What You Should Know About Sports Bars
Bronco Girl Nutrition Bars are specially designed to meet the specific needs of the female bull rider! Well, maybe not, but manufacturers would certainly develop a sports bar for female bull riders if they thought it would sell. Sales of nutrition bars are a multimillion-dollar industry, and active people such as dancers comprise the target market. While engineered sports bars can be a nutritious, convenient snack, they can also be an overpriced source of excess calories. And, with an ever-growing number of sports and energy bars available in the marketplace, selecting the right one can be confusing.
The first thing to keep in mind is that an engineered sports bar will never be the equal of food. Science simply can’t put all the trace minerals and antioxidants you need into a bar. Your ideal diet should consist of a variety of wholesome foods—lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, legumes, whole grains and high-calcium fare. Plan ahead so you’ll have nutritious food available whenever you’re hungry, and always keep healthy snacks such as fruit, granola bars and trail mix (nuts, seeds and dried fruit) in your dance bag.
Nutrition bars can, however, be used to supplement a wholesome diet, especially as an occasional convenience or for extra nutrients. Bars can be divided into two categories, based on purpose: meal replacements and pre- or post-exercise snacks. If used as a meal replacement, the bar should be high in calories and protein (at least 15 grams per bar). Eating an adequate amount of protein is essential for dancers, as they are constantly building and repairing muscles.
If the bar serves as a snack or a pre- or post-exercise source of calories, look for one that provides carbohydrates to fuel your activity and has at least 3 grams of fiber. Nuts, seeds and oats add flavor as well as soluble and insoluble fibers, which are good for your entire body. Here are some other guidelines to consider when selecting sports bars.
•Be aware of the calorie amount stated on the packaging. The calorie content may be for 1⁄2 a bar, not the entire bar. If you find a bar you like, consider cutting it in half to decrease calorie intake. Bars designed specifically for women tend to have fewer calories.
•Identify the bar’s amount of sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol and mannitol. On the nutrition label, these are usually included in the total carbohydrate content, but not in the net carbohydrate total. Sugar alcohols (1.5 to 3 calories per gram) contain fewer calories than sugar (4 calories per gram) and don’t cause tooth decay. Some people are sensitive to these substances, especially in large quantities, and may experience gastrointestinal distress such as bloating and diarrhea.
•Note the grams of saturated and trans fats. These are the fats that can have a negative impact on your blood cholesterol. Many popular bars contain unnecessarily high quantities of these fats. Aim for bars that contain less than 3 grams of saturated or trans fats per serving. Saturated and trans fats aren’t essential nutrients and you don’t need to consume them at all.
•Female dancers must consume an adequate amount of calcium to maximize bone density and lower risk of stress fractures. Look for bars that have at least 30 percent of the recommended daily value for calcium, which is about the same amount contained in one cup of milk or yogurt.
•Don’t overdo a good thing by consuming too many fortified foods. Nutrition bars are often highly fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. Add those bars to a few bowls of fortified cereal and a multiple vitamin/mineral tablet and you could be consuming too much. High doses of certain vitamins and minerals can impact the absorption of other vitamins and minerals and actually cause health problems.
•No state or federal organizations routinely test bars for quality and nutrition claims. In 2005, however, independent testing organization ConsumerLab.com revealed that some of the bars tested did meet their claims, while a few contained more carbohydrates and saturated fats than stated on the label. Log on to consumerlab.com for more.
While nutrition bars can serve as an occasional dietary supplement, it’s important to realize how they affect your body. Take stock of how you feel after eating a nutrition bar: Are you more energized and satisfied than after eating “real” wholesome food? Many bars cost $2–$3—roughly the same price as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a snack consisting of an apple, a carton of yogurt and trail mix. Is the expense worth it to you? Always make a deliberate decision as to whether the bar is worth the price, convenience and nutrition content, before using it as a meal replacement or dietary supplement.
Felice Kurtzman is the director of sports nutrition for the UCLA Athletic Department.
There's a common misconception that a dancer's body has to be thin. But the truth is that talent knows no body type, and the number on the scale never determines an artist's capabilities. Here are some extraordinary dancers fighting the stereotype of what a dancer "should" look like.
Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.
We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)
So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.
The coolest place she's ever performed:
I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!
Something she's constantly working on:
My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'
My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
For a long time, I was the strongest dancer at my studio. But this year there's a new girl in my class who's very talented, and my teacher's attention has definitely shifted to her. I'm trying not to feel jealous or discouraged, but it seems like my whole dance world has changed. Help!
In the dance world, Mandy Moore has long been a go-to name, but in 2017, the success of her choreography for La La Land made the rest of the world stop and take notice. After whirlwind seasons as choreographer and producer on both "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," she capped off the year with two Emmy Award nominations—and her first win. Dance Magazine caught up with her to find out how she's balancing all of her dance projects.