How much water do you drink everyday? I was asked this recently and my honest reply was ‘probably not enough’. Water is absolutely key to maintaining a healthy body and mind and as dancers, it is important to be very aware of just how much water is being absorbed daily into our bodies. The body is made of 60% water and the brain, 85% water. Water aids digestion, absorbing nutrients, circulation, creation of saliva, controlling body temperature, managing mood, ridding of toxins and other foreign bodies lurking around.
How does drinking water help dancers with training and improving performance?
Water helps to energise muscles! During long rehearsals and classes, dancers can often experience muscle fatigue and a drop in energy. When muscle cells have a limited amount of water and a fluid imbalance, muscles suffer and do not work to their full potential. The electrolytes, that regulate our heartbeat and allow the muscles to move, will shrivel if they are not properly hydrated making it essential that we drink a lot of water.
During classes and rehearsals it is also important to replace the amount of fluid lost caused by sweating and rise in body temperature. Sweating is the bodies way of cooling itself down to ensure we do not have a heat stroke. When the body is completely dehydrated, the body will stop sweating as the body is mainly made up of water, making it essential water levels are topped up.
Dehydration can cause the brain to shut down causing brain fog, depression, emotional instability, anxiety, exhaustion, headaches, poor concentration, poor sleep and fatigue. Even mild dehydration can have a hugely negative impact on mood. Water can lift your spirit and supplies the body with energy to enable us to stay active. Dancers and Athletes need to regularly replenish water intake to maintain energy and to keep releasing the ‘feel good hormones’ that are created when exercising. These then transmit to the brain to improve overall mood and happiness.
Water will help in maintaining the brain to stay focused and enable dancers to be more alert in class, absorb dance movement more quickly and improve creativity and clarity of artistic ideas. Additionally it will promote a better quality of rest and sleep to allow the muscles to restore and be replenished for the next class.
- I would recommend drinking 2 litres of water everyday or 8-10 glasses of water.
- Drink a couple of glasses of water when you wake up in the morning as the brain and body will of become dehydrated overnight and it will have been several hours since any fluid intake.
- Make water more interesting by adding fruit, such as lemon and lime.
- Have a glass of water with every snack.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables as they contain a high water content.
- Limit your Tea, Coffee and Alcohol intake as they can cause dehydration.
- Keep a bottle of water with you all of the time.
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