What To Eat On Your Rest Day
You know that you should drink pre-workout before going to the gym, and you know you need a high protein meal afterwards – but what should you be eating on your rest day? Should you have a similar diet, or should it be totally different?
Many men don’t fully understand the importance of a rest day. They don’t realise that the food they eat then will still have a significant impact on their progress, and this is because they think that their body is ‘resting’ – but in reality it is healing, and you need certain nutrients to heal properly.
Do you want to make sure that you get the most out of your workout? If so, here’s what you should be eating on your rest days.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Rest Day
Go For A 3:1 Carb/Protein Split
You don’t just need protein after your work out; research from the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that athletes should aim to eat meals with a 3:1 carb/protein spilt when their body is recovering after a tough work out. Thankfully there are lots of meal options that work well with this spilt; including pasta with tuna or noodles and lean chicken. And if you don’t want to cook yourself, no problem; lots of restaurants offer meals with a similar split to this, such as nedsnoodlebar.com in London, where you can enjoy vegan noodles that’re just as protein enriched. So even if you don’t feel like cooking every night, you can still maintain your protein intake.
Break The Protein Up
It can be tempting just to eat one 3:1 carb/protein meal, but if you really want to maximise the effects of your workout, you should aim to eat two or three meals a day with this spilt. This is because research has found that small, frequent doses of protein are easier for your body to digest, so smaller meals will help with muscle growth and overall performance.
Fight The Urge To Binge Eat
Some men treat their rest day as a cheat day, but the two things are very different; one allows your body to heal and recover, while the other is a rare treat! So try to avoid the urge to binge eat high sodium and high sugar snacks, as they could affect your overall recovery.
Remember that you feel hungrier because your body experienced an intense work out; exercise causes the blood in your body to move from the muscle to the gut, which can make you feel full, so the next day your body will naturally feel hungrier.
When this happens, you should reward your body with high protein snacks (such as turkey pieces or nuts). This will help to reduce snack cravings, and it means you will get the most out of every workout. It can also be useful to snack on antioxidant foods (such as leafy greens, berries and beets) to help reduce any inflammation caused by the workout, especially if you already have issues with inflammation.