(520) 230-2636 [email protected]

Hey Dancesport Competitors, this nutrition video is for you!

If you or your student has a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (also known as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis), these are important tips to help promote a more successful competition experience with optimal symptom management.

  1. Stress management– Competitions, while exciting, can increase our overall stress levels which, because our gut and brain are so strongly connected, it is important to manage our stress levels while at events to minimize symptoms. Using tools include meditation, dedicated breath work, and having a good game plan for competition day can start you in the direction to success.
  2. Consistent eating (something every 2-3 hours)- While eating frequency is important on an average day, it is even more important on competition day. Many times we will skip eating due to fear of symptoms, but this can actually further trigger symptoms and cause a lack of energy to make it through the event. I would instead focus on having something smaller every 2-3 hours rather than only one or two large meals or skipping meals.
  3. Types of food choices- when at a competition, if you tend to have symptom flares, I would suggest focusing more toward a “flare management” eating focus.
    • This would include choosing lower fiber starch options (eg white bread, rice, potatoes without the skin, plain crackers, etc) and combining them with
    • lower fat (or less saturated fat) protein/fat choices such as creamy instead of chunky nut butter, chicken breast, eggs and (if you can tolerate dairy) items like greek yogurt or low fat cheese. 
    • Some individuals do better with liquid nutrition options such as meal replacement shakes or smoothies (these can many times be ordered to the hotel or brought in checked luggage depending on the option)
    • Note- doing your best to avoid artificial sweeteners as these are naturally triggering for gut symptoms 
  4. Hydration- sipping on water throughout the day is important for maintaining success throughout your dancing day. You can supplement with electrolytes (I would look for products such as Buoy) that do not have artificial sweeteners.

Please note that IBD is variable from individual to individual, these are general tips to get you started and hope you can begin to experience some symptom relief at competitions. Please reach out to myself or your dietitian of choice to work on exploring your individual needs to be your most successful!

If this inspires further questions or topics you would like to know more about, feel free to reach out to me as well.

Keep an eye out for more tips next week!

Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN, LD

A Taste of Health

“The Dancesport Dietitian”

Filmed at: Goosberry falls