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Most dancers understand that it’s necessary to stay hydrated. Yet, I always remember people having a hard time prioritizing that very necessary hydration.

On the other hand, I was an obsessive hydrator. I think my non – dance friends were pretty astounded by the sheer quantity of water I consumed on the regular. I just made it a habit and I am one of those people who also happens to love water so it wasn’t challenging.

If you consider the fundamental necessity of water for dancers you would think everyone would be chugging away. However, sometimes we forget why it’s so important or it just feels a bit challenging during colder months.

The top three reasons to stay hydrated are:

  1. Regulation of body temperature.
  2. Joint lubrication (for dancers, is anything more important?!)
  3. Transportation of nutrients to sustain energy levels (maybe that one is more important!)
drinkingtea
Photo credit: Gui Seiz via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Go with the classic:

There are lots of ways to stay hydrated besides straight up water. However, water is generally the easiest and most accessible.  When it comes to improving your enjoyment of water I think having a water bottle that you LOVE can be a game changer. It’s kind of silly but very very true.

Eat your water:

During a webinar on “Self – care for Nutcracker Season” my guest Shelby Elsbree reminded me of one of the easier ways to stay hydrated in colder months. Sometimes we’re not so interested in drinking much water but eating water – rich foods will also keep you hydrated.

Shelby and I agreed that oranges are a winter time fav – they also boost your immunity so there’s an added benefit. Other water rich foods that also happen to be super healthy include strawberries, watermelon, grapefruit, cantaloup, peaches and most fruits – bananas have the lowest water content.

Many vegetables are also quite water rich, not to mention all of their other dietary benefits. To eat some vegetable hydration enjoy cucumbers, celery, lettuces, carrots, spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and many more.

Go Herbal:

During colder weather or when you’re spending lots of time in a cold studio or theater, herbal teas can provide awesome hydration. Just to be clear, herbal tea is made from herbs and spices and contains no caffeine. Some of my favorites include Peppermint, Elderberry, Ginger, Lemon, Rooibos, or White Teas.

Get Creative:

Jazz up your water with fresh fruits or sliced cucumbers – hello spa water! Enjoy detoxifying magical potions like warm water with lemon or ginger – you could even get crazy and try this “Secret Detox Drink” that I love.

Skip the Caffeine:

I can’t honestly tell you to drink no coffee. I myself am a lover of coffee and am unwilling to give it up. Plus, you can find research to defend either side of the coffee coin pretty well. However, stay moderate – one to two cups daily should suffice and if it’s keeping you from falling asleep at night you’re drinking it too late in the day. 

An arguably better choice would be green tea or Yerba Mate because these provide milder stimulants.

There are two things I don’t think dancers should drink – ever. Those beverages are soda and sports drinks. Whether it’s diet, caffeine free or regular soda provides no positive effects. You may feel a brief surge of energy but it is not sustained or healthy energy.

Diet soda is full of chemicals and regular soda is full of sugar. The sugar is the reason I would say to also avoid sports drinks. If you’re looking for a healthy electrolyte replacement I would try something like Ultima Replenisher or Nuun Active tabs. 

Overall, if you’re not sure how well you’re doing at staying hydrated throughout the day check your pee. If your urine is clear or light yellow you get a gold star! If it’s darker you need to up your hydration game. Try out one of the tips above!

How do you stay hydrated? Did you learn anything new about hydration from this post? Share in the Comments Below!!

 

Water is not the only way!

Jess Spinner

Jess is a former professional ballet dancer turned Health Coach and founder of The Whole Dancer.

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