PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



How a Dancer Preps for THON: 14 Days to Go

With just two weeks to go until THON (eek!), it’s time to really get serious about any pre-THON prepping.

By this point, most dancers have been (or should have been) increasing time spent physically preparing to being on their feet for 46 hours. While getting more in shape is very important to try and make the weekend easier on yourself, staying mindful of what you’re putting into your body is equally crucial.

In the time since I found out that I would be dancing, I’ve received a bunch of advice from previous dancers on how to adjust your diet to best prepare for the weekend. The most frequent, and probably the most obvious, answer I received was to do the best you can to eliminate caffeine.

If your body is reliant on caffeine and you don’t make an effort to wane yourself off it, THON weekend is going to be all the more difficult because your body will be craving it. Believe it or not, it is possible to go into caffeine withdrawal. If you were just selected as an Independent Dancer  or you haven’t began to cut it out, now is the time to start. We may only have two weeks to go, but that doesn’t mean there’s not enough time to make a lifestyle change. Remember though, caffeine isn’t just found in coffee products. Chocolate contains about half the amount of caffeine as coffee, and while that may not seem like much, it adds up if you’re eating enough of it.

In addition to coffee, you may want to consider giving up drinking until THON is over. Alcohol tends to dehydrate the body, which is a bit counterintuitive if you’re trying to up water consumption to stay hydrated throughout the weekend. Also, unless you’re daylonging, a night of drinking is likely to interfere with your sleep schedule. Keeping a regular sleep schedule of about eight hours a night leading up to THON is highly recommended, so it’s probably best to forgo drinking until THON is done. Drinking has also been known to weaken the immune system, increasing the likelihood of getting an illness.

It is also very important to make sure you’re getting as many nutrients as possible through your diet. Remember the Food Pyramid from elementary school health classes? Meals should be as balanced as possible, and sadly, Wings Over and Grillers aren’t really conducive to a balanced diet.

For those who live on campus and are preparing to dance, challenging as it may seem, it is possible to stay healthy at the dining halls. As an RA in East, I’m a bit limited by not having a kitchen at my disposal. Because of this, one of my favorite places to eat is Fresh Express’s create your own stir fry option. This allows me to load up on vegetables and protein, just make sure to opt out of the heavy sauces.

Do your best to stick to meals and snacks that contain natural ingredients; they’re going to be best to keep you energized for THON weekend. Junk food and soda contain simple carbohydrates that do nothing for your body. Instead, get your carbs through whole wheat or whole grains breads and pastas. If you find yourself craving something sugary, go for fresh fruit instead.

If you’re unsure about how you should be eating, check out the Food Pyramid’s website! Also, THON provides a sample meal plan in the Dancer Registration Packet if you need any meal ideas.

About the Author

Ali Fogarty

Ali Fogarty is a senior from the suburbs of Philadelphia majoring in Public Relations and Political Science who's passionate about Netflix and everything bagels.


More by Ali

If Penn State Were Game of Thrones

In honor of the culmination of another season, we at Onward State found some parallels between Penn State and Game of Thrones.

Distraction of the Day: Duckling Rescue on Video

Post-Grad Life, As Told By Tweets


Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Erica Dambach’s Nittany Lions return a solid combination of experience and young talent. They’re ranked No. 4 to start the season.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Student Life

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend