What to eat or not to eat before a Yoga class

There has always been a lot of discussion and questions about what to eat before and after a Yoga class.

Although Yoga is not like running or a spinning class, there’s a lot of movement involved, from bending forward, backward, twisting, we are stretching pretty much every muscle in the body.

These movements of course also impact our internal organs, the digestive system in particular. Which is the reason why what we ingest, eat, put in our body is so important in general, but in particular before and after a Yoga class.

It is true that for this type of practice, as a basic rule, it is always better to have an empty stomach. Many Asanas (or physical postures) directly work on the abdominal area. It is therefore highly recommended to always eat 2 hours before the class and choose light food as well as small quantities. So what type aliments to choose?

Let’s have a look!

Before a yoga class

  • Avocado

Avocados are referred to as one of the healthiest food due to their impressive nutritional value.

Avocados contain Vitamin B1, 2, 3 5, 6, 9, Vitamin C, E, K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc.

Due to all the vitamins and minerals it contains, avocados help all the muscles to work more efficiently as well as cell regeneration in the body. They are easy to digest, which make them a perfect Pre Yoga food!

  • Bananas

Due to their high level of magnesium, Bananas help to avoid cramps or swelling. Magnesium is great for the joints, and keeps you away from hunger for a little while!

  • Fruit Smoothies

A great source of Vitamins, minerals, perfect to stay hydrated. It is recommended to choose smoothies without extra sugar, fruits contain enough of it!

  • Apple

They give extra hydration and since they are alkaline food, they help to avoid acidity on the stomach. Apple also contain natural sugar and a lot of fibre.

  • Yogurt

Alone, or combined with fruits and/or oat to create a smoothie, for an extra supply of energy and goodness!

  • Almonds

Raw almonds give the energy needed for a class as well as being healthy fat, full of Vitamin E.

  • Dried fruits

They provide direct energy for the body and will keep you going on the mats!

  • Berries

Berries are classified as “Super Food”; full of vitamins, antioxidants, and a natural source of fibre.

 

And what about after the class?

Most of the times, after a yoga class, we feel hungry, but it is important to not jump on any snacks available, and take a moment to choose the right options.

Also, keep in mind, if possible, try and wait about 20 minutes before eating. Leave the body a moment to rest and reset after the practice.

  • Water

Keeps the body hydrated (you can also choose coconut water for extra natural sweetness, or a healthy amount of squeezed Lemon).

  • Fresh Fruit Juice

A great source of natural sugar and vitamin C for the body to recuperate after physical exercise.

  • Homemade veggie soup

Gives the body a perfect supply of nutrients, with minerals, vitamins and fibre. You can add spices like Curcuma or Ginger for taste, health kick, and extra energy.

  • Toast with scrambled white eggs

A great combination of Proteins for the muscles from the eggs and complex carbohydrate from the toasts (choose whole-wheat grains, brown or cereal breads).

 

These are just guidelines and food for thoughts. The list is not exhaustive of course, and you can get creative and make your own mixes and combinations.

The most important to keep in mind, is to leave some times (i.e 2 hours at least) between a meal and your Yoga class, and choose natural aliments as much as possible. Try to stay away from heavy and processed food, keeping the level of dairy products low, and drink a lot of water!

Enjoy your snacks and practices, the combination of heathy food and a regular Yoga practice, will show its results soon enough!

BY ANNA ALFARO