Eat these 7 foods before you unfold your yoga mat!

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Do you get exhausted every time you do yoga? Here are 7 foods to eat before the yoga session to stay energised throughout the session and beyond.

While it’s commonly recommended to practise yoga in the morning on an empty stomach, many individuals prefer to have breakfast before their morning fitness routine. Eating healthy foods before a workout is good and helps you perform better and recover faster. However, skipping a meal may make you feel sluggish or lightheaded during physical activity, including yoga. You might think you don’t need to eat anything before a hot yoga session, but you do! Eating certain foods before yoga will help you feel energetic and burn more calories.

A good pre-workout diet is about consuming the right types of foods before any kind of workout that can accelerate your performance and its result. Research published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that eating healthy foods beforehand enhances calorie burning during exercise.

7 foods to eat before a yoga session

Here are the best foods to eat before your yoga session to make you feel energetic and get the best out of your workout:

1. Banana

Banana adds crucial nutrients, including potassium, to your diet that your body needs. Dietitian and Nutritionist Divya Gopal says, “Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that carries a small electrical charge in our bodies. This charge triggers nerve cells to send out signals to the heart to beat regularly, and muscles to contract, helping you exert more energy.” Additionally, bananas are rich in carbohydrates, which provide you with a quick energy source to fuel your practise without weighing you down.

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2. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is one of the best pre-yoga snacks because it is packed with protein. It not only helps in muscle repair and recovery, but it also helps build muscles. Moreover, Greek yoghurt also contains probiotics, which support digestive health and can help prevent bloating or discomfort during twists and bends on the mat. Choose a low-fat or non-fat variety of Greek yoghurt to reap these benefits.

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Eating a bowl of yoghurt is healthy before yoga. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Avocado

Creamy and delicious, avocados are loaded with healthy fats, fibre, and vitamins, making them an excellent pre-yoga snack. The healthy fats in avocados provide a sustained source of energy, while the fibre helps keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout your practise. Additionally, avocados are rich in potassium and magnesium, which can help prevent muscle cramps and promote relaxation.

4. Oatmeal

A bowl of oatmeal topped with your favorite fruits or nuts is a nutritious and filling option to boost your yoga practise. “It offers a combination of fibre and protein, which help you stay full for a longer period, helping with weight loss. The presence of complex carbohydrates helps in releasing energy gradually, providing you with enough energy to last throughout your yoga session,” says the expert. Ensure you eat oatmeal at least an hour before doing yoga.

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5. Smoothies

If you need a quick dose of energy packed with essential vitamins and minerals, go for a smoothie. You can pack it with a variety of fruits, leafy greens, protein-rich ingredients like Greek yogurt or protein powder, and healthy fats like avocado or almond butter. The combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fats in a smoothie provides instant energy and helps in muscle recovery. Additionally, smoothies can also help you stay hydrated and refreshed.

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6. Protein-rich foods

Incorporating protein-rich foods such as tofu, dried fruits, nuts, yogurt, oatmeal, and protein shakes can help support muscle functioning and cells in your body. Pairing protein with carbohydrates such as broccoli soup, sweet potatoes, boiled or baked beans, etc. can enhance muscle recovery and quickly release energy into the bloodstream. Just be mindful of portion sizes to avoid feeling too full or sluggish during your session.

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Tofu is healthy, and it can be a pre-workout snack! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Almonds

Almonds are a nutrient-dense snack that provides a combination of protein, healthy fats, and fibre to keep you feeling energised and satisfied. “They also contain magnesium, which plays a crucial role in muscle function and relaxation,” explains Gopal. A handful of almonds makes for a convenient pre-workout snack that can help sustain your energy levels throughout your practise.

Foods to avoid before doing yoga

Before engaging in yoga, it’s wise to avoid certain foods that can hinder your practise.

  • Firstly, steer clear of heavy meals that can cause discomfort and sluggishness.
  • Spicy foods should also be avoided to prevent digestive discomfort and irritation.
  • Foods high in sugar or caffeine can drain your energy and distract you from the focus required during yoga.
  • Apart from these foods, drinking carbonated beverages before yoga may cause bloating and discomfort during poses.
  • Dairy products should also be avoided since they can contribute to digestive issues for some individuals.

Instead of eating these foods, go for light, easily digestible foods and keep yourself hydrated with water or herbal teas to make the most of the yoga session!

When should I eat before yoga?

It’s not recommended to do yoga right after eating, so it’s best to practise it in the morning. If you are eating a light snack, wait for at least 45 minutes to an hour. And if you have consumed a proper meal, wait 2-3 hours before practicing yoga. To practise yoga in the morning, eat only light foods, wait for an hour, and hit your yoga session!

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