Life on tour is grueling (or so I’ve heard), but Taylor Swift could’ve fooled us with her seemingly effortless stamina throughout her 3-hour “Eras Tour” show (complete with seamless outfit changes on stage, might I add). It got me wondering how she performs her way through 44 hits from her 10 studio albums without so much as breaking a sweat or popping one of the sequins off her red-and-sequined-snaked Reputation look. So naturally, I scoured the internet for every tidbit I could find about her wellness routine (you’re welcome, Swifties).
How does she sweat it out? What does she eat in a day? Is she just like us when it comes to self-care? Although I only came across interviews from years ago (which I’ll give you the highlights from), I tapped into the expertise of dietitians, fitness trainers, and psychologists to find out the kind of eating habits, workouts, and mental health practices Swift has to follow to keep up with the demands of her tour. Read on for a breakdown of T-Swift’s health and wellness standbys. Alexa, play the Midnights album.
For fitness: She dances it out (on and off stage)
According to an article in Marie Claire, pounding the pavement and dance-based workouts from New York-based studio Body By Simone are the singer-songwriter’s secret weapons to keeping up endurance and strength to perform dozens of shows while on tour. Body by Simone classes (which are also offered on their digital studio so you can sweat it on-the-go) combine a unique fusion of dance, Pilates, and functional strength training (think: high-intensity dance cardio, bodyweight moves, and light dumbbell exercises) that create “a safe space where women can feel inspired and motivated to become the best version of themselves,” said Simone de la Rue, Body by Simone’s Founder. To give Swift’s fitness regimen a whirl, try this 20-minute full-body Body by Simone workout. You’ll jump lunge, push up shoulder tap, crunch as you side plank, and jump squat your way to Swift fitness status.
But dancing (on and off the stage) isn’t the only exercise she swears by. “For me, running is about blasting a whole bunch of new songs and running to the beat,” Swift told WebMD. “It’s also good because it makes me find a gym wherever I am…I love exploring the places we go when we tour.” If running isn’t your jam (same), give the Taylor Swift treadmill workout a whirl (it’s way better, IMO).
What the experts say
“Incorporating cardiovascular exercise into Taylor’s everyday routine helps her improve her breath stamina,” explained Jill Charton, a celebrity and personal trainer and Founder of iFour.Life. “Taking that a step further to incorporate breathwork and control during physical activity refines Taylor’s vocal control and clarity and lessen strain. For example, this could be walking uphill on a treadmill or doing yoga or pilates while maintaining breath patterns. An easy one for beginners is to breathe 4 beats in your nose, hold that breath for a moment, then exhale from your mouth for 4 beats, then repeat throughout all exercises until able to gradually increase the count from 4 to 7.”
According to Stephanie Thomas, a certified personal trainer, Swift is doing just what the doctor (or fitness expert) ordered with respect to her dance cardio and running. “Cardiovascular endurance is key for such a long and demanding performance, so incorporating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and steady-state cardio such as running, biking, or swimming can help improve Taylor’s stamina,” Thomas conveyed. “Strength training is also super important for building the muscular endurance needed to perform on stage for such a long time. Her fitness regimen most likely includes exercises that target the legs, core, and upper body, such as squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, and pull-ups.”
For a well-rounded fitness regimen, Thomas also cited flexibility and mobility as crucial components for preventing injury and maintaining fluid movement on stage. How does Swift likely keep her muscles loose and limber? Stretching and foam rolling. Get it in while catching up on all the cheating scandals and heartbreaks that is Vanderpump Rules, ladies!
For diet: She follows intuitive eating habits
Show biz is not without its fad diets, cleanses, and quick fixes, but don’t count Swift as part of that crowd. Rather, she takes a balanced approach to her diet. Translation: Taylor follows a wholesome menu during the week while letting loose with her food choices on the weekends. The only info my extensive research found on her diet was from 2010 (that’s Fearless era, y’all), but I think it’s still good advice: “…I try to keep it lighter, but it’s nothing too regimented or crazy,” Swift told WebMD. “I don’t like to create too many rules where I don’t need them. We know what’s good for us, thanks to common sense.” Case in point: Taylor (at least in 2010) passes on sugary drinks and sticks to salads, yogurt, and sandwiches Monday through Friday, but enjoys a burger and fries, ice cream, or cookies on weekends (a girl after my own heart).
