Pointeshoe-Nutrition for energy

A good diet for dancers is very important. Pointeshoe-Nutrition is what's its all about. They must eat to have energy. But which foods? How much?

Think of Pointeshoe-Nutrition every time your child, student, goes up on pointe. Have they eaten enough, of the right foods, during the day before going to their pointe class? It has been known for students, after school hours, to go to ballet class or pointe class without having anything to eat or drink between their lunch period and dance class.

It is important to recognize the fact of having your dance student not eating enough during the day before her class, will not have the energy to dance well.

Pointeshoe-Nutrition thinking is not only after public school hours for dance classes but for everyday of her life.

Pointeshoe-Nutrition can't recommend which diet the student should be on. However, a dancer's diet should be composed of about 55-60% carbohydrates, 12-15% protien, and 20-30% fat. With heavy training, the amount of carbohydrate should be increased to about 65%.

Ballet: what happens to your body afterwards?

Whether you stop ballet temporarily or for good.

The stopping of a sport often coincides with starting a professional occupation and/or a marriage. It is at this moment that weight gain can be significant because calorie intake levels remain high whilst calorie expenditure is greatly reduced. Meals are very often unbalanced and far too rich. So, do not break your old habits of balanced nutrition that you acquired whilst performing the sport. Know how to make a fresh start or, carry on as before, maintaining your previously achieved, overall good health and eating habits. Sportsmen and women often make the same mistakes between seasons. They have a tendency to revert to bad eating habits when pressure from their trainer and competition eases off. They can put on weight which puts them at a disadvantage when they start training again.

My advice: -Reduce your overall calorie intake level -Eat varied, balanced meals -Avoid eating between meals or snack sensibly. -Do not eat, for example, because you are bored. -Continue a regular physical activity. -Be careful when eating outside of your own home. -When you stop the sport, weigh yourself once a week for three months, then, once a month. -Consult a nutritionist if you have trouble readjusting your diet.

January 8, 2006

A recent study suggests that more than 7 million youngsters aged 12 to 19 are likely to face higher risks for heart disease later in life if they don't make some lifestyle changes soon.

The study found that 16 percent of U.S. school children are seriously overweight The lack of fitness already is taking its toll on American teens. Among those studied in the test, about 4 percent of the girls and almost 2 percent of the boys already had high blood pressure. (Study conducted by Northwestern University)

What to do? Solution? Everyone wants a quick fix. There is none. It takes time to get back in shape. Try eating a healthier diet and engage in moderate exercise. Meaning, sticking to the food pyramid most of the time, cutting back on calories and walking, biking or doing some other form of aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day or more, at least 3-5 days a week.

Don't have time you say? Make some time. After all, it's your health. Once that goes, you are in deep, deep trouble.

Some thoughts about drinking water

Statements and opinions by Mike Adams

• It is essential that consumers filter their water, especially before drinking it. Municipal water treatment facilities do not remove many contaminants, and they actually add new toxic chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine.

• Chlorine has been shown to increase the risk of bladder cancer. Fluoride is well known to cause fluorosis (darkening of the teeth) and loss of bone mineral density which can cause an increase in hip fractures.

Read more clean drinking water below.......

ZeroWater filtration technology goes retail for home and office drinking water

The following article should be of interest to dancers, non dancers and practicing athletics.

FUELLING THE DANCER by Priscilla Clarkson,PhD, under the auspices of the Education Committee of International Association for Dance Madicine and Science. (IADMS). With special thanks to Elizabeth Snell,BSc, RD.

To perform at their best, dancers need to be well fueled for classes, rehearsals, and performances. This paper will present a strategy for obtaining the energy needed for dance training and the right balance of carbohydrate, fat, protein, micronutrients, and fluids.

One important challenge facing many dancers is ingesting sufficient quantities of food to meet the energy demands of dance. The first step in planning a high performance diet is to be sure that the dancer is obtaining adequate caloric intake. The easiest rough estimate of how many calories a dancer requires during heavy training is 45-50 calories per kilogram of body weight for females and 50-55 calories per kilogram of body weight for males. For a more accurate assessment, dancers should consult a dietitian.

A low caloric intake will not only compromise energy availability, it can also lead to an under-ingestion of many micronutrients that could affect performance, growth and health.

carbohydrate, fat, protein

After calculating the number of calories needed, the next step is to estimate the necessary amount of carbohydrate, fat, and protein, the building blocks of the diets.

