What to eat on your restday
Perfect foods for rest & light workout days
Every runner is different. Some need to train every single day and don’t really allow themselves much of rest, while others might need an extra push to complete their training schedule. Getting rest while training is important for the body, because if neglected it could lead to injury or overtraining syndrome. You need to find out for yourself how much of a rest you need per week. It all depends on your normal activity, condition and training. On rest days it is still a good idea to keep a low intensity activity, as the worst you can do for your body, is to do nothing. So instead of your normal training, focus on walking, stretching, or swimming. If you are going for a light workout than this means you are doing a workout, which is lighter and of a low intensity.
In terms of nutrition there are a few points you need to pay attention to on your rest days:
1. Cut down on carbohydrates
As you already know, healthy carbs give you energy to achieve your training goals. But on days when you are resting you should cut their consumption. This will help your body continue to burn more fat and can help with weight loss. Reduce the carbohydrate intake on rest days by 50 to 100 gr to help you reach your fitness and weight goals. This may mean that only one meal (breakfast or lunch) needs to be carbohydrate based.
2. Focus on lean proteins
Lean proteins such as fish, poultry, tofu and eggs will give you sustained energy and will help reduce blood sugar spikes. Increasing your protein intake on rest days will help your body to build and repair tissue and will support ongoing muscle growth. Eating protein rich foods can also help reduce your daily calorie intake by as much as 200 calories.
3. The good fats
Consuming food, rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and aid in the recovery process. Focus on some fish, nuts and seeds (flax seeds) to get more of those good fatty acids in your diet.
4. Increase your consumption of nutritious produce
The vitamins and minerals contained in fresh fruits and vegetables are important for your optimal recovery after a strenuous training. Dark leafy greens are rich in iron. Red and orange fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene, a powerful anti-oxidant that can help reduce inflammation. Legumes are a good source of protein and fiber, which can help improve digestion and lower cholesterol levels.
Rest days are also a great time to experiment with new flavors and recipes and try new products.
Looking for more tips and tricks for your training!?
- Protein Power Bowl Recipe - A great way to fuel your energy after training. By Vesela Savova (In English)
- Why it is also important to work your muscles and not just your endurance when training for a run. By David Wagener (In French)
- Learn how to get the right mindset for the competition and train your mind to boost your physical performance. by SoColibris (In French)