Fuelling your body with the right food is vital for performance, but how important is rest day nutrition?
In this blog, RRP Physiotherapy’s qualified dietitian, answers this question and discusses the kinds of food most people typically need for nourishment, and to repair muscles, on days in between training when they’re less active.
Keep reading to find out more about rest day nutrition, or if you’d like to make an appointment to see our accredited practicing sports dietitian for personalised advice, click here.
Importance of Rest Day Nutrition
Inadequate nutrition on rest days will most likely hinder your strength and performance.
Why? Well, the body continues to make protein and repair worn down muscles for up to 48 hours after training.
In saying that, your body generally requires less calories on rest days, as you are not as active.
It is important to listen to your body though, as it will tell you if you need more or less food through satiety and hunger cues.
Diet on Rest Days
Rest days should not be altered too much when it comes to diet.
This however comes down to:
- An individual’s size
- Activity level
- Type of activity they usually perform
What Should I Eat on My Rest Day?
Some people find their hunger levels are suppressed immediately after working out but increase again on a rest day as their body craves calories it may not have been given the day prior.
If this sounds like you, don’t fall into the trap of using the increased hunger as an excuse to mindlessly eat anything. Ensure you consume plenty of protein, fibre, and healthy fats to keep you feeling full.
When it comes to nutrition and rest days, everyone is different (which is why our dietitian creates a custom meal plan for you), however as a general rule of thumb:
- Carbohydrate is needed on rest days to stimulate glycogen resynthesis for the next day’s workout.
It is important to eat a variety of high-quality complex of carbohydrates such as:
- Vegetables, and
On active days you will require greater amounts of carbohydrate to provide your body with the energy required to perform!
- Protein is essential on a rest day, as it provides the amino acids that the body needs to repair and build new muscle tissue.
The following foods are great options:
- Chicken lean meat,
- Cottage cheese,
- Greek yogurt, and
- Protein powders
- Healthy Fats are still required on rest days, however the amount consumed probably doesn’t differ too much compared to active days.
- Hydration is very important! Most individuals finish a workout in a dehydrated state, therefore drinking of plenty of water is essential for proper recovery.
Rest Day Nutrition for HIIT Workout
If you take part in regular HIIT or high intensity workouts then you’ll still need to consume a decent amount of calories, carbohydrates and protein on rest days to prepare the body for the next day’s workout.
Rest Day Nutrition for Lower Intensity Workouts
People who participate in lower intensity workouts, will require less carbohydrate on rest days, however a similar amount of protein. Overall, this is slightly fewer calories.
It is important to listen to your body and let hunger, fullness and mindful eating guide your total energy consumption.
Rest Day Nutrition
Would you like tailored advice on how to best nourish your body so you can perform at your peak?
Book in to see our accredited sports dietitian in Brisbane here for your fully-customised meal plan to best support your training and performance.
If a little niggle, or serious injury is stopping you from reaching your potential and performing at your best, then the trusted team at RRP Physiotherapy can help.
We develop customised treatment plans for people of all walks of life and sporting abilities, including professional athletes.
Our team has a strong background in exercise rehabilitation and is obsessed with health and fitness. But rest assured, we also treat non-sporting injuries like workplace injuries, chronic diseases, musculoskeletal imbalances, body stiffness and much more.
We are located at North West Physiotherapy Everton Park – one of North Brisbane’s most reputable Physiotherapy clinics.
RRP Physiotherapy accepts Private Health Insurance (via HICAPS), and bulk-bills WorkCover, DVA (White/Gold Cards) and GP Management Plans (EPCs). Plus, you don’t need a referral to come and see us!