22 Mar What to Eat Before and After a Yoga Class
To practice at our best, we need to make sure we’re fueling the body with the right things. But also at the right times. It can be hard to know when and what to eat when practising yoga. Especially when class times can vary and schedules sometimes don’t always line up with mealtimes. Do you want to eat before, or after, and if so what should you be reaching for? Here are our tips.
One of the most important things to remember is you want to be hydrated when you arrive on your mat. If you’re practising in the morning, make sure you go to bed hydrated and drink at least a glass or two before class that morning class. If you’re practising at night, that makes things easier. Make sure to be drinking water consistently throughout the day, aiming for around eight glasses.
When it comes to food, practising with a full belly isn’t very enjoyable. But you don’t want to be low on energy or distracted by hunger as you bend and stretch. It’s great to reach for high-quality protein like nuts and seeds or fresh fruit about an hour to 30 minutes before your practice. Fruit tends to digest faster than small meals. Bananas are great options as they offer lots of energy plus potassium which will help your body stay hydrated and magnesium to limit muscle soreness. A small banana and a small handful of almonds offers the best of both worlds. As do smoothies – you can combine fruit, liquids, and protein together in the one snack. Think banana, coconut water or almond milk, some protein powder, and a dash of cinnamon.
After we practice we want to make sure we’re giving our body the best chance to stay nourished and healthy. We want to again reach for the water to rehydrate after all that sweating. Aim for 500mL shortly after practising.
When it comes to our meal after yoga, we can go for something larger. We want to make sure it includes a good solid source of protein as well as some unrefined carbohydrates to help with muscle repair. In the morning, go for eggs with healthy fresh sides, while in the evening grilled salmon, chicken, or tempeh is perfect, alongside a healthy dose of vegetables ranging in colours, and some unrefined carbs like brown rice and quinoa. Good fats like olive oil, seeds, nuts, or avocado are also very important when it comes to lean muscle growth.
Just like any physical activity, we give our body a better chance of performing well when we give it the best tools available to us. Think lean protein, unrefined carbs, healthy fats, and lots and lots of water.