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Right nutrition for rhythmic gymnasts

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Sport requires strict discipline. Girls who decided to commit themselves to Rhythmic Gymnastics also should know their limits. They have little time for entertainment and a special diet that excludes the most part of dainties popular among children and teens.

Girls usually start training rhythmic gymnastics long before school. During this period little gymnasts are not limited in nutrition. But when they attain the age of 8-10, their diet becomes more specific. Products are chosen in such way so that the organism of junior gymnast could get enough nutritional support as well as vitamins and microelements necessary for growth and development. It is important to avoid a calorie surplus as it could cause excess weight.

Caloric content of rhythmic gymnasts

Scientists have established that junior gymnast spends 50-62 kilocalories per 24 hours by every kilo of her weight. That’s why gymnasts of different age and weight consume different amount of food. Calorie calculation is made on the following scheme:

-weight of 30-39 kg – 1500-2000 kcal;

- weight of 40-49 kg – 2000-2500 kcal;

- weight of 50-59 kg – 2500-3000 kcal;

- weight of 60 kg – 3000-3500 kcal.

In case junior gymnast is supposed to be overweight according to the opinion of coach and doctor, the recommended quantity of calories can be reduced by 20-40% (it is allowed to reduce calories by 50% for adult gymnasts). Calorie reduce is achieved by exclusion or reduction of most caloric products containing carbohydrates and fats, such as confectionery and sweets, sugar, spaghetti, potatoes, bananas, grits, vegetable and dairy butter, milk products with high fat level, fat meat.


Number of trainings during the day defines the number of meals. If a gymnast has 1 training per day, it would be enough to eat 3 times a day. If a gymnast has 2 trainings per day, 4 meals a day would be enough. The same diet if a gymnast has severe academic load (preparation for exams etc.). If a gymnast has 3 trainings per day, the scheme of 5-times meal is applied.

Diet consists of systematic regular meals of small portions 1.5-2 hours before the training and not later than 2 hours before sleep. A meal is eaten 2.5-3 hours before entering the mat during competitions period.

Junior gymnast’s breakfast usually consists of carbohydrates, lunch – of proteins. Dinner should mainly consist of vegetables and fruits.

It would be useful to have hunger day once a week, when a gymnast doesn’t have any trainings. Only kefir, apples of berries could be eaten this day.

Water consumption is limited before the competitions. The gymnast feels her lightness and her muscles acquire more beautiful outline.

What products to prefer

It is recommended to use diet meat as a protein source: rabbit meat, beef, chicken or turkey, not fat meat of young sheep. It’s better to cook meat on steam.

It is recommended to eat fresh fish 2-3 times a week. A gymnast should also eat 4-5 eggs every week. It is obligatory to include in a diet fermented milk products of low fat: kefir, ryazhenka, cottage cheese and cheese. Cereals can be a source of carbohydrates: buckwheat, oat, millet, rice.

Gymnasts should eat fresh vegetables and fruits every day in the amount of 600-800 gr. Fresh green head cabbage is highly recommended. Currant, blackberry, raspberry and gooseberry are desirable in a diet.

Dairy butter, olive and sunflower oil must be eaten in small quantity as they are sources of essential amino acids and some vitamins. Raisins, dried pitted and halved apricots, prune and nuts or piece of dark chocolate can be gymnasts’ dainties.

What to drink

Gymnasts should control the amount of water in their organism. It is recommended to drink melted structured water, mineral still water, dogrose infusion without sugar (but half of a teaspoon of honey can be added), natural juices without sugar, cold fruit drinks. Energetic drink of 1 lemon, 150ml of water and teaspoon of honey is good for breakfast.

Products gymnast must exclude

The following products are not healthy, some of them are just harmful and all of them have high level of calories:

-          chips and rusks

-          any fizzy drinks

-          milk chocolate and sweets with coloring agents

-          buns, cakes, cookies, muffins

-          fried pastry and meat

-          pasta

-          potatoes

Bananas and grape contain a lot of calories. A gymnast should limit the consumption of these fruits.

Approximate diet for a rhythmic gymnast


Breakfast (7 am-8 am)

Oat cooked with water, not fat cottage cheese with basins, crisp bread, green tea with honey and lemon

Lunch (10 am – 11 am)

Fat free kefir, baked apple

Dinner (2pm – 3 pm)

Vegetable soup – 100gr, steamed cutlet with steamed cauliflower, drink with lemon and honey

Supper (6.30pm-7pm)

Cabbage casserole with egg, cranberry cold drink, lemon


Breakfast (7 am-8 am)

Steamed fish, vegetable salad with cheese, crisp bread, dogrose infusion with lemon and honey

Lunch (10 am – 11 am)

Crisp bread, liver mash, fat-free kefir

Dinner (2pm – 3 pm)

Tomato, stewed rabbit meat, rice, sugar-free drink of dry fruits, lemon

Supper (6.30pm-7pm)

Fried marrows, carrot and apple drink


Breakfast (7 am-8 am)

Buckwheat cereal with milk, tea with lemon and honey

Lunch (10 am – 11 am)

Chocolate glazed curd bar, kefir

Dinner (2pm – 3 pm)

Meat roll with egg, salad of fresh cabbage, carrot, apple; drink with lemon

Supper (6.30pm-7pm)

Vegetable salad with seafood, stewed apple drink

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