Protein Food List – Does a dancer good!

Dance – Go home – Do it again . . .  Dance – Go home – Do it again . . . Dance – Go home – Do it again . . . Dance – Go home – Do it again . . . Dance – Go home – Do it again . . . Dance – Go home – Do it again  . . . Dance – Go home – Do it again . . .  Dance – Go home – Do it again. . .     

Do you ever have days when you walk into the front door of your ballet/dance studio and say to yourself, “Wasn’t I just here?”  Well dancehealthier is certain that our muscles – if they had a voice – would most likely scream this!  “WeReN’T wE JusT HERE!”

One way – of the many ways – we can help our muscles recover faster, taper off excess amounts of lactic acid and prevent muscle fatigue is to eat healthy foods.  Plus, these healthy foods will do much more than just help out our muscles.  The benefits are endless. To name just a few: Physical strength, digestion, heart health, confidence, mental health, and “just feeling good.”  Feel free to add to this list.

Dancehealthier would like to help compile lists of food components for you to think about, evaluate and if appropriate, eat!  This is how it will go for the next few Movement Wednesdays – Love Eats:

  • Today – Happy Leap Day (that is how you say it, right?) February 29th:  Proteins
  • Week 2 –  March 7th: Milk/Dairy
  • Week 3 – March 14th: Vegetables 
  • Week 4 – March 21st: Fruits & Grains/Carbohydrates
  • Week 5 – March 28th: Fats


Each serving contains 7 grams protein, 0 – 3 grams fat,

no carbohydrate, 35 – 70 Calories.

Please take note: Appropriate serving sizes are not listed. The listed serving size is not what dancehealthier recommends as an appropriate serving size for meal purposes.  This list is strictly used for educational/guidance purposes.




Animal Sources


1 large

Egg white or egg substitute

2 large or ¼ cup

Cheese w/ < 3 g fat per ounce(“light” or “75% less fat”)

1 oz

Cheese w/ < 5 g fat per ounce(mozzarella or 2%) Choose less often

1 oz

Cottage Cheese (preferably  lowfat)

¼ cup

95% Fat Free Luncheon Meat

1 oz

Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon

All fish fresh and frozen

1 oz

Beef Sirloin, round, flank, or ground beef (at least 90% lean)

1 oz

Veal—all except veal cutlets

1 oz

Chicken, turkey, cornish hen, without skin

1 oz

Chili, made with lean beef

½ cup

Wild Game without skin (rabbit, squirrel, venison, pheasant)

1 oz

Pork Tenderloin or loin

1 oz

Lean Ham, Canadian Bacon

1 oz


Choose rarely

Bologna, Bratwurst, Hot Dogs, Sausage

1 oz

Corned Beef

1 oz

Fried Chicken or fish

1 oz

Prime Rib, ribeye

1 oz

Cheese (American, Cheddar, Swiss)

1 oz

Vegetable Sources

Choose often

Soy Burger, hot dog or sausages

1 oz


1 oz

Nuts (count as protein + 3 healthy fats)

¼ cup

Beans, dried, canned or cooked from dry (black-eye peas, butter beans, cannelloni, chickpeas or garbanzos, split peas, kidney, soy, lentil, lima or navy, pinto or refried beans)

½  cup

Chili beans

½ cup


¼ cup

Lentil soup

1 cup

Peanut butter (count as protein + 3 healthy fats)

1 tablespoon


3 oz


5 thoughts on “Protein Food List – Does a dancer good!

  1. This is so helpful – the way you’ve laid this out makes it easy to compare and make choices.
    In addition I would point out that certain protein sources, like soy, can be difficult for many people to digest; and cheese would not be an option for anyone with lactose intolerance. Just like athletes, dancers have to be in peak physical shape for rehearsals and performance and must figure out whether they have a sensitivity to any of these foods so they can avoid them. Further, acc. to recent studies, 1 in 10 Americans suffer from IBS, which often goes undiagnosed; it’s not a well-understood condition, can come and go in waves, and is usually triggered by specific foods, and by stress. Devising an eating plan that most efficiently fuels each individual dancer can involve a lot of trial and error; what works for one may not work at all for someone else.

  2. Thank you, you are right! Everyone has different needs, sensitivities and allergies – things that don’t work for their specific body! The list compiled, however, is formatted to be used as an educational tool/reference only since I’m speaking to a whole – and not one specific individual. This list is a base for organizing different forms of food components – give or take individual needs! As for food sensitivity, that makes for another great blog Entry. Awareness of how our bodies accept/reject foods is a skill, a process and can be very helpful in understanding our bodies. Thanks for your stats and input.

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. I totally get what you’re trying to do here. And I think you made a wise choice starting this series with a focus on protein – which is probably the element that most dancers are not getting enough of, or understand the least about. When getting ready for a day of intensive rehearsals or a show, they usually pile up on the carbs (plus caffeine and sugar!)

  4. This is great!!! Exactly what I was hoping for with my comment in a recent post on topic ideas…and so soon! Both informative and perfectly laid out to understand and apply to our eating habits as elite athletes…looking so forward to the following food group posts! Thank you!

  5. Glad that you find it helpful Shelby! I thought your idea was great and so I wanted to get it out for this month! Thanks for the insight! I’m also getting an interview laid out in regards to this issue (muscle fatigue) with a gentleman that has his PhD in exercise physiology! Hope that it works out!

    Sent from my iPhone

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