Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed whenever the topic of macronutrients comes up? I understand your frustration. Repeatedly hearing about their importance without knowing how to apply their benefits can be discouraging, especially when your schedule is packed with dance rehearsals and performances. Fear not, 1:1 coaching and eMpower performance nutrition programs are here to save the day! By dedicating just 60-minutes each week, you can both have a conversation with me and plan out your meals and snacks, seamlessly integrating the benefits of macronutrients into your dance-filled schedule.
In this blog post series, we'll dive into "The Big Three" macronutrients and explore how they support your performance nutrition. Today, we’ll begin with carbohydrates, breaking them down in a way that is not only applicable but also functional for your dance journey. Say goodbye to confusion and hello to a practical approach that will keep you energized and ready to conquer the stage. Let's dive in!
What are carbohydrates?
At their core, carbohydrates are foods composed of fiber, starches, and sugars. But let's simplify it. Think of carbohydrates in three categories: simple, complex, and fiber.
Simple carbohydrates: These are easily digestible carbohydrate-rich foods that provide quick energy. Examples include sweeteners like honey, added sugars, dried fruits, canned fruits, simple grains like white rice, and snacks like pretzels and crackers.
Complex carbohydrates: These are carbohydrate-rich foods that require more energy from the digestive tract to break down and access the provided energy and nutrients. Examples include dairy products, starchy foods like potatoes and brown rice, and snacks like nut butters and multi-grain options.
Fiber: Fiber is a form of carbohydrate that is essential for maintaining bowel regularity and a healthy microbiome. Insoluble fiber sources include whole wheat flour, nuts, beans, and vegetables, while soluble fiber sources include oats, peas, apples, and more.
Why are carbohydrates important?
Carbohydrates play a vital role in stabilizing mood, maintaining muscular stamina, boosting mental focus, supporting bowel rhythm, and more. They provide the fuel your body needs to excel in your dance performances and maintain overall well-being.
When should you consume carbohydrates?
It's best to incorporate carbohydrate-rich foods into your meals throughout the day, as well as in combination snacks with protein and/or fat. The timing of carbohydrates may vary based on your dance and exercise schedule. For example, you may prefer simple carbohydrates before dancing for quick energy, and complex carbohydrates afterwards to support recovery. Many clients find it helpful to start the day with a balanced carbohydrate-rich breakfast to kickstart their energy levels.
How can you incorporate carbohydrates into your diet?
The possibilities are endless! Carbohydrates can be part of your sandwiches, snacks, breakfasts, and more. Get creative and explore different options that suit your taste and nutritional needs.
In the next installment of this series, we'll explore the power of protein. Stay tuned! If you have specific questions or concerns about your nutrition, don't hesitate to schedule a free strategy session today. Together, we'll tailor a plan that's perfect for you.