Since my injury I never considered the possibility of my age actually working against me. That maybe because I did not have a vitamin regime, I was working my body to a breaking point. Taking a daily vitamin has become a standard of living in a society where foods no longer provide you the necessities and you need to supplement your diet. Kinda sad really… not to say I do any better. I’m like most Americans in consuming plenty of fast food and avoiding fruits vegetables I don’t want to eat. It got me thinking though whether you’re a hobbyist Adult ballerina/dancer or striving to be more than a hobbyist (serious business adult ballerina status), consuming the proper supplements will ensure you have fewer injuries, you’ll dance more energetically (and have more energy in general), and live a healthier and happier dancer’s life.
I read two articles that really summed up the basics and how it’s beneficial to dancers to consume necessities in your diet.
The ballet dancer and vitamins by the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, talks about in general the benefits of all the important things in your diet from carbs, fats, protein, and vitamins and if any of these in combination are missing your body won’t metabolize properly and you will essentially not function properly. It talks about how complex B vitamins help you absorb carbs and fats into energy for your body/muscles! Now I can eat that whole loaf of french bed without worry- haha! It also goes onto explain about free radicals and how they can affect your body. I like to think of it like a car. Your muscles are like little cars, when you rev the engine you expel a lot of toxic gas. Small amounts doesn’t hinder, but when all your muscles are doing it in large quantities and revving for long periods all of the toxic gas builds up and starts damaging other things, and just mucks up your bodily eco system. So eating things like carrots or drinking carrot juice which contains a good natural dosage of vitamin A will help eliminate these free radicals. Where’s a Bugs Bunny gif when you need it?
Also an eHow article, Diet & Nutrition for Dancers broke it down simply how you should consider your nutrition, health, and diet. I never really felt guilty about carbs, but from these two articles it really solidified that eating a lot of spaghetti was okay! It also gave me tips about how to recover after exerting energy. After class having a sports drink to replenish what I sweated out will help keep you energized and not exhausted. Protein is a no brainer, and healthy fats from fish, avocadoes, and nuts are the best kinds of fat. (Have you seen the recipe for a breakfast dish involving cooking an egg in an avacado half?!) And of course water water water. Flushes your body, keeps you hydrated, and your body balanced.
Though both of these articles are short and sweet, they do provide a nice gist without bogging your brain down. I don’t think many of us Adult Ballet-ers are competing or needing to sustain and create an even stronger body when we’ve kind of stopped growing. We can only help our bodies by keeping healthy.
I’ll try taking daily vitamins again, and try out sports drinks and such, see how I fair if better and don’t feel so tired after class. Tomorrow before ballet I have my first physical therapy since… six years ago! Time to talk about my knees again and now my foot. Which I worked yesterday and it really started to annoy/hurt but I worked through what I could. I’m back to working though, nice! I get cabin fever easily.