By now, you’ve all heard that good nutrition is important for optimal health, whether you are an athlete or not. The same is true for anyone who practices yoga regularly. Yoga may not be as strenuous as marathon running or heavy weight training, but even yogis need to eat properly in order to keep their bodies functioning correctly during class. But with so much contradictory information being thrown around, and with news reports changing almost daily regarding what’s good for you and what’s not, how do you know what you should and shouldn’t eat? We have made it a little easier for you by compiling some nutrition tips that you can follow – not only before or after yoga class, but in your everyday life.
1. Drink plenty of water. The general guideline of drinking 8 glasses of water per day is a good one to follow, but if you participate in hot yoga, you may need to drink more than that to remain hydrated during class. Since you’ll be sweating a lot more than a sedentary person, you’ll need the extra water to replenish yourself.
2. Give yourself enough time to digest your food before class. Two hours should be plenty of time for the food to settle in your stomach without leaving you uncomfortable during your session.
3. Stock up on fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables have a ton of vitamins and minerals. Make sure you always have some nearby to munch on – they’ll keep you feeling fuller than you would if you ate a bag of potato chips. However, if you are trying to lose weight, opt for more veggies. Yes, the sugar in fruit is natural, but you should still watch your sugar intake.
4. Eat whole foods whenever possible. Pre-packaged foods may taste good, but they can also leave you feeling sluggish because they are loaded with sodium or sugar. Whenever possible, eat whole foods like lean meats, fish, and healthy nuts. The protein and nutrients in these foods will keep your muscles strong and energized.
5. Eat a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein. Restricting certain food groups is not advised. Besides causing cravings that may cause you to binge, eliminating whole food groups can make you miss out on essential vitamins and nutrients. Vary the foods you eat on a daily basis so that your taste buds don’t get bored, and to ensure you are not lacking anything your body needs to function properly.
Do you have additional nutrition tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment and let us know!