Movement is an incredibly important component of your healthy lifestyle. Fitness means something different for everyone, and we all have our own interests and particular needs. For many, Yoga is a complementary workout to their regular routine, and for others, it is their main fitness focus. Personally, I prefer several sessions of yoga per week, with a mix of gentle stretching, detox practices, and more rigorous mixed classes. Regardless of the type, it is important to know how to support your practice with healthy eating habits.
In this guest post, a Yoga expert shares her suggestions on how to fuel your body pre and post your practice.
Guest Post: How Food Can Support Your Yoga Practice
Yoga is a fantastic discipline that affords anybody who practices strength of mind and body. However, to fully benefit from it, the practice alone is not enough. To fortify your mind and spirit, it’s important to take into account the needs of your body. You need to feed it at the right time and cater it with the right nutrients. Otherwise, you risk feeling weak during your practice and in your everyday life.
Should I Eat Before or After Practice?
This is the question we get all the time! Should I eat before each class? How much? What about after? What foods or drinks will help me?
If you have some of the same questions, we’ve outlined the following do’s and don’t’s to help guide you and provide the fuel you need.
- DO: drink water before class. We recommend drinking at least 8 ounces about 30 minutes before each class. And stay hydrated throughout the day. About 60 ounces of water per day is a good goal to achieve. And don’t forget to bring your water to class.
- DON’T: drink anything with caffeine. It dehydrates you and affects your yoga practice. While coffee or tea before practice can give you an extra boost, it is short lived and may be followed by a crash.
- DO: eat a small snack. Almonds are great for energy and stamina. A small serving of plain and full-fat Greek yogurt is rich in protein. Dried apricot is low in acidity and the natural sugars can give you energy without heartburn. Bananas and avocados can help keep you hydrated due to their high potassium content.
- DON’T: eat a large meal before class. Practicing yoga on a full stomach can cause stomachache, bloating, and embarrassing gas. We recommend you avoid large meals at least 2 hours before class.
- DO: eat something after class! After a grueling yoga practice, your body needs nutrients to replenish and repair itself. We recommend eating within 30 to 60 minutes after class. Try to consume lean protein and just a small amount of carbohydrates. Protein will help your muscles recover and rebuild while carbs will help push nutrients into your muscles faster. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of starchy carbs. You can also try some salad with quinoa and steamed vegetables.
- DON’T: fall for that sugar craving. While sugar is important as insulin helps repair muscles make sure it’s unrefined sugar, like oatmeal. If you really can’t resist it, feel free to try a bowl of oatmeal and drizzle it with some maple syrup. Add some blueberries and a pinch of cinnamon. Delicious and healthy!
- DO: drink some water. Yes. Again. We just can’t say this enough. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day.
- DON’T: drink anything with alcohol. Try to avoid alcohol at least 60 minutes after class. You see, after an arduous yoga practice, your body is dehydrated. If you consume alcohol, you may become intoxicated faster than usual.
Other Important Reminders
- DON’T: forget your unique yoga tops. Hey now, don’t laugh. The proper attire will aid your yoga practice. The right material will help with perspiration and allow you to move freely.
- DON’T: forget your yoga mat. The proper yoga mat will help you be more secure in doing all of the yoga poses, even the most difficult ones.
- DO: remember to breathe. This sounds simple, but we often forget to breathe properly during each exercise. This allows your mind to clear and to enjoy the full benefits of each position.
Every time you practice yoga, you’re investing time and effort into your mental and physical well being. Don’t throw it all away by neglecting what goes in your body. By eating the wrong things before and after your yoga practice you are probably mixing it all together – imagine your body having fast food after reaching a zen. Those don’t seem to be a good fit for each other. So, go on with the healthy food and the tips we have discussed above, because you and your body deserve it!
Do you have any suggestions for snacks? Did you have any more questions on what to eat or drink? Let us know in the comments!
Learn More About the Author
Sophia Moore is a passionate writer and a blogger leading her own blog at awebtoknow.com. She started freelancing as a way to connect to other people, to reach to their hearts and make a difference with through words. The blog was born out of a pure desire to connect. To have the freedom of writing what really matters, what actually makes a difference.
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