It’s all well and good practicing yoga, but what you eat makes a huge difference. To get the best results and bring harmony between the mind and body, be very selective when planning out your pre-workout snacks. The rule of thumb here is to balance out fiber, simple carbs, protein, and healthy fats in your pre-yoga meals – such as oatmeal, greek yogurt, and green smoothies.
You want enough energy to stay hydrated, tone your muscles, and help you recover fast once the routine comes to an end. I’ll go over the best food you should eat before yoga and the best time to do so.
What Should You Look For In A Pre-Yoga Meal?
You don’t want anything over-filling or unhealthy snacks that may affect your performance while practicing different poses, which is why simple carbs, leafy greens, and protein are ideal.
The best types of leafy greens to enjoy before your yoga class should be rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, like kale or spinach. Other than that, proteins also play a key role in preventing muscle breakdown and helping recover fast from intense exercise.
Fish, chicken, pork, and beef are some of the best sources of protein your body needs. Otherwise, opt for plant-based proteins like tofu or protein powders.
Simple carbs that come from white carbs or fruit will help you stay energetic throughout the routine.
When Is The Best Time To Eat Before Yoga?
Avoid fatty, spicy food and heavy meals right before your yoga class. You don’t want to practice with an empty stomach, so make sure to eat a light meal or healthy snacks like nuts or oatmeal one to two hours beforehand.
Stay hydrated with juice or plain water 15 minutes before walking into your yoga class but don’t chug down a whole bottle, or you’ll feel queasy and will need to excuse yourself to go to the restroom.
5 Best Pre-Yoga Foods To Stay Energized
Simple, easy to make, and full of nutrients, oatmeal is one of my go-to foods before the yoga session begins. The cold, thick texture gives my palate just the right kick. It’s known to settle well and is full of energy too.
The best thing about oatmeal is that you can play around with different ingredients and flavors.
My favorite is overnight oats, especially because I live in a humid tropical climate country like Vietnam. Don’t forget to add a dash of maple syrup on top or sprinkle it with cinnamon or cocoa powder to enhance the flavor.
A protein shake is a great pre-workout drink if you don’t have the time to cook before yoga.
Avoid having a protein shake every single day since too much protein can actually cause more harm than good. Plus, do your homework to make sure you have a reputable brand to fuel you.
If you’d rather steer clear from protein shakes, a smoothie will definitely make your day, especially green smoothies. Instead of putting together a salad, why not pop your favorite leafy greens into the blender?
Green smoothies are rich in carbohydrates. One of my favorite ways to make green smoothies is with frozen pineapples, spinach, chia seeds, and coconut water. Other than that, you can go for kale, frozen banana, green apples, and avocado. A dash of lemon juice or almond milk would enhance the flavor even more.
Simple carbs get a lot of flack, but there’s a time and a place for everything. Simple carbs are carbs that are broken down quickly by the body to be used for energy. This includes white bread or fruit.
While there are benefits to complex carbs, like wholegrain bread, or brown rice, they take longer to break down, so you could still feel sluggish when you arrive at your yoga session.
As long as you are not lactose-intolerant, greek yogurt is the best way to go when it comes to a pre-yoga snack since it’s light. It’s an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus to improve your bone health and boost your workout. Greek yogurt is also rich in protein for muscle recovery.
If you don’t like plain yogurt, play it up with some grated dark chocolate mixed in, or top it with fruit and granola. As a bonus, dark chocolate is also rich in minerals and antioxidants. Both chocolate and fruit contain simple carbs, so you don’t have to worry about feeling bloated when practicing yoga.