If you have chosen to give Veganuary a go this month (eating a vegan diet throughout the month of January) you will have noticed that you’re not the only one trying this popular movement. There are many arguments for and against veganism – such as those which are ethical, or environmental – however if it is something you would like to continue as a dancer, it is important to ensure you have done your research and know exactly how to fuel your body efficiently, such as by speaking to a registered nutritionist.
It is easy to think that being a vegan means you are automatically healthier – this is not the case. Dancers must work even harder to ensure they are not at risk of nutritional deficiencies as a vegan, even if you are just experimenting with a plant-based diet. It can be beneficial for the body and the environment, but being vegan can also cause problems if you don’t make thoughtful and healthy choices. It is possible to maintain a healthy diet including all the nutrients you need as a vegan, with the correct information.
Dancers need to ensure they are getting an adequate amount of protein in order to sustain their bodies in class, rehearsals and in performance. The biggest source of protein can be found in meat, however for vegans protein sources include legumes, quinoa, tofu and chia, so it is important to be abreast of all the information you need to make an informed choice. Your diet fuels your body, and it simply will not work efficiently without putting enough calories and nutrients into it. If your body gets inadequate fuel, it starts to break down lean muscle mass, which could impact your bones.
For all your questions, advice and concerns, please speak to a registered nutritionist.