink water. Annoying, we know 🙁 However, lots of people don’t tell you the ‘why’ behind the push for water, let alone explain why it matters so much for dancers! So here we go: The WHY behind Water!
Our body is made up of between 65-75% water and is the largest component of the human body. Water acts as a
- solvent for nutrients – helps to digest and use th ings like fibre and vitamins
- maintains cardiac functions like blood pressure
- decreases disease or illness states such as kidney stones and urinary tract infections
The biggest downside of not getting enough water in your day is dehydration. Here are some key takeaways about dehydration…
- Signs of dehydration are fatigue, dizziness, headache, dry lips/eyes – all things that will SIGNIFICANTLY impact practice and performance
- Thirst only kicks in after the body has lost as much as litres of water = if you are thirsty, you are dehydrated already!
- Dancers are sometimes more AT
- RISK for dehydration because of things like…
- Poor body image
- Mental health issues
- Lack of in class water breaks
- Increased sweating during performances – costumes + stage lights + adrenaline
- Decreased education on nutrition
Overall, dehydration = big scaries. Young dancers are already overwhelmed with high schedule demand, school work, and trying to be kids! We don’t want to add dehydration into this busy mix, decreasing capabilities. Here are some tips and tricks to figure out the best hydration routine for your dancers!
If your dancer only has less than an hour of class per day – follow the Canadian Food Guide Recommendations
If your dancer has more than 1 hour of class per day – follow these additional recommendations:
- Before dance, approximately 2-4 hr before a night of dance or a performance, drink water as normal i.e. follow Canada Food Guide
- During dance, a couple small sips throughout class or every 10-30 minutes. If your class or performance is longer than 90 mins, add an electrolyte drink or equivalent to your in class hydration.
- After dance, if you had a particularly long or sweaty class, consider adding a source of sodium and carbohydrates (electrolyte drink or chocolate milk) to your post-class rehydration
Remember that you can get water from other things, like fruits and veggies, too! So pair proper hydration with proper nutrition!
Tips and Tricks
- Reusable water bottles are your new best friend! – find the best one for you that’s easy to sip on (straws or easy release caps)
- Notice urine colour throughout the day. Here’s a helpful chart…
- Non carbonated drinks are better for hydration compared to fizzy drinks
- Plan ahead and make a schedule – know when your long nights at the studio are and have your favourite electrolyte drink ready (half Gatorade half water is an awesome choice)!
- Competition days are going to be busy and more tough to maintain hydration – know this and try to sip sip sip when you can. Bring your water bottle with you wherever you go!
The better our dancers are hydrated, the more they focus on doing what they love!