We could all take a page from Swift’s book on mindful eating—that goes for sweets too. If you’re a Swiftie, you probably already know she’s no stranger to baking up a storm of desserts. “I bake pumpkin bread for everyone I know and make ginger molasses cookies and hot chocolate and chai,” she expressed to Bon Appétit in 2012 (more importantly known as the Red era). As for her go-to drinks? Skinny vanilla lattes on weekdays and PSLs on weekends. “The point is I’m never cutting out what I love,” Swift informed WebMD. She is just like us!
What the experts say
“Prioritizing well-balanced meals that provide adequate protein, carbohydrate, fat, and calories should be the goal,” voiced Erica Baty, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist. “Since Swift performs in the evening, it is likely she eats a solid dinner several hours before the show. Then to maintain energy during the show, having quick, easily digestible snacks backstage is crucial. Think foods that are nutrient-dense but also light and energizing, like a banana, peanut butter sandwich, an avocado, handful of trail mix, etc.” Baty validated Swift’s 80/20 MO for eating: “There’s also a rumor she likes red licorice and while I wouldn’t classify that as ‘nutrient dense’ it would certainly give her a quick boost of energy!”
“Just like for an athlete before a game or big event, a larger meal at least 2 hours beforehand is a necessity in order to perform well,” echoed Jesse Feder, a personal trainer and registered dietitian. “…for Taylor Swift who is doing more long duration, low intensity movement/activity, she is likely having a larger meal higher in healthy fats compared to carbohydrates.” Feder also noted that Swift needs another higher calorie meal after her show in order to allow her body to recover (think: lean protein, whole grain carbs, and healthy fats).
Melissa Wasserman Baker, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and Founder of Food Queries, went into more detail as to what a healthy diet would look like to sustain Swift’s energy levels during her performances: “Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy to the body, and Swift will need to consume adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables,” she mentioned. “As she may be doing a lot of dancing and movement on stage, it is crucial that she consumes enough protein to help her muscles recover and prevent muscle breakdown. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and legumes. Healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, and avocados, are also important for maintaining energy levels, supporting hormone production, and aiding in nutrient absorption.”
For hydration: She always has a water bottle with her
Swift can’t live without her Starbucks like the rest of us, but she knows water does a body good and makes it a point to load up on water, tour or no tour. “I have so much water in my dressing room because I drink, like, ten bottles of water a day,” Swift revealed in her 2012 Bon Appétit interview. “I drink so much water my friends call me an alien.” She never leaves home without a water bottle and even keeps a case in her car for good measure. While you don’t have to guzzle ten bottles in a day (assuming you’re not a pop star performing night after night), a general rule of thumb is to aim for about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day. When we stay sufficiently hydrated, our cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems work more efficiently. So do as Taylor does and hit your hydration goal for the day. Step 1: Start with a glass of water first thing in the AM. Your skin will reap the benefits, too.
What the experts say
Swift can do no wrong, even when it comes down to her water intake, based on the recommendation of Juliana Tamayo, RD, MS, a registered and clinical dietitian and an editor of Fitness Clone. “In order for Swift to be able to keep up with the physical demands of the tour, she should try to stay hydrated and drink at least 1,500 – 1,700ml of water a day based on her assumed weight,” Tamayo affirmed. “After concerts, drinking an electrolyte-rich beverage is also a good way for her to replenish the fluid losses [she experiences during them].”
Feder pointed out that during each performance, in addition to good ol’ H2O, Swift is likely reaching for an electrolyte and carbohydrate replacement beverage, like coconut water, which has a bevy of benefits, including helping her stay hydrated, maintain energy, improve physical performance, and recover better. Hot tip: Not all electrolyte drinks are created equal, so double check the label first.
