To eat or not to eat, that is the question. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there when it comes to deciding what to eat before and after yoga classes. And as anyone who’s lost the pre-yoga waiting game knows, moving through twists with a full stomach is something you could do without.
Feeling full during yoga is grim, but so is that light-headed feeling you get when you’ve pulled the yogi fasting card. When it comes to deciding what to eat before and after yoga, the best thing you can do is strike a happy balance. Whilst you should always make sure you steer clear of anything heavy like carbs and meat a good two hours before class, a light healthy snack that bypasses any major digestive work can be just the ticket to get you moving through your sun salutations with the vigour of your favourite Blue Peter presenter… (or not!)
With the hope of lifting the yogi eating veil once and for all, we’ve broken things down so you can plan ahead and feel top dollar for your next class:
What to eat: 2 – 3 hours before class
Porridge with a handful of nuts
The combo of carbs (oats) and protein (nuts) makes the perfect pre-yoga breakfast combo, helping to provide long-lasting, sustainable energy to power you through all those chaturangas. For top marks, opt for amaranth porridge which contains a dose of iron for an extra energy boost.
Wholegrain seeded toast with nut butter
Another good helping of carbs, protein and healthy fats to support blood sugar levels and keep you feeling healthy and strong. Added strawberries optional!
What to eat: 30 minutes – 1 hour before class (AKA Snack Time)
Keep it simple! Packed full of potassium and natural sugars, indulging in a banana pre-yoga can help gently lift energy levels whilst keeping the body hydrated.
A small, green smoothie is a great way to gently boost energy levels before your yoga class. Always remember to strike the 2/3 balance when it comes to packing in leafy greens to ensure healthy blood sugar levels.
Adding in half an avocado or a teaspoon of acai can also add a nice dose of healthy fats to slow down sugar absorption.
Half an avocado
The humble avocado… every yogi’s best friend. Little known fact: avocados actually contain more potassium than bananas and make up a great source of healthy fats and beautifying antioxidants.
A few squares of raw cacao
Yes, that’s right – we’re endorsing chocolate pre-yoga! But not the sugar-packed processed kind… We’re talking about the real deal. Dark chocolate is great for keeping blood sugar levels in check, is packed full of energy-filled magnesium and helps increase blood flow to the brain.
Sugar-free electrolyte drink
Making sure you’re fully hydrated is essential when it comes to receiving the full benefits of your yoga class. Mix a small sprinkle of Himalayan Pink Salt into a glass of filtered water at bedtime and let it sit overnight. Drink it as soon as you awake before class. Himalayan Pink Salt contains over 80+ different minerals and elements which can help to keep you fully hydrated through class and beyond.
What to eat: post-yoga
It’s best to hold off from eating any big meals at least 30 mins after finishing your class. Certain yoga postures work on the digestive tract so eating heavy foods straight afterwards can sometimes cause some discomfort. After that HOWEVER, the world (or fridge) is all yours!
Of course, we’re not saying go straight to Maccy D’s, but load up on as many healthy foods as you wish. Try to fill your plate with plenty of fats, protein, carbs and nutrients to help the body heal and recover, and reap all the benefits from your yummy yoga class. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water to replenish any lost liquids!
We’d love to hear from you! What are your favourite go-to snacks before and after class?
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