T Nation

Protien/Calories on Lifting Days


I don't understand why its recommended to take varying amounts of calories and protien on lifting days and resting days. If I'm trying to gain muscle for instance and I train in the evening... the excess calories and protein that I take in the morning and afternoon don't seem as vital to the protien/calories that I take the next morning on my "rest" day. It seems like it takes 24-48 hours (and maybe more) to recover from a heavy lifting day, and during the rest day, your muscles would need the protien for repair.

Can someone correct me if I have this wrong? I tend to keep the protien and calories mostly the same day to day, but I consume more after my workout on workout days where it might be more evenly spread on rest days.


You never take in less protein. I don't think I know of any cycling approaches that suggest somehow reducing protein as a means of reducing overall calories on rest days. You should always achieve your min. protein requirements..but the only time I change this is on resting days in which I tend to consume more than minimal amounts, yet I consume less overall calories and lower my carb intake..

For me:
Training days approx. 2400kcal - High carb, moderate protein, low fat
Non-Training days approx. 1600-1800kcal - High Protein, Moderate fat, low carb


I wouldnt say it was a reduction, rather than the days you lift it was increased. The nutritional strategies were from articles I read on this site I'm pretty sure, and I think there were several. That made me wonder.


It also depends on your goals. For example if your trying to put on muscle with minimum fat gain its probably a good idea to decrease carbs on off days. However, when I've hit a plateau and am trying to break through it I will usually keep calories high all week or until I break through it. For example, during my last plateau I had to keep calories over 5,000 to gain weight. Once I started gaining again, calories dropped back down a bit.