For mental health: She journals
“Health is a big part of being happy,” Swift shared with WebMD, which to her means being in great shape both physically and mentally. It turns out she’s a journaling stan (that instantly gets her the Everygirl stamp of approval, BTW): “From a young age, any time I would feel pain I would think, ‘It’s OK, I can write about this after school,'” Swift said. “As a young kid, I learned to process my emotions by writing.” Swift was onto something at an early age, because putting pen to paper has a bevy of benefits, including reducing stress, creating space from negative thoughts, and deepening self-discovery.
It’s no surprise that Swift also takes to her songwriting and music to feel all her feels: “…anytime something hurts, like rejection or sadness or loneliness, or I feel joy or I fall in love, I ask myself, ‘Can I write a song about this so I know how I feel?'” she continued. Even if your journal entries about your feelings don’t become a platinum hit, journaling can provide an effective way to process emotions. Think of it like a therapy session with yourself.
What the experts say
As stated by Michael Dadashi, a therapist, psychologist, and CEO of Infinite Recovery, Swift needs to practice a combination of cognitive and emotional strategies in order to sustain her demanding on-stage presence night after night. “Cognitively, she needs to set realistic goals for herself that are achievable and monitor her progress,” Dadashi elaborated. “Emotionally, she needs to practice mindfulness by engaging in activities like yoga, meditation, and journaling to stay grounded and connected with her emotions. She should also practice positive self-talk and use affirmations to boost her confidence.” I think it’s fair to assume Swift can check off those boxes, wouldn’t you agree, Swifties?
For self-care: She has a routine to feel at home while traveling
In her interview with WebMD, Swift didn’t sugarcoat life on tour: riding hours on a bus, giving it her all on stage, and not sleeping in her own bed can feel draining. Her key to staying balanced through it all? Following a comforting routine and packing certain travel essentials. Her first order of business when settling into her hotel room is unpacking. “I do it everywhere I go,” Swift said. “I really like the way it feels to have my clothes put away in drawers and my shoes in the closet.” According to the WebMD article, Swift also always brings candles with her to her destinations. Even though she shared this routine back in 2010 when we were all blasting “Forever & Always” (not Taylor’s version) from our iPods, we’re all creatures of habit, so it’s a safe bet she’s kept up the same regimen to stay calm and collected during her “Eras Tour” today.
If you caught Swift’s Netflix documentary Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, you know that her squad includes her feline companions—Olivia, Meredith, and Benjamin—and she has personalized bags and cat backpacks for them for travel on her private jet, according to Parade Pets (they’re practically just as famous as their mom, thanks to their many cameos on IG and TikTok). What’s more, Swift brings them to events and music video shoots alike every chance she gets (as evidenced here and here). As a fellow four-legged animal mama (sorry, I’m partial to dogs), I can relate (minus the Gulfstream, of course).
What the experts say
Dr. Perpetua Neo, a psychologist and leadership coach, stressed the importance of Swift taking a step-by-step approach, one foot forward at a time, like her habit of unpacking as soon as she gets to her home away from home and traveling with her cat besties. “Bringing things like candles and blankets on your travels can help create a sense of home,” Neo confirmed. “For Taylor (or anyone busy and always traveling), this could evoke that homey feel, a little sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of always being on the road. Also, scent is the fastest shortcut to our brains and can help anchor us, short circuiting any thought or feeling patterns that aren’t healthy for us.”
And it goes without saying that animals provide joy and comfort to their humans and come with some major health perks, like decreasing levels of cortisol, lowering blood pressure, and boosting your mood. “Having your familiar companions while you’re away from home can be great because they’re a source of love, caring, and fulfillment,” Neo agreed. “It can also keep people anchored and support them emotionally. The bond between an animal and their human companion is something that’s impossible to articulate in words — it’s incredibly pure and at a different level of connection; so for people who revel in it, it’s much encouraged.”