Article written by Marshall White
I'm going to make this a short and sweet article on how you should eat on your off days from the gym. For the purposes at hand I am going to refer to these days as your "recovery" days. I am using the term "recovery" to reinforce my whole point in writing this article, which is, your off days are for RECOVERY. I almost feel as though what I am about to write should be common sense, but I realize that some are beginners and some may not have the access to information that we at LBEB have.
For some reason there seems to be a myth being perpetuated that on an athlete's recovery day that athlete should eat LESS food and drink LESS water. I think the thought process behind this myth is that since an athlete is not training on those days they need less calories and water. While I can in some way see the logic behind this type of thinking, when applied to getting stronger and more athletic it is 100% incorrect. We at LBEB have time and time again said that your recovery days are just as, if not more, important than your actual training days.
Let's use this analogy: your body is a house that needs to be built, your training days are the labor that is building the house and the recovery days are EVERYTHING ELSE. Recovery days are the wood and bricks, nails, screws and fasteners, concrete, plumbing, mortar, all fixtures, electrical, etc etc. To build a house you will need all different types of laborers(training) plumbers, electricians, framers, etc, just like your body needs all different types of training, cardio, hypertrophy, explosive, strength, mobility, etc. The thing is there are a ton of different types of laborers that can accomplish the job of laying a foundation for a house, a mason, a general laborer, etc can usually accomplish this job, but the material used to accomplish this job will 99.99999% of the time be concrete. Now, I realize that to accomplish the job the absolute best way, you want to use a laborer specific to the job, but my point is that tons of different training exercises can help make you explosive, power cleans, snatches, box jumps so on and so forth but the ONLY thing that is going to make your training actually produce results(a complete house) is lots and lots of food, water and rest. There is no other option as far as "building" materials are concerned. You wouldn't give a framer a bunch of concrete to frame a house, you'd give him/her 2x4's and nails.
If the above analogy is applicable in this case, what does that mean for you as an athlete? It means on your recovery days you must consume MORE food and water in order to build a bigger, better athlete (house). You need to provide your labor (training) with more building materials (food and water) so that they can continue to work. Your recovery days are the days you need to bump up your protein intake and attempt to eat all day long in order to make sure you are ready to go dominate in the gym on your next training day, don't pull back and expect your body to operate at peak performance if the day before you gave it minimal food and water.
Step up your eating and water drinking game on your days off and watch your body become as big and strong as a house. Keep in mind that if you don't use the correct materials for the construction of a house, you will have a house that blows away or falls downs at the slightest wind or adversity.