Learn about nutrition for dancers

Ballet dancers are known for their long lines, muscular bodies, and incredible flexibility — factors that allow them to leap, twist, and turn for hours at a time.

Like all athletes, dancers also risk injuries during practices and performances, which may result from overuse or poor mechanics.

When a dancer is injured the goal is twofold: Come back to performing as soon as possible, as well as maintain fitness and balanced nutrition with a decreased activity level.

Learn more about the services available at UPMC Sports Medicine

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Nutrition and Recovery for Dancers

Here are seven healthy foods injured dancers can include in their diet to help enhance recovery and preserve fitness as they heal.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is high in leucine, a branch chain amino acid that assists in protein synthesis. Greek yogurt is also packed with calcium and vitamin D to assist in bone healing, building, and rebuilding.

Tuna or Salmon

These fish contain healthy fats and omega 3s that assist in decreasing inflammation and serve as an excellent source of lean protein.

Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice is high in anthocyanins to help reduce inflammation. It also contains melatonin, which assists in a restful sleep.

Red Peppers

This vitamin C-rich veggie supports tissue repair.


Fortified with magnesium, almonds may improve circulation, a factor that can provide further nutrients to injured areas of the body.

Sunflower Seeds

This snack is copper-rich and helps regenerate elastin-connective tissue.

Whey Protein Powder

Need some extra protein? Look for a supplement that is low in calories but high in leucine and whey isolate.

About Sports Medicine

Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.