The Best Carbohydrates for Dancers

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy within our diets making up about 50- 60% of our daily intake. Carbohydrates are sugar molecules basically starting from sugar. Carbohydrates are classified as simple and complex based on how they are digested.

Simple carbohydrates as they sound have a more simplistic breakdown as a result of being a single sugar molecule compared to complex that are multiple sugar molecules. Simple carbohydrates breakdown a lot quicker and easier, which also makes you hungry a lot sooner as well. Simple carbohydrates also raise blood sugar levels a lot quicker than complex. Some examples of simple include:

  • Raw sugar
  • Soda
  • White rice
  • White bread

Complex carbohydrates digest a lot slower and tend to keep you fuller for longer periods of time. Complex carbohydrates should be what a majority of your diet consists of as it is good for keeping you full. When choosing a complex carbohydrate you want to make sure you consume whole-grains, which is higher in fiber. Fiber is good for digestion and cholesterol health. Some complex carbohydrates include:

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Legumes/beans

When it comes to dancing you want to make sure you are consuming mostly complex carbohydrates as these will help to keep you full and your energy levels high during performance periods. Making sure you consume an adequate amount of carbohydrates will help to sustain energy. 

Lindsey Arevalos, MS 

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