Three Nutrition Tips for Aerialists and Pole Dancers


Three Nutrition Tips for Aerialists and Pole Dancers

I started taking weekly aerial classes when I was in college and living in Chicago. When I finished work, I would sprint to the trains and begin my one hour commute to the circus school. Normally, I had the good sense to pack a snack… but not today. Today, I woke up 20 minutes late and I didn’t have time to eat. How did the aerial class go? Awful. I felt weak, light headed, and like I failed at every skill I attempted. I cried after class because I felt like a failure. My real failure was not recognizing the problem: I wasn’t fueling my body to set myself up for success.

Nutrition is a dense subject. It’s a lot of fancy words and numbers with what feels like very little practical explanation. Sometimes, I wish I just had my own personal nutritionist who told me what and what not to eat throughout the day so I didn’t have to think about it. The truth is, there is no one-true diet for aerialists and pole dancers. You can be well fueled and still be gluten free, vegan, keto based, etc… So instead of telling you what to eat, let’s talk about some simple food actions you can take to help your aerial or pole journey.


You have definitely heard this before, but you need to hear it again: DRINK YOUR WATER! Sip on it throughout the day. Guzzling an entire bottle right before class isn’t going to help you, it’s just going to make you pee or potentially vomit. Aim for drinking about half your weight in fluid ounces per day.

2. Eat something light before class

More specifically, eat a high carbohydrate snack an hour to 30 minutes before class. Remember, not all carbohydrates are created equally. There are simple carbs and complex carbs. Complex carbs slowly release sugar into the blood to create long lasting energy. Simple carbs are easier to digest and will rapidly release sugar into the blood creating a quick, but short, burst of energy. For class, you want long lasting energy so stick to those complex carbs. Simple carbs have their place, such as before a performance, but you don’t want to crash and burn during class. Here are some suggestions for snacks to eat before class:

-Peanut butter sandwich with whole wheat bread


-Non-starchy vegetables

-Hard-boiled egg

-Granola bar


3. After class, eat protein…and more carbs!

Once you’ve finished training, it’s time to recover with something that has a little more substance. Protein helps us build muscle and carbohydrates help in this process. Foods like fish and chicken are high in protein, but if you are on a meatless diet, beans, seeds, and nuts are all great sources of protein. Protein powders and supplements are also great, but some may contain lots of added sugar. Wouldn’t you rather get your sugar from something fun like a slice of cake?

When push comes to shove, eating something is better than eating nothing. Your body is a machine and requires fuel to operate, especially when you are asking your body to do the athletic moves required for aerial and pole.

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