Just because figure skating is performed on ice and women wear dresses does not mean that it is not a sport. Figure skaters work as hard, if not harder, than other athletes. Competitive figure skaters have to be in good shape, be strong but lean, and be very flexible. Training sessions are often on-ice but countless hours are also put into off-ice training sessions. 

As with any sport, nutrition matters. Your performance is directly affected by what you eat before, but most importantly, after you exercise. A solid post-workout snack is the key to a strong recovery from a hard training session. 

The Basics

yoga pose, girl, stretch, Yoga, namaste, Blue
Julia Gilman

Everyone is different and will need slightly different amounts of food and nutrients after a workout. Also, remember that different types of workouts require different approaches to recovery. A cardio day will probably not leave you as sore as a yoga or stretching day. 

According to a Recovery Nutrition suggestion guideline sheet distributed by U.S. Figure Skating, the biggest post-workout concerns are dehydration and breakdown of different cells and tissues in the body. They recommend the 4 R's approach: Rehydrate, Replenish, Repair and Reinforce, all of which are equally important. 

What to Eat 

muesli, granola, granola bar, cereal, muesli bar, cereal bar, sweet, candy, oat, chocolate
Sarah Fung

Appropriate recovery snacks should have enough calories to replace what was burned during exercise and also be high in protein — which is essential to help rebuild damaged tissue, and carbohydrates-  to replace stored energy that was expended during the workout. 

However, eating a good snack is not the only post-workout activity. Rehydration is also very important. In addition to drinking water and/or a sports drink during the training session, you have to keep drinking water after you're done. A dehydrated body cannot heal itself completely and can result in muscle cramps or headaches.  

ice, water, splash, cup of water, water cup, water splash, dropping ice
Jocelyn Hsu


sweet, almond butter, apples, Nut butter, almonds, spread, Crunchy
Julia Gilman

A good recovery snack is filling, and has appropriate amounts of carbohydrates and protein, without too much sugar. To find out your exact needs, contact a nutritionist or dietician to get personalized advice. 

U.S. Figure Skating's recommendation for recovery snacks includes: low sugar cereal with milk, fruit and yogurt, trail mix, chocolate milk, or fruit with peanut butter (or an alternative nut spread).  

My teammates and I often opt for apples and peanut butter or nut-based snack bars. We favor easy snacks that can be eaten as we pack up and head to the next activity in the day. The key to actually eating your snack is to make sure that it travels well and won't get smushed into the bottom of your bag. It also needs to be able to last from the time you leave for practice until you are done, so make sure milk or yogurt stays refrigerated and doesn't spoil.       


smoothie, juice, sweet, milk, cocktail, yogurt
Sarah Silbiger

If eating a snack feels like too much to put in your stomach right away a plant-based protein smoothie is also a good option. They travel well and can last for a few hours.

There are a variety of organic brands that sell pre-made smoothies but making your own is also very easy. A few fruits and vegetables, plus milk and protein make an excellent recovery food. For protein, consider adding peanut butter or almond butter to the blender. If you don't like that taste, there are many tasteless protein powders that can be added to any drink, whey powder is popular, but pea or soy powders are also widely available. 

Figure skating is a fun and beautiful sport but in order to be successful, and grow as an athlete, eating correctly is the most important regimen to stick to.