The struggle before yoga class of being hungry, but not wanting to overdo it and spend an hour on the mat feeling uncomfortable. The conundrum of choosing what to eat after class that best serves your body’s nutritional wants and needs. Both are feelings we (and you, probably) can probably relate to!
We wanted to take a closer look at the foods that are best to eat before yoga class for a healthy and energetic practice, and what foods are best to eat after so that your body feels rejuvenated, relaxed, and awesome in general. See below for our favorites!
Tip 1? Once again, don’t overdo it! If you’re like us and enjoy an early morning before work class, or an after work early evening class, you probably know that those are a couple of the main mealtimes of the day. How to remedy the situation and not feel hungry? Snacks! Snacks are a lifesaver – whether you’re on the go to a class or on the go in general.
Below are some of our favorite, tried and true snacks for pre-class nosh:
Oatmeal is filled with soluble fiber (which is slow to digest and won’t interfere with your workout), energy-boosting carbohydrates, and magnesium, which helps boost your energy. Try bringing a small packet of to-go oatmeal with you for easy preparation on the go, or make a light portion at home for some healthy sustenance pre-pose.
Almonds are super easy to bring with you wherever you go, and provide an awesome hit of protein and healthy fats. Try roasted and unsalted almonds for the healthiest option. For some extra natural sugar to boost your energy, throw some raisins in there, too! Almonds also contain potassium, which will help to keep you from cramping up, and magnesium to maximize your energy levels.
What’s the world’s favorite on the go fruit? Bananas! These babies are packed with natural sugar and carbs for energy, along with potassium so that you’re kept well-hydrated and aren’t hit with a leg cramp in the middle of crow pose.
What to avoid pre-class? Foods heavy in insoluble fiber (which is quicker to digest), liquid, and dairy. Foods containing large amounts of any of these can cause uncomfortable gas and/or bloating. A couple of examples include soups (no one wants to go into downward dog after eating soup), bean-heavy foods like hummus, and milk.
After a workout of any kind, hydration is extremely important! Start by hydrating with some good old fashioned water before moving onto a post class snack or meal.
Then, once you’ve hydrated, focus on healthy foods packed with natural ingredients. Below are some of our favorite go-tos:
1. Whole grain toast with peanut butter
This is a filling and healthy snack filled with protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.
2. A salad packed with greens and protein
Salad often gets a bad rap for being “boring”, but the truth is that salad can be extremely delicious! Try a mixed greens salad with healthy and delicious vegetables (think avocados, onions and tomatoes), protein (hard boiled eggs, cheeses, tofu, sunflower seeds), and a delicious balsamic vinaigrette to top it all off. This is a great way to fuel up after class and cover all the nutritional areas your body craves – and requires – after working up a sweat.
3. Greek yogurt
Craving something dessert-like post class but don’t want to undo all the good work you’ve just done? Go with Greek yogurt! Packed with protein, this is a sweet treat you’re sure to feel good about. Try mixing it with berries or adding some honey or Agave in for an extra kick. And, if you’re feeling extra creative, make your own Greek yogurt pops!
What to avoid? Mainly, food