Calorie Intake On Rest Days VS Training Days
When it comes to fitness, exercise and calorie intake are a major priority. Most of us know the amount of calories we should be eating on training days, but what about rest days? One of the most common questions I get is: “”
After all, it makes sense that if you expend less energy in the form of exercise that you would need to take in less energy in the form of food. But that’s not really the case. So why are rest days so important? Should you be eating the same amount of food on rest days and training days?
1. Why Rest Days Are Important
Before we get into how much you should be eating, let’s talk about why rest days are so important in the first place. One of the main reasons rest days are important is because they encourage lean tissue to grow. You see, muscle isn’t actually built while you are working out, it’s built during rest days.
When we rest, we allow our tissues to repair and grow stronger. So how exactly does this work? Well the hormone insulin plays a major part in helping our muscles grow. For insulin to do it’s job, you have to make sure you are doing two main things on your rest days. First, you have to make sure that you are actually resting. Obviously light activity is fine, but you definitely shouldn’t be doing any intense workouts on your rest days. The second thing you should be doing is eating.
But why is it that we should be eating on our rest days? Well that’s because insulin is released in response to carbohydrate intake. So if you don’t eat enough carbs, fat, and protein on rest days, you won’t release insulin for growth and you won’t give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs for muscle repair.
2. How Much Should I Eat?
As I mentioned above, rest days allow your body to repair and recover from the previous workout. But they also help prepare your body for the upcoming workout. In order for your body to recover and build muscle, it needs fuel. And it needs a lot of it.
For starters, your body can only synthesis glycogen at 5% an hour, so it takes a good 24 hours to get your muscles ready for your next workout. And that’s just to replace what you lost during your last workout. You need to make sure you are giving your body enough fuel so that you don’t feel exhausted when your next workout day comes.
After all, those muscles you’re building don’t stop eating their own fuel just because you’re resting. In fact, 100 pounds of muscle burns around 500 calories a day. So, if you skip out on that meal or snack on your rest day, your lean tissue suffers and you get weaker.
3. Good Foods To Eat On You Rest Days
Now that we know how important it is to eat on our rest days, what exactly should we be eating? Well carbohydrate rich foods fire up insulin and help replace and replenish your glycogen stores. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should be filling up on chips and other processed snacks.
Instead your carbohydrate should come from fruits, beans, starchy, and non starchy vegetables. These foods are rich with nutrients and vitamins that your body needs in order to run efficiently. Lean meats and poultry, wild caught fish and shellfish are another great option for refueling your body. Some other good options include foods with high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which can help soothe a stressed system.
The Training Day vs Resting Day Takeaway
All in all, rest days are extremely important when it comes to building muscle and staying fit. It’s important to remember that eating on rest days is vital as it helps your body recover more efficiently.
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