Doctor's Orders: Before-Bed Protein
One of the best ways to prevent your body from tapping into muscle stores for energy is to take in a moderate amount of protein shortly before going to bed at night. Before sleep, consume 20 to 40 grams of slow-digesting protein, which will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and build muscle overnight.
A casein protein shake is ideal before bedtime; a good alternative is cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, which are both primarily casein protein. Casein forms a clot in the stomach. That clot gets digested one layer at a time, much like peeling an onion. This means that casein takes a very long time to be fully digested, so it provides your body a slow and steady supply of amino acids throughout the night. This may help prevent overnight muscle breakdown.
Remember that every rest day should be an active rest day. Rest days are for recovery; they're not an excuse to be lazy. Get out and hit 15-30 minutes of HIIT cardio today, or perform 30-60 minutes of your favorite activity: hiking, biking, walking, playing a sport, etc.