Yoga is a great practice for your whole body wellness. However, what you eat after your poses can be just as important as the exercises themselves!
Don’t ever skip a meal after yoga or you might be missing out on even more benefits that this amazing practice can offer.
If you’re wondering what the nutrition you should follow after a yoga class then you’ve come to the right place. This guide looks at the best options for complete yoga nutrition to restore fuel to your body.
Keep in mind that just like finding your own rhythm and movement in yoga, determining the nutrition that works best with your body is all about being self-aware. Find what feels right for you and always listen to what your body tells you.
Yoga Nutrition for Your Health
Yoga teaches us to be mindful of each movement and to create a balance between the mind and body. Eating mindfully and healthfully goes hand in hand with any yoga practice.
If you spend time and care on yoga only to fill your body with unhealthy food, it could negate much of the positive work you’ve put in.
Just like any physical activity, your body becomes depleted and dehydrated after yoga. One of the first things you should do after a yoga class is to drink water. This will rehydrate and replenish you instantly. It can also help to prevent you from overeating later on.
If you find plain water bland and undrinkable, you can always add a little bit of lemon or lime to make it interesting.
Fuel Your Body
After a workout, your body is going to be depleted of its stored glycogen. In order to rebuild stronger so that all of your hard work pays off, you will need to fuel your body with a healthy combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Don’t worry about the timing too much. Even if you don’t eat right after your workout, having a meal up to an hour later will still have an optimal effect post-workout.
If your yoga class is early in the morning, then you may not have had a chance to eat a full meal. Therefore you will need something more substantial to refuel with. You can try having some breakfast foods such as scrambled tempeh in coconut oil, along with toast and vegetables like bell peppers.
You can also add a blended smoothie of fruits, greens, and chia or hemp seeds. If you need a quick snack, bring a handful of almonds or a few bananas to eat right after your class is over.
A bowl of oatmeal or quinoa with some nuts and berries is a great early morning meal to replenish your protein and carbohydrates after a workout. These options will help you to stay full until lunch or a mid-morning snack, depending on your preference.
It’s also good to have a light snack just before your workout but stick with simple carbs that are easy to digest like fruit. If you have a midday yoga class then having a little bit of fuel beforehand will help you feel energized.
You can have a snack of hummus with crackers and vegetables like carrots or celery. A wrap made from sprouted grains with avocado and tomatoes or black bean salsa is delicious but not too filling. If you aren’t feeling super hungry you can also go with a healthy salad and include beans or quinoa for protein.
If your class is closer to dinner then you might find yourself in the mood for a heartier meal afterward. Your body needs to replenish itself after a long day followed by your work out.
Even if you are craving sugary or fried foods, your body is going to regret it later. You may feel tired and drained the next day and your workouts could suffer. Find vegetables that you love such as sweet potatoes, broccoli, green beans, or artichokes.
Try to eat a meal that follows a 3 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein for your post-workout recovery. This will help to repair your muscles and also regain your energy.
Then add a healthy protein such as quinoa, tofu, nuts, or Greek yogurt. Oils such as olive, coconut, or avocado will add healthy fats to your nutritious meal. Don’t worry if you struggle with sugar cravings at first. If you stay consistent with a nutritious diet, you eventually won’t crave them at all.
Don’t Do This
There are some foods that you should avoid when planning your yoga nutrition. Don’t eat spicy, fatty, and acidic foods. These can upset your stomach and make you feel sick. You should also avoid heavy food that takes a while to digest.
Also, be sure to plan to eat a full meal at least two hours before your yoga class. Otherwise, eat a light snack closer to your workout. Having a full meal too close to your class can cause you to cramp.
If you’re passionate about yoga then you probably know that it’s much more than a daily exercise practice — it’s a way of life! We hope this guide has given you some ideas about what meals and snacks are best for your post-yoga nutrition.
Always listen to your body and be mindful of how you feed it. Your workout and your daily life can improve with more nutritious meal choices after your yoga class.
Looking for more great advice about living a mindful life? Check out our blog for helpful tips!