Sweating is essential for the human body to regulate itself! Studies show that sweat is an effective way to eliminate toxic elements from the body. But what about maintaining hydration after sweating? It is dangerous to go into a heated yoga practice dehydrated. So how do we maintain proper electrolyte balance? Doesn’t sweat release good stuff too? It does! So what do we do?
As a general rule, you should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces every day. So, someone who weighs 160 lbs. should be drinking at least 80 oz. of water every day (+/- some for exercise). We recommend keeping your water bottle on hand and keeping track of how many you drink. Try to find a system that works for you to monitor how much you’re drinking every day. Chances are that if you’re only drinking when you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
On days that you’re sweating a lot from being outside or exercising (especially hot yoga), it is a good idea to supplement electrolytes. Electrolytes such as calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium have key roles in the body. Muscle weakness, muscle cramping, fatigue, irritability, and headaches are just some of the symptoms of electrolyte imbalance.
Make sure to choose an electrolyte supplement that has no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners and stay away from high fructose corn syrup! We keep our favorites stocked at the yoga studio so just ask us if you’re looking for a recommendation!
When is the best time to drink water with yoga?
You might drink water while you’re doing some other forms of exercise, but many practices of yoga discourage drinking water while practicing yoga. In Yoga and Ayruveda, it is thought that a sip of water during practice disrupts the body’s energy and concentration. It is therefore, better to drink water before and after yoga instead of during. Ultimately, if you are thirsty during yoga, you should take a sip of water. But try not to use water as a distraction, or guzzle it to prevent a bellyache (seriously, floor bow does not feel good with a belly full of water!).
Ultimately, a yoga practice can be used to reduce compulsions and become more comfortable with discomforts. When we lean into resisting the urge to drink water, or go to the bathroom, we become better at dealing with the discomforts of life such as hunger, thirst, or the weather.
After yoga, feel free to drink your favorite tea, water, or electrolyte-enhanced water to replenish the body and get ready for your next practice!
Written by Catherine McKenzie for Mountain Yoga Sandy.