Injured? The Surprising Reason to Watch Your Calories

November 21, 2017

When dancers get injured, they often think they should eat less. The thought process goes something like, Since I’m not able to move as much as I usually do, I’m not burning enough calories to justify the portions I’m used to.

But the truth is, scaling back your meals could actually be detrimental to your healing process.

According to a 2015 study, your body burns calories to heal. The Women’s Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery says that your calorie needs actually increase when you’re injured. And if you don’t get enough fuel, tissues like muscles and ligaments could begin to break down, prolonging your recovery.

In particular, make sure to get plenty of protein, carbs, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids to fuel a healthy recovery. HSS also recommends upping your calcium intake if you’ve injured a bone. Just cut out the junk food to make sure that what you eat is packed with healthy nutrition that will help you heal.