Many people struggle with knowing what to eat before yoga practice. Should you eat at all? What should you eat? If you’ve practiced yoga for any amount of time, you know that miscalculating how much food you shove into your mouth can make your stomach feel like a brick as you attempt to twist and turn your through various asanas. And everyone can relate to the horror of emitting certain sounds when you’ve mistreated your stomach as you stretch into Down Dog or lift your legs into Happy Baby.
Treat your body right and get the most out of your yoga practice with a few tips and meal ideas into today’s blog post.
Strategizing Your Meals
The “when” is about as important as the “what” when it comes to pre-yoga meal planning. Generally, we suggest eating a good two hours before your practice. You want just enough nutrition to power through those challenging positions, but not enough to slow you down or cause digestive issues later, such as bloating, stomachache, and gas. If you have an early morning class, skip a pre-yoga meal altogether and make sure you follow up after practice with a healthy, nutrient-dense breakfast that combines some fats, protein, and carbohydrates.
As for what to eat before yoga (if your class is after 9am or so), you always want a small portion made with whole foods to keep you feeling nourished and supple. We recommend vegetables, a salad, or soup. You want to avoid meat and other slow-digesting meals that may cause indigestion. Also, avoid high-fiber vegetables, beans, and bran or spicy and rich foods. Go for something plain that won’t leave a taste in your mouth, distracting you from your practice.
After you practice yoga for a while, you’ll start to be able to tell more specifically what you can and cannot eat. If the two-hour window is too much for you, leaving you hungry and feeling weak, try a snack 30 minutes before class. This jolt of energy and sustenance may be just what you need to see you through an hour-long workout. Try a handful of almonds, a bit of quinoa, avocado, or chia pudding. All these are easy on your stomach and help you feel satiated before you start stretching.
Simple Meal Ideas for Powerful Yoga Routines
Knowing what to eat ahead of time makes planning simple so you can focus on the most important thing: helping your body get the most out of yoga time. A few easy meal ideas include the following:
Green Smoothie – Toss together some kale, a nectarine, pea protein, banana, and hemp seeds for this tasty concoction.
Avocado on Whole Grain Toast – This wonderfully clean combo of carbs and protein is a perfect recharger if you know you’ll have to wait a while for dinner.
Bananas and Nut Butter – Bananas provide quick energy, while the sugars and protein of the nut butter keeps you going strong. Throw in a handful of greens for an extra shot of minerals.
Knowing what to eat before yoga can be almost as important as the practice of yoga itself. Implement these tips and find your own whole-food snack ideas to get the most out your time on the mat. For more information on yoga nutrition, contact us today.