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Top 10 Healthy Snacks To Eat Before Your Next Dance Class

Most dancing classes (all ages) require a ton of energy, focus, and strength.

Dancers and teachers need to be fueling their bodies in a healthy way to bust a move!

Having a good snack before and after can really help with muscle soreness, cramps, energy levels, attention span, and comfort. You may want to adjust how much or little is consumed depending on how many classes are taken in a row and how physically demanding they are.

What dancers should include eating or drinking before dance class:
-Protein: Protein provides the body with energy that it needs and can be filling in small amounts without making the dancer feel too full.
-Fruits/Veggies: These can be light, healthy snacks to give you just what you need to get through dance class. Try mixing them with a little dairy or protein for more energy.
-Whole Grains: Good carbs help fuel the body for long periods of time.
– Water: Drink plain old water before, during, and after class to avoid dehydration and fatigue.
-Potassium: Potassium can help with cramping and muscle soreness if the dancer is pushing their body hard.

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1. Avocado toast

Toast 1 piece of good-quality gluten free or whole wheat bread, smear with half an avocado, sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!

2. A Banana, Apple or Celery with Nut butter

Prepare your banana, apple slices or celery sticks, smear with 1-2 tbsp. of yourfavorite nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower, soy) and enjoy!

3. Small Smoothie

Easy to digest and great for a quick energy boost! Mix together a small pieceof fruit like a banana or a handful of berries with low-fat milk or water, a small handful of nuts like almonds or walnuts, a few ice cubes and a sprinkling of chia seeds, flaxseeds or sunflower seeds – whatever you have close at hand! Blitz all ingredients together for 30 seconds and enjoy!

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4. Hummus with Carrots

Scrub carrots clean, dip in your favorite hummus and enjoy!

5. Popcorn with Coconut Oil

Heat 2 Tbsp. of organic coconut oil in a large pot on the stove-top over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot put a kernel or two of popcorn into pot and wait for them to pop. Add ½ cup popcorn kernels, cover with lid and gently shake over the burner until it all pops – about 5 seconds – and enjoy!

6. Nuts & Dried Fruit

Mix together raw or roasted almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, with dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, mango, pineapple…add a few dark chocolate chips and Voila! Your very own trail mix to enjoy!

7. Protein or Veggie “rolls”

Take thinly sliced oven-roasted chicken or turkey breast and lay flat. Put 1 piece of good quality cheese in the center, along with a slice of avocado and a slice of cucumber… roll it up and enjoy!

8. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Cover desired number of eggs with an inch of water in a pot witha lid. Bring to a boil on the stovetop on HIGH. Turn burner down to low and simmer for 6 minutes. Rinse in cold water. Peel, add a little salt and pepper and enjoy!

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9. Salad & Crackers

Fill a big bowl with favourites such as crisp iceberg lettuce, rocket and baby spinach; sliced red and yellow capsicum, a handful of cherry tomatoes, finely sliced celery and carrot sticks and dress with a Tsp. of Extra Virgin olive oil and finally, a good squeeze of fresh lemon. Season with a dash of pepper and chomp your salad with 4 – 5 wholemeal crackers. Tip: Use as many colourful veggies in your salad as  possible!

10. Low Fat Yoghurt

Try the ‘natural’ or ‘greek-style’ yoghurts that don’t contain any added sugar. Mix well to remove any lumps and if you’re feeling indulgent, drizzle 1 tbsp. of honey on top, then enjoy!

What to eat or drink after dance class:

-Water: Hydrating after class flushes out toxins, helps with muscle soreness, and prevents dehydration.
-Fruits: Fresh fruits are good to eat after you dance because your body uses so much glucose during high levels of exercise. Fresh fruit will help replace that and aid in muscle development. Not to mention, fresh fruit juice is refreshing, light, and yummy!
-Potassium: Avoid muscle cramping and soreness with foods or drinks high in potassium. (Raisins, potatoes, bananas, tomato products, cooked spinach, yogurt)
-Protein: Refuel the body after expending so much energy. (Meats, nuts, cheese, beans)

If we treat our bodies right, we can expect better results during dance class. Knowing how to fuel their bodies before, during and after class will help dancers keep their energy levels constant and even which allows the body to operate efficiently and optimally.  Fueling the body efficiently is not difficult and will produce positive results.  Making healthy choices is every dancer’s responsibility –ensuring that their instrument performs well and lasts a lifetime.

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