Eating on Rest Days

Should I eat the same on rest days”. — a question I think most people new to fitness utter at some point.

It makes sense. Moving more = eat more. Moving less = eat less. Except — bodies don’t work in isolation!

When we eat it isn’t JUST for that one day. It also helps us recover from previous workouts & prepare for the next.

This looks like
☑️ Adequate protein to support muscle recovery (yes even in endurance 😉)

☑️ Adequate carbs to replenish our glycogen stores from our workouts &/or any loss that comes from our muscles using what we give it to repair between them.

☑️ Adequate calories to give our bodies the energy it needs to recover.

As a whole, most of the energy we need each day is just for basic human function. Exercise increases this but has a plateau. Our bodies to some degree will compensate that expenditure, so it’s not as much as we *think*.

(Humans egregiously over estimate Kcal expended from exercise. This is also why your watch isn’t perfect — I have posts on this too.)

But we don’t ONLY eat for the energy we need for our workouts. But the energy needed to recover from them too AND support muscle tissue.

Building, maintaining & recovering muscle is pretty dang energy costly.

Most activity factors in macro calculators if you’re using one factor all this in. Pick the one that makes the most sense for you. Start there. Don’t change it every other day. Be consistent. Your body will let you know if it needs more food! & if you don’t track you can simply be consistent day to day.

Of course there’s some exceptions. You’re free to cycle Kcal/carbs if you enjoy it or supports big workout days. But it isn’t necessary. If you’re not tracking you likely will intuitively eat more if your activity depletes you too much.

When training for big races I will eat more on my big long run days by a few 100 kcals. If you’re more hungry after hard workouts you can absolutely so this.

But overall it isn’t necessary or even good to “eat less” because you’re not actively working out. If anything it’s “enough and more”.

Your body still needs food even on rest days.
ESPECIALLY if you train 4-6x/week at a moderate to high volume/intensity.

🤘🏻 Lyss

Hey, I'm Lyss!

I’m Exercise Physiologist, sports nutritionist, weight lifter, and ultra runner. I am here to bring science to your training in a no-nonsense way. I have helped thousands of women crush big lifting goals, cross race finish lines, and even do both. I’m here to help you do the same!

Get the free macro calculator

Thank you for subscribing!

Train with me

Looking for running plans?

Related Posts

Meet Doc Lyss

Exercise Scientist, ultra runner, lifter, human.