Carbohydrate A dancer's diet should be composed of about 55-60% carbohydrate, 12-15% protein, and 20-30% fat. During heavy training and rehearsals the amount of carbohydrate should be increased to about 65%. The reason is that carbohydrate is the major energy source in muscles. Ingested carbohydrate is broken down into simple sugars (glucose) in the digestive tract then stored in muscle in the form of glycogen, the primary fuel for energy production. Dancers who do not ingest sufficient carbohydrate in their diet will compromise their ability to train because of low muscle glycogen levels. They may feel more fatigued during classes and rehearsals.

To achieve a high carbohydrate diet, food choices should be complex carbohydrate (bagels, cereal, bread, english muffins, pasta, rice) rather than simple sugars, because complex carbohydrate has many micronutrients associated with it (nutrient dense) while simple sugars are nutrient poor. The estimated carbohydrate need is 6-10 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight.

In addition to meals, other times when carbohydrate ingestion is important are before, during, and after class, rehearsal, or performance. About 1-2 hours prior to these activities, a small carbohydrate snack should be consumed. This will increase glucose levels in the circulation and "top-off" muscle glycogen stores. A carbohydrate snack, such as a bagel or commercially available "energy" bars, can provide the added boost needed for optimal performance.

During long rehearsals it is also important to ingest some carbohydrate to maintain circulating levels of glucose to prevent fatigue. A good way to ingest this carbohydrate is in solution such as sports drinks that are specially formulated to contain the right amount of carbohydrate (6-8% glucose) to empty from the stomach quickly. Ingesting carbohydrate in a solution provides the added benefit of fluid replacement.

After a period of dancing, the muscles require an adequate supply of carbohydrate to replenish the muscle glycogen stores. Because the fastest rate of glycogen re-synthesis occurs in the 2 hours following exercise, it is important to ingest carbohydrate as soon as possible after a long or strenuous exercise period to refill muscle stores and be ready for the next activity.

Protein Adequate protein ingestion is essential for all dancers who are training. For those dancers who are not building muscle, protein is needed to repair the breakdown of muscle fibers that are stressed by constant use. Protein is also used as an auxiliary fuel, and it is important for synthesizing the many enzymes necessary for metabolism. The estimated protein need is 1.4-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For non-vegetarians, chicken or turkey without the skin are excellent low fat protein sources. For vegetarians, tofu, seitan (wheat gluten), and mixtures of beans and rice are good protein choices. Protein powders are not necessary, even for male dancers, if they are following the recommendations above. If a protein supplement is warranted, the best choice is milk powder. The high tech and expensive protein supplements on the market are not any better than simple dry milk.

Micronutrients Vitamins and minerals comprise the micronutrients in the diet. Water soluble vitamins are the B vitamins and vitamin C. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble. The B vitamins play important roles in energy production (especially thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6) and in red blood cell formation (folic acid and vitamin B12). Deficiency of these vitamins can impair performance. Vitamins A (beta carotene), C, and E function as antioxidants that are necessary for the repair of over-stressed muscles and are needed to help muscles recover from strenuous classes and rehearsals. Vitamin D is important in bone formation.

Minerals are classified into macrominerals that are needed in levels of over 100 mg/day and microminerals (trace minerals) that are needed in levels of under 100 mg/day. Macrominerals are calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, but only calcium will be discussed because of its importance for dancers. There are 9 trace minerals but only iron and zinc will be discussed because of the possible deficiency of these minerals in dancers.

Calcium is important in bone formation. During the first 2-3 decades of life, bone mass is developed and thereafter, bone formation ceases. It is essential to ingest adequate calcium during the bone growth years. Low bone mass and low calcium intake are also associated with increased risk of stress fractures. The richest source of calcium is dairy products.

Iron is a trace mineral needed to carry oxygen in the blood because it forms part of the hemoglobin molecule. Oxygen is used for the production of energy in muscle cells. Dietary iron is of two types, the heme, found in meat, and non-heme, less absorbable type found in plants. Dancers should include some lean red meat in their diet to obtain adequate iron. However, if dancers are vegetarians, then they should be careful to ingest foods rich in iron, like whole grains. Because vitamin C increases the absorption of non-heme iron, ingesting a source of vitamin C along with food will maximize absorption of non-heme iron. Red meat is also a good source of zinc which is a component of several enzymes important in energy production and plays a role in red blood cell production.

