Magazine article Dance Spirit

The Thirst IS REAL

Magazine article Dance Spirit

The Thirst IS REAL

Article excerpt

It9S safe to say that when it comes to "things dancers should always keep 100 percent in check," hydration reigns supreme. Not only is it key for staying energized, alert, and balanced-it can actually be dangerous to dance while dehydrated. Dance Spirit turned to Marie Scioscia, a registered dietitian with The Alley School, and author of Eat Right Dance Right, for a hydration crash course, so you'll never be low on H20.

KNOW THE CAUSES AND SIGNS

It's crucial to recognize why and when your body is becoming dehydrated. "Dancers lose an average of 10 to 12 cups of water from sweating and trying to maintain an optimal body temperature," says Scioscia. Other reasons for dehydration include inadequate fluid intake, or eating too much protein and not enough carbohydrates. According to Scioscia, common symptoms of dehydration include:

1. Fatigue

2. Loss of appetite

3. Flushed skin

4. Light-headedness

5. Muscle spasms

MAKE AN EFFORT

One to two bottles of water a day isn't going to cut it- especially if that day is filled with class, cross-training, and rehearsals. In addition to drinking approximately 12 to 15 cups of water a day, Scioscia recommends incorporating fruits and vegetables like oranges, melons, and salad greens into your studio snacks. Milk, juice, and tea also contribute to your overall hydration, and one cup of coffee is fine as well. Scioscia also suggests reaching for a sports drink, especially when lots of sweating is involved. "If you're dancing for more than an hour in a heated environment, something like Gatorade will help replenish the electrolytes you're losing through your sweat," she says. …

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