Dance Nutrition

Food and Nutrition for Dancers II

While macronutrients provide the body with energy and building blocks, micronutrients are substances that help optimise body’s metabolism, growth and overall function.


Humans need large amounts of macronutrients and smaller amounts of micronutrients – hence BIG macro and SMALL micro.

You’ve heard of the two types of micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.


Vitamins are ‘organic’ substances, meaning that they are made by plants or animals. They can be fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E and K) or water-soluble (vitamins C and B-groups).

Vitamins Functions Food sources
A Immune system function.

Vision and skin repair

Fruits and Vegetables (yellow & green). Oily fish. Milk, cheese, yoghurt. Eggs. Liver
B Energy metabolism.

Growth and development

Variety of foods including whole grains, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, cheese, and yoghurt.
C Immune system functioning.


Wound healing.

Enhance iron absorption

Fruits and vegetables.
D Immune system function.

Bone health.

Oily fish. Eggs. Mushrooms
E Immune system function.


Nuts and seeds (and their oils). Wheat germ
K Bone health.

Blood clotting.

Vegetables (dark green). Olive oil


Minerals are ‘inorganic’ substances, meaning that they originally come from the soil and water.

Minerals Functions Food sources
Iron Help transport oxygen around the body by forming haemoglobin and myoglobin.

Immune system function.

Red meat. Eggs. Whole grain cereals. Vegetables (green). Pulses.
Calcium Bone formation.

Nerve functioning.

Blood clotting.

Milk, cheese, yoghurt. Soy products (fortified). Vegetables (green). Nuts and seeds. Dried fruits.
Phosphorus Bone formations.

Energy metabolism.

Grains and cereals. Milk, cheese, yoghurt. Meat. Nuts. Vegetables (green).
Potassium Muscle and nerve functioning.

Maintain water balance.

Regulate blood pressure.

Fruits and vegetables. Nuts. Cereals. Meat. Milk. Chocolate. Coffee.
Sodium Salt.
Magnesium Muscle and nerve functioning.

Bone formation.

Energy metabolism.

Vegetables (green). Meat. Dairy. Cereals.
Zinc Wound healing.

Immune system functioning.

Appetite regulation.

Enzyme formation.

Prevent low mood.

Meat,Seafood. Vegetables (green). Seeds.
Chromium Glucose and insulin metabolism. Wholegrain cereals. Beans and lentils. Nuts. Dairy. Eggs.
Copper Enzyme formation. Shellfish. Meat (organ). Nuts. Pulses. Cocoa.
Manganese Enzyme formation. Cereals. Nuts. Dried fruits. Tea.
Fluoride Tooth structure and strength. Water. Tea. Seafood.
Iodine Thyroid function. Seafood. Eggs. Dairy.
Selenium Antioxidant. Grains. Fish. Meat, offal. Eggs. Nuts.

The minerals in bold (iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium) are often found in less than adequate amounts in dancers so you may want to take extra care in getting enough.


You’d now see that vitamins and minerals are found across a variety of foods and food groups. That’s why eating a variety of foods from grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans and pulses), nuts and seeds, meat, fish, poultry, dairy and non-dairy is essential.




Fumi x



Information courtesy:
Beck KL. Mitchel S. Foskett A. Conlon CA. Von Hurst PR. Dietary Intake, Anthropometric Characteristics, and Iron and Vitamin D Status of Female Adolescent Ballet Dancers Living in New Zealand. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2015;25;4;335-343. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0089.
Brown D.D. Nutrition, Bone Health, and the Young Dancer. In: Solomon R., Solomon J., Micheli L. (eds) Prevention of Injuries in the Young Dancer. Contemporary Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine. 2017.
Brown D and Challis J. Optimal Nutrition for Dancers. Dancer Wellness. IADMS.
Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2009;109;509-527.


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