Thinkstock

Here's What You Need To Know about Detoxes

With winter on its way out and glorious spring days in sight, it's natural to want your body to feel as fresh as the weather. A detox can seem like a logical choice—but it's important to understand how they can affect your body. " 'Detox' has become a buzzword," says Peggy Swistak, MS, RDN, CD, of Pacific Northwest Ballet. "They promise to eliminate any 'toxins', but we have organs like the kidneys and liver to do that for us. However, some detoxes won't cause real harm if done in a controlled way over a short span of time."


Juice Cleanses

"Juice cleanses are a popular form of detoxing," Swistak says. The duration of a juice cleanse can range anywhere from a day to a week. However, Swistak warns that more than three days is an extreme approach. "One day isn't bad, but if you're only drinking juice for three or more days while dancing regularly, you're depleting your muscles of glycogen—a key factor in maintaining energy."

It's no secret that crankiness is a symptom of hunger. Depriving your body of solid foods during a juice cleanse will make you prone to snapping. "Dancers might experience headaches, irritability and shakiness—none of which is helpful to their dancing," Swistak says.

The Master Cleanse

The master cleanse is among the most extreme variations of detoxing. It consists of water with lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and a nightly laxative, with no solid foods at all. "Dancers need to understand that while a day of the master cleanse might make them feel lighter, it comes at a cost," Swistak says. "On the master cleanse, you'll be losing energy and muscle, which is a recipe for disaster."

Raw-Foods Cleanse

While many people choose to follow a raw-food diet as a lifestyle, it's also a common short-term detox option. But sticking to it even for a few days can be difficult. "You can't really eat anything at restaurants, so everything you consume must be prepared in advance," Swistak says. Another factor to consider is the need for daily nutrients. "By its nature, this cleanse is very low in calcium and vitamins D and B12. You'd need to eat a huge amount of fruits, nuts and seeds to meet your daily requirements and sustain the energy you need for dancing."

Swistak also cautions dancers against this cleanse because of its health risks. "Everything is unpasteurized and raw, which drastically increases the chances of contracting listeria, salmonella and other food-borne illnesses," she says. "At some point you have to ask yourself if it's really worth it."

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti


Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search