With the arrival of summer heat, we'd like to remind our dancers – and parents – how important it is to be properly hydrated by making sure you're drinking enough fresh, cool water. Good hydration is important year round, of course, but it's especially critical during the hot summer weather we experience in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Proper hydration for dance class is a “before-during-and-after” activity. Drinking enough water before dance class is one of the best ways for a dancer to ensure a good energy level. The recommendation for adult athletes – and Irish dance is very athletic – is to drink two to three cups of water a couple of hours before the sports activity, then one cup 15 minutes beforehand.This amount would be reduced for children, but the same time pattern can be followed (if any parents have questions on specific amounts, we recommend asking your child's pediatrician or family doctor).
Besides enhancing energy, proper hydration has also been linked to better mental alertness, focus and concentration. So you can see how important hydration is for making the most of dance lessons.
While starting dance class well-hydrated can do wonders for your energy, it's important to take regular water breaks during the lesson. Make sure water is on your dance class checklist along with shoes, socks and other necessities. After dance class, drinking water can help with feeling fatigued. Also, because water helps flush out toxins, it's good for reducing muscle soreness.
Dance parent tip: One of the best ways to encourage your children to drink more water is to drink more water yourself. Think of ways to make fresh, cool water more available for the family, like keeping a container in the fridge (fruit infused makes it more appealing) or making sure everyone has water available when “on the road.” Help your family make healthy habits.
Also, don't wait until you or your dancer(s) are feeling thirsty to reach for some water. By the time this happens, the body is already dehydrated. Make sure you're all drinking enough water during the day. Keeping hydrated is easy when you plan ahead and is so important for the confidence, success and well-being of all dance students.
* This article offers health and fitness information and is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health or your dancer's health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.
McBride School of