Best Food to Eat Before and After a Yoga Session
Yoga is a kind of physical activity, and it requires proper fuel (in the shape of food we consume) to provide energy for the session and provide recovery after the yoga session. There are certain kinds of food that are just perfect for enjoying before and after the yoga session, and keeping them on hand will make your life and meal planning so much easier.
What to eat before your yoga session?
Yoga requires a lot of flexibility and movement, which is why eating a big, hefty meal is not recommended. However, doing your yoga session is not recommended either, as many do not have the strength required for it. The perfect balance is eating a small but nutritious snack that will provide energy without making you feel too heavy and uncomfortable. These little snacks will give you the energy to carry you through your session while sitting well in your stomach. Here is what to eat before your yoga session:
Eating a handful of almonds or any other nut that you enjoy will provide a good mix of fat protein content while also providing carbohydrates to help energize you for your time on the mat. It is also a perfect food option to grab while in a rush and eat swiftly on your way to your yoga workout.
- Fruit, Veggies, and Protein
A piece of high-fiber fruit mixed with some kind of a protein source is a good go-to for snacks to enjoy before your yoga session. Some of the great and tasty options include a bowl of berries with a little yogurt, an apple with nut butter, or a carrot with cottage cheese.
- Sports Bars
If you are in a rush, or if you have to have a quick snack in your car before your yoga session, make sure to reach for a sports bar as a healthy and nutritious option.
A bar that is high in both protein and fiber while being low in its sugar contents is going to provide you with a lot of energy without making you feel stuffy and heavy. It is also a great, tasty snack to have as a treat.
A smaller portion of oatmeal is going to be a good choice for maintaining energy without feeling too full for your yoga session. This is also a perfect option if you like doing yoga in the morning or before work because oatmeal makes for an excellent nutritious breakfast.
What To Eat After Your Yoga Session?
After you have just finished your yoga session, you are likely to feel hungry (or just a little bit snacky) and want to get something to eat.
The type of food you will choose to eat after your yoga session is very likely to vary depending on the time of the day when you practice yoga.
For example, if you like to do yoga early in the morning, eating a full and nutritious breakfast will be your best bet after your session. The choice will not be the same if you like doing yoga right before bed.
Whatever your preferred yoga timing is, a good rule of thumb is consuming a meal containing both carbohydrates and protein. Our bodies are most receptive to receiving nutrients within the first two hours after intense movement and physical activity. Therefore, after your yoga session, refuel your body with a meal or snack that has a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates, which will help rebuild and repair muscle tissues. Examples of foods that have this ratio include:
- A quinoa bowl with veggies
- Chicken salad
- A salad with tofu
- A Greek yogurt smoothie with fresh fruit
- Greek yogurt parfait
It goes without saying that these options are not the only options available for your meal after your yoga session. However, these examples can be very helpful if you are new to yoga or new to meal planning, as they can be easy and simple (but still tasty and nutritious) standby options that are a good place to get started. As time goes by, you are very likely to learn and develop new recipes that you love and enjoy.
What Shouldn't You Eat Before and After Yoga?
There are some meals and some kinds of foods that you should avoid eating before and after your yoga session because they are likely to make you feel bloated, heavy, and uncomfortable. Avoid eating a large meal before yoga class, as well as foods that are rich in oil and spices, as well as highly-processed and greasy foods.
Whether you like practicing yoga in the morning or evening, you should drink enough water and stay well-hydrated. An easy and tasty way to stay hydrated is by drinking coconut water or lemon water.