Dancers should be cautious about taking vitamin and mineral supplements because supplements containing only selected micronutrients could do more harm than good. Excessive amounts of one can interfere with the absorption of another, and megadoses of some vitamins and minerals could be toxic. Adjusting the diet so that it is rich in micronutrients is the recommended means of obtaining necessary micronutrients. Furthermore, there are numerous phytochemicals in food that impart important health benefits.

To obtain all important micronutrients, dancers should increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables (recommended 5 servings of fruit or vegetables per day), whole grains, dairy products, and lean red meat. Because not all vitamins or minerals occur in all foods, dancers should ingest a wide variety of foods. A calorie restricted or monotonous diet could lead to a deficiency in some of these vitamins and could impair the ability to train strenuously and recover. As an insurance policy, a multivitamin/mineral supplement containing equal to or less than the recommended level of each micronutrient will provide a balance that is not harmful. Read the label carefully before purchasing a vitamin/mineral supplement.

There are many dietary supplements on the market designed to enhance performance or decrease body weight. Dancers should be warned that these supplements are ineffective or even dangerous. Dietary supplements can be marketed without adequate proof that they are effective or safe. For the latest information on dietary supplements, check www.supplementwatch.com.

Fluid Exercise increases heat production by muscles. Cooling the body depends on evaporation of sweat from the skin. Sweat losses during a hard class or long rehearsal can be substantial-up to 2 liters/hour. Fluid loss results in dehydration that can impair performance and mental functioning, such as the ability to quickly pick up complicated choreographic combinations and execute them effectively. A cup (8 ounces or 250 ml) of fluid every 15 minutes is recommended. Whenever there is a break in class or rehearsal, the dancer should have ready access to fluid, and they should be encouraged to drink because the thirst mechanism does not keep up with the body's need for fluid. A water bottle or sport drink should be part of a dancer's "gear," and, if possible, the dancer should be able to bring the bottle into the studio for frequent drinks. Following class and rehearsal, dancers should continue to increase fluid consumption for the next few hours. Avoid carbonated drinks and large quantities of fruit juice.

A simple way to monitor hydration is to check urine color: clear to light yellow is hydrated; yellow to dark yellow means dehydrated. One caveat, vitamin C supplements will result in yellow urine and make this dehydration "test" inaccurate.

All dancers need to ingest sufficient energy to meet the rigors of hard training. Consuming the right amounts and types of food and fluid will provide the body with "high performance fuel" necessary to achieve optimal training benefits and peak performance.


Fat from the diet provides structure for all cell membranes, comprises the insulating layer around nerves, forms the base of many hormones, is needed for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, and is an important fuel for muscles. The estimated grams of fat in the diet are about 1.2 gm per kilogram of body weight. Because ingestion of high amounts of saturated fats is associated with chronic disease, the recommended amount of saturated fat in the diet should be less than 10%.

Muscle and adipose (fat) tissue store fat in the form of triglycerides. During exercise, triglycerides are broken down into fatty acids which are metabolized to produce energy for muscle contraction. Fatty acids are used as an energy source in the muscle for endurance activities such as during a long rehearsal where the body is continuously exercising for over 20 minutes at a time. A diet too low in fat can have serious health consequences and ultimately can impair performance.

The Magic of pH Balance

Vibrant Health and Energy Begins with pH balance.

Fact: The pH level (acid - alkaline measurement) of our internal fluids affects every cell in our bodies. Extended acid imbalances of any kind can overwhelm your body.

Just as the body regulates its temperature in a rigid manner, so will it manage to preserve a very narrow pH range - especially in the blood. As a matter of fact, the body will go to such great lengths to maintain a blood pH of 7.365 that it will even create stress on other tissues or body systems to do so. Chronic acidification will interrupt all cellular activities and functions - it interferes with life itself.

When the pH of the body gets out of balance (too acidic), we may experience low energy, fatigue, excess weight, poor digestion, aches and pains, and even more serious disorders.

WOMEN'S HEALTH for dancers and non dancers

A must see Website for all (including men) to find out how you can help yourself to stay healthy. This site covers such topics as Healthy Eating, Health Tips, Pregnancy, Skin Care, Nutrition, Women's Vitamins and much more.

