If you’re going to a yoga class, you can almost be sure that you’re going to be twisting, laying on your stomach, and possibly going upside down. It can be hard to know what to eat before yoga. You want enough to fuel you through the class, but not so much that you end up uncomfortable. Yoga teaches us to be mindful- on and off the mat- and that applies to what you eat, too!
What to eat Before Yoga
In general, it is best to not eat anything an hour before yoga is supposed to start. However, if you’re hungry, it’s better to eat something rather than have no energy for class.
Try to pick easy-to-digest carbohydrates and protein. In the morning or afternoon, a piece of fruit (fresh, or a serving of dried), oatmeal, a sports bar, toast, a simple smoothie, or nuts are ideal. Try to use this time to hydrate yourself.
What To Avoid
- Anything too heavy or filling- a burger, fries, or pizza is likely not going to feel very good.
- Alcohol- no explanation needed.
- High-fiber foods- these will likely make you feel bloated.
- Vitamins on an empty stomach (unless you’re used to them).
A note on morning classes
Some traditions of yoga advise that you practice on an empty stomach, and you may find that fasting works well if you’re used to it. Many of us around the studio will have bulletproof coffee (blended with collagen and some MCT/coconut oil) and find that that sustains us through the class.
Try not to drink too much water while you’re in class. It’s not optimal for energy flow, digestion, or your abdomen when prone (laying on your stomach) poses come around. Eventually, you might not need your water bottle and some practices of yoga even say it takes away from the yoga experience.
What to eat After Yoga
First, I have to emphasize- drink your electrolytes. It’s crucial to restore the balance of sodium, potassium, and magnesium after a good sweat. If you ever are feeling lousy after a yoga class, it’s likely because your body is low in electrolytes. I tend to stick to sugar-free options (because I’m not an endurance athlete) so I like LMNT, Nooma, and Ultima. You could also add some sea salt and lemon to your water.
If you had a high-energy yoga class, you’ll want to make sure you refuel with a healthy meal to repair muscle tissue and replenish your energy. I always look forward to my post-yoga meal! My favorite is a veggie scramble or soup!
I asked some of our community what their favorite post-yoga meal is…
Raw oats with grapefruit on top, cinnamon, and oat milk!- Joi
Arugula Chicken Salad- Jayda
Avocado toast- Beth
YUM! I hope this gives you a better idea of what to eat before and after yoga. Remember, it’s always about what feels best for you, so like anything some trial and error may occur! These suggestions are based on my years of experience, and nutrition research, but I am not a doctor so always consult one if you’re having specific issues!