What to Eat on Rest Days to Best Support Muscle Growth



Rest days are an essential part of any workout routine. They give your muscles time to recover and rebuild, allowing for optimal muscle growth. While it’s tempting to kick back and indulge in your favorite treats on rest days, it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrients to support muscle recovery and growth. In this article, we’ll explore the best foods to eat on rest days to maximize your muscle gains.

Protein: The Building Block of Muscles

Protein is the key nutrient when it comes to muscle growth. It provides the building blocks needed to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. On rest days, aim to consume a sufficient amount of high-quality protein to support muscle recovery.

Some excellent sources of protein include:

  • Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Plant-based protein sources like tofu, tempeh, and legumes

Healthy Fats: Fuel for Recovery

While protein is crucial, healthy fats are equally important for muscle recovery. They provide a concentrated source of energy and help reduce inflammation in the body. Include the following healthy fats in your diet on rest days:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel

Complex Carbohydrates: Energy for Optimal Performance

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy, and they play a vital role in muscle recovery. On rest days, opt for complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy and support glycogen replenishment. Some excellent sources include:

  • Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beans and legumes
  • Vegetables

Hydration: The Key to Recovery

Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal muscle recovery. Water helps transport nutrients to your muscles and aids in the removal of waste products. On rest days, make sure to drink enough water throughout the day to support your body’s recovery process.

In addition to water, you can also include other hydrating options such as herbal teas, coconut water, and infused water with fruits or herbs for added flavor.


While rest days are a time to give your body a break from intense workouts, they are not an excuse to neglect your nutrition. By consuming the right foods on rest days, you can support muscle recovery and maximize your gains. Remember to include high-quality protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and stay hydrated. Your muscles will thank you, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your fitness goals.

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