You can read more about it at www.womens-health-supplements.net And at PointeShoe-Nutrition

If you have reached this far and would like to know what teen age ballet dancers (some) think of themselves and their habits of eating, or not eating, as the case may be.. read on.

Nutritional Beliefs and Practices Among Teenage Ballet Dancers

Ballet demands high energy expenditure and maintenance of low body weight. Several studies have found that ballet dancers frequently diet excessively and are liable to food faddism, binging, purging and the abuse of laxatives. In addition, dancers reportedly perceive themselves as over-weight despite being quite slim.

Sawyer-Morse and colleagues studied the nutritional beliefs and dietary practices of young dancers attending a professional summer dance workshop. The authors also correlated the dancers' height and weight with their perceived height and weight to assess self-perception of body image.

One-third of the 49 study participants dieted frequently. Dieting typically lasted two weeks or less and consisted of decreased food intake or an increase in the intake of fruits and salads, or both. Although binging was reported by 36 percent of the dancers, it was infrequent (e.g., once or twice per year). Purging as a means of weight control was rare. Anxiety about weight and fear of overeating were reported by the majority of the dancers. Over half of the study participants used some form of diet supplement. The dancers appeared well informed about the role of carbohydrates as an energy source, but expressed negative views about protein intake.

There were significant differences between reported and actual measurements of height and weight. The dancers overestimated their height by an average of 0.43 inches and underestimated their weight by an average of 3 lb, 4 oz. Males correctly estimated their weight but overestimated height by 0.75 inches, whereas females overestimated height by 0.33 inches and underestimated weight by 3 lb. The authors believe these perceptions may reflect a strong and persistent desire by ballet dancers to obtain the ideal body size.

Nutrition classes were provided as part of the ballet workshops. Over 90 percent of the students recommended that the subject of nutrition be included in future workshops. The authors conclude that nutritional education can provide a background for helping ballet dancers make knowledgeable food choices. (Journal of Adolescent Health Care, May 1989, vol. 10, p. 200.)

COPYRIGHT 1989 American Academy of Family Physicians COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

Having read all the above is not to scare you into believing that all ballet dancers have the above problems. In reality, it does happen! Not to all dancers though.

Pointeshoe-Nutrition updates this page every so often. Stay tuned, come back again


For better understanding of pointeshoe-nutrition and the energy you need as a dancer, you must acquire healthy eating habits. To know about...

*Healthy Eating Habits

*Which Foods are healthy to eat and which are not

*Meeting your pointeshoe-nutrition needs

*Healthy cooking...you don't have to be a gourmet cook

*Articles on Healthy Eating

You must go to the Pointeshoe-Nutrition Healthy Eating Advisor and they will share their expertise for a healthy YOU.

"YOU MUST LOSE SOME WEIGHT" said the ballet teacher to the student

Some young ballet dancers ages 9-11 are already "fat". Ages 12-14-16 are heavy set, "fat" by other dancers who look at them. Some of their parents are "heavy set". Ballet teachers wonder, at times, what do the parents let their children eat to make them look so fat.

Dancers, choreographers, ballet masters, ballet teachers, dance directors have their own standards of what a dancers should look like. And if you don't meet their standards (thin, short, tall, long legged, blond, dark hair etc) you may not be able to join a dance company, enroll into a dance school or be picked for a part in the next school recital.

What a dancer should look like is in the eye of the beholder

When you are very young, you have no idea what you should look like as a dancer. Neither do your parents but your dancer teacher does. As you get older you begin to look different (girls), this is the time to really take a good look at yourself in the studio mirror.

Dancers really should be not too thin, not too heavy and not fat!

We all have heard of eating the "right" food. Which ones? Go on a diet. Which one? Getting into a better eating habit. How? Lose weight. How? Some dancers need to lose weight and some need to put on weight. Yes, more meat on the bones.

To understand what a dancer or non dancer should do you have to go to various sources and read about nutrition, body types, diets, excercises, good eating habits etc. Remember, there is no magic way to lose or gain weight.

To find information for a healthier, good looking body, come to this fantastic fact filled Website to achieve all YOU REALLY WANT by visiting http://www.weightlossforall.com

Healthy eating guildelines for ballet dancers

There are lots of ways to eat--with our hands, sitting on the floor, making noisy sounds, even politely at a table with candles. But when we think of people's overall well-being there are really only two kinds of eating: healthy and disordered.

