Should You Eat Before a Yoga Class?
29 November 2012,15:45:12 BST
Should you eat before a yoga session? That’s a question on the lips of many aspiring yogis. We are taught to see food as a fuel that can give us the energy to get us through strenuous workouts. But, eating too much or too soon before a yoga class could make you feel very uncomfortable, or even sick, throughout it. Here are some practical suggestions to help you manage your hunger throughout the day and energize you for your yoga session later on.
Eating a heavy meal right before a yoga class is not recommended. Not only will your yoga pants feel uncomfortably tight, food on your stomach can also zap your energy levels and hamper your ability to perform yoga poses. However, if you don’t eat anything before your class, you may start to feel lightheaded as your body searches for fuel that isn’t there.
Ideally, should wait at least 2 hours after eating a big meal before practicing yoga. However, a light snack before class can give you the burst of energy needed to get you through the workout. Pack a low fat yogurt, some carrot sticks or an apple in your bag, along with your yoga workout clothes, for a quick energy boost before class. Avoid eating spicy foods until after your yoga class. Hot food can move around your stomach and esophagus during some yoga poses, which can be very uncomfortable.
During a yoga class, it’s important to stay hydrated. It will help you get the most out of this powerful workout. But drinking too much water before your class can have to same effect as a full stomach. Even as little as one glass of water can cause some people to feel nauseous during yoga practice. Furthermore, it’s important to listen to your own body. If you feel thirsty, take a sip of water every so often. However, if you experience stomach cramps or nausea, avoid drinking throughout your class. Just be sure to rehydrate yourself after your workout.
If you’ve been drinking alcohol the night before your yoga class, you may experience headaches and lethargy as you work out. However, a bit of light exercise could help to reenergize you and leave you feeling more positive. Just make sure you wear comfortable yoga clothing and have plenty of water on hand.
What you eat after your yoga class is just as important as what you eat before it. It will help restore the energy that you used up throughout your yoga practice. It can actually make your workout more effective by boosting your metabolism and maintaining your muscle mass. After your workout, eat a meal that’s rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates. A baked sweet potato, some brown rice or a slice whole meal toast is ideal. Also, make sure you drink plenty. A glass of fruit juice will help to rehydrate your body as well as giving you the vitamins and minerals you need after a workout.