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Rest day nutrition: Here's how it works!

This is what you have to know about your restday

The proper diet for your rest day

So far, we have always focused on adapting the diet to your training. However, proper nutrition also plays an important role on the rest day.

If you want to know how to fuel properly on your restday this blog is just right for you!

Fill up on fiber on the rest day

Dietary fiber is very important for our body as it performs a number of helpful functions.

Dietary fiber reduces the risk of diet-related diseases such as obesity, hypertension and coronary heart disease. It is therefore recommended to consume at least 30g of dietary fiber per day. However, this is not that easy.

According to data from the National Dietary Survey, 75% of women and 68% of men have fiber intakes below the guideline level. Thus, men consume 25g and women about 23g.

Fiber intake is also a problem for athletes. However, this is mainly due to the fact that dietary fiber is not digestible and has a long residence time in the stomach.

Only small amounts of training and competition days

Before training or a competition, dietary fibers are therefore not suitable or only in small quantities. Runners in particular should be careful not to consume too much fiber on training or competition days.

This is because the impact movements during running already put a lot of strain on the gastrointestinal tract. If this is compounded by a diet that is difficult to digest, this can lead to gastrointestinal problems.

However, how sensitively the stomach reacts to dietary fiber, depends strongly on the individual tolerance. Cyclists have it a bit easier and have to pay less attention to the right fiber intake on training days.

How you can avoid gastrointestinal problems, you can read HERE.

For athletes who train almost daily or even twice a day, there is therefore little time to eat fiber-rich foods.

On the rest day you can refuel your fiber depot

You can use the rest day well to take in a little more fiber. Because, as described, these have a number of helpful functions and are therefore very important for healthy athletes.

On rest day, feel free to reach for fiber-rich vegetables like cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, beets, and fennel that make great side dishes. Basically, a lot of fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. Red meat can then also be on your menu. On intense days, reach for lean chicken and easily digestible carbohydrates instead.

Legumes are also ideal as a source of fiber, they provide you with over 7 g of fiber per 100g. In addition, legumes also provide you with protein, which brings us to our next point.

Do not neglect the protein intake

On the rest day, muscle recovery is of great importance. Increased muscle recovery is also accompanied by increased protein requirements. Since high protein amounts before training are also rather counterproductive, the rest day is well suited to distribute the protein intake as advantageously as possible throughout the day.

On the rest day, you can make sure to not only consume the right amount of protein, but also optimize the timing of your intake. Indeed, it has been shown that muscle recovery is better advanced when the protein content in each meal is optimized.

Here you can use the guideline value of 20g protein per meal. It was shown that the protein content in the breakfast of athletes is on average the lowest, while it is the highest in the dinner. So make sure to pack as much protein as possible into your breakfast, especially on your rest day. (Learn more about proteins HERE)

Three high protein breakfast ideas

(Chocolate) Protein Porridge

We already presented you porridge as a breakfast idea many times On restday, you can easily make your porridge into protein porridge and really go wild with the toppings on top of that.

To get the protein and fiber content as high as possible, you can mix flaxflour or hempflour into your porridge in addition to oatmeal and milk.

They serve as a natural protein powder.

If that is not enough, we have another recipe tip for you: Our RECOVERYshake can be mixed into your porridge for an extra portion of protein, carbohydrates and amino acids, as well as a super delicious chocolate flavor.

For toppings, feel free to use nuts, flax seeds and/or hemp seeds. Fish fruit, of course, can not be missing from the protein porridge.

Skyr bowl with fresh fruit

Skyr not only tastes delicious, but is also rich in protein. Since yogurt tastes a bit bland on its own, you can use a lot of toppings. Especially optimal would be a protein-rich granola, which you can easily make yourself. In addition, again fresh fruit and various seeds and nuts.

RECOVERY 8 Smoothy

Our RECOVERY 8 offers you a high protein content and all essential amino acids. To give your muscles a protein boost first thing in the morning, treat yourself to a smoothie for breakfast. To do this, simply blend RECOVERY 8 with water, a banana and/or fresh fruit in a blender. As usual, there are no limits to your toppings.

Make sure you have a high nutrient density

Especially for athletes who have to keep a close eye on their body weight, it is important to pay attention to the energy content and nutrient density of the food on the rest day. Doing that, you can avoid “empty” calories from foods lacking valuable nutrients.

MoN athlete and Olympic champion Johannes Rydzek tells you more about this topic HERE.

Although this is always important, of course, on the rest day you have the advantage of not having to pay attention to the compatibility of the food. In fact, similar to fiber, foods that are particularly nutrient dense are often difficult to tolerate.

Nutrient rich foods not only helps you to stay heathy, but also help your body to regenerate.

Foods with the highest energy density and lowest nutrient density are unsurprisingly sweets (chocolate, potato chips, etc.). Foods with a very high nutrient density and low energy density are, for example, vegetables, mushrooms and herbs. (Overview in the table)

Energy and nutrient density

Treat yourself

Last but not least, it’s important to us, to mention that you are also allowed to treat yourself on rest days! We know how tempting it is to eat a cake right at your usual workout time and say #treatyourself

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Robert Gorgos

Robert Gorgos

Robert is a authority when it comes to sports nutrition science. As a nutritionist, he coaches many well-known top athletes, including the professional cyclists from BORA – hansgrohe. At the same time, he is a competitive athlete himself. And: Robert has developed the sports nutrition of MoN Sports.

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