This article is to answer a question I received on Instagram.
Q: I heard fasting is good for you, but is it recommended for dancers?
A: My answer is no.
Fasting isn’t a great thing to do for your body as a dancer, especially if you’re in intense training.
Your body naturally ‘fasts’ over night while you’re asleep.
That’s about 6-10 hours.
In that time, your body goes in a growth & repair mode where they repair cells, tissues, muscles and organs.
The immune system is also at work during sleep and fights infection and inflammation so you can recovery effectively.
Once it wakes up from sleep, it needs to replenish the energy and nutrients it has used over night. And that’s quite A LOT of energy and nutrients.
Throughout the day your body needs regular refuelling so it can continue to work at its optimum capacity. You don’t want to lose focus or precision during dancing. But if you’re not fuelled well, you will lose focus, precision, concentration, power, strength and stamina.
When you’re in training and going lessons after lessons or rehearsals after rehearsals, the last thing you want is underfuelling and suboptimal nutrition state because that makes you prone to slower and ineffectively recovery, as well as increased risks of injuries.
I have had clients who came from cultures where it was culturally necessary to engage in fasting and we worked really hard to ensure performance wasn’t compromised.
But this was H A R D.
And in all cases, at the end, we made special requests to their families/relatives when they needed to prioritse their health and wellbeing because with the amount of training they were doing, fasting carried too much of a risk for their bodies.
I hope this answer helps you make the right decision.