Sports nutritionists tell us that hydration is a key part of athletic performance. Aside from daily intake of liquids needed to support normal everyday activity, it has been estimated that athletes lose between 300 and 2,400 milliliters (1.5 to 10 cups) of fluids (depending on intensity level) during every hour of physical exertion. This is mainly in the form of sweat, but also includes fluids lost through breathing.
But there’s a common misunderstanding that because athletes burn so many calories, they can eat anything they like. This simply isn’t true. In fact, the more highly tuned you are as an athlete, the more sensitive your body becomes to the things that don’t help your performance. Foods that impede the efficiency of the body’s muscle burning “engine” become a burden.
We’ve known for some time that Europeans train with a greater intensity than do most North American DanceSport competitors, particularly when compared to those on the west coast. This is something discussed often when dancers get together. But it’s doubtful that many competitors understand just how significant the difference is.