How to make the most of a rest day
There’s nothing like a well-earned rest day when you’ve been training hard all week. Your muscles will certainly thank you and best of all, with any luck the next day you’ll be recovered and raring to go. When it comes to your sacred day off from exercise, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get the most out of it. We spoke to nutritionist, Rebecca Gawthorne about what we should be eating and drinking to recover better.
Make nice with macronutrients
We’re talking carbs and protein here and they’re pretty important. “Rest days are the time when your body and muscle protein synthesis occurs. That is, your muscles repair and grown stronger,” explains Gawthorne. “Carbohydrates and protein are essential for this process to occur,” she adds. Replenishing your energy stores with good, nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources on your days away from the gym is also very important. Think foods like brown rice, sweet potato, leafy veg, berries, quinoa and lentils. “You certainly don’t want to cut out carbs altogether on rest days as you won’t have enough energy to workout on your next training day,” says Gawthorne.
Get on the H2O
Just because you’re not getting sweaty today doesn’t mean you should drink less water. “It’s very difficult to replace all the fluids you lose when you workout on the actual training day so hydration on rest days is essential,” says Gawthorne. “By continuing to sip from your water bottle you’ll be able to restore your fluid balance, recover properly and train more effectively during your next sesh.”
Skip the supps
“The one part of your rest day nutrition that can change slightly are your pre and post workout snacks,” Gawthorne suggests. If you choose to have a protein shake after a workout try opting for real food protein sources on days off. Get in an extra serve of chicken, greek yoghurt, eggs, mushrooms, tofu, salmon or turkey to boost your protein.