Healthy eating is based on the nutritional and caloric (energy) needs of the individual. Some people mistakenly equate healthy eating with dieting, or with eating only low-calorie or low-fat foods. This is off the mark. Healthy eating includes a wide variety of foods and provides adequate nutrition and energy for healthy growth and development.

The energy that every body needs is derived from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. FOUR FOOD GROUPS PROVIDE THE FIFTY ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS WE ALL NEED TO BE HEALTHY.

* Dairy products provide protein, fat, vitamins A, B, and D, and calcium. These vitamins help us have healthy hair, skin, and eyes. Calcium gives us healthy, strong bones and teeth.

* Whole-grain breads, cereals, and pasta provide carbohydrates, vitamin B, iron, and fiber. Iron helps to keep oxygen moving through the blood to all our muscles. Fiber ensures that our digestion works properly.

* Meats, fish, and soy products provide protein, fat, vitamin B, and iron. These help us have strong muscles and healthy blood.

* Fruits and vegetables provide carbohydrates, vitamins A, B9 (folic acid), and C, potassium, and fiber. Vitamin A is For healthy eyesight. Vitamin B9 assists the body in forming red blood cells, and vitamin C promotes healthy skin and allows our cuts and scrapes to heal quickly. Potassium is also important for healthy skin and normalizes our heart rhythms. (Check out the American Dietetic Association's Web site, www.eat right.org, or call their Nutrition Information Line at 800.366.1655 for referrals to nutritionists and recorded nutrition information.)

Desserts and snack foods should be included in a well balanced eating routine. But what is that? That's eating based on hunger and fullness. If you want chicken, you should listen to your body, eat chicken, and stop when you're full. If you want cookies, eat cookies, but don't fill up on them. How do you know when you're full? You should feel satisfied, but not ready to burst.

What is disordered eating? That's when you eat for reasons other than hunger (feeling bored, feeling sad, etc.). Disordered eating may begin as a diet, then gets out of control. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Don't try to diagnose yourself; this is serious stuff. If you're worried about yourself or a friend, tell an adult who can call a doctor or therapist.

We call it anorexia when there is significant weight loss (when a person weighs 16 percent less than the ideal weight for height), an extreme drive for thinness and fear of weight gain, and in women, loss of at least three menstrual cycles.

Bulimia is a term given to any or all of the following symptoms: repeated episodes of binge eating with feelings of loss of control and anxiety about possible weight gain; purging (getting rid of food) through self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives or diuretics; or excessive over-exercise. It is vital to realize that purging is very harmful to the body and doesn't get rid of all the calories consumed in a binge

Binge-eating disorder is identified by eating when you are not physically hungry, or eating rapidly and secretly, and feeling out of control around food. Sometimes periods of binge eating are followed by dieting.

Pressure to be thin can come from yourself, family, friends, dance teachers, or coaches. They can apply direct pressure by suggesting you lose weight, or by teasing or rejecting you based on your body size. They can also use indirect pressure by over-emphasizing the importance of being thin. Your teacher may not tell you to diet, but her emphasis on it may encourage you to try it. When you encounter these social pressures, it's important to remember that people come in all shapes and sizes. That means you may need to find a dance school that accepts all types of bodies.

Many people develop eating disorders because they have low self-esteem. Everyone develops beliefs about who they are. This is called self-concept. How much you like or don't like your self-concept is called self-esteem. People with low self-esteem may focus on appearance, weight, and dieting to try to feel better about themselves, but focusing on these things won't sort out and fix the bad feelings.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT WHO YOU ARE IS NOT DEFINED BY THE SHAPE AND SIZE OF YOUR BODY. It is defined by your feelings and thoughts. The way emotions and thoughts combine cause some girls--and even some boys--to be unable to cope with the stresses they face, and they may turn to dieting as a way of solving their problems. But weight loss provides only a false sense of control.

Ballet schools can be intense sources of pressure to be thin. This may make some students feel bad about their body size, even though they may be very talented dancers. Remember, thinness doesn't equal talent. And maybe the next time a teacher makes a comment about body size, you'll be able to hold on to the thought that you're fine the way you are.


COPYRIGHT 2003 Dance Magazine, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group


The information on this web site is intended for educational purposes only, and not as any form of medical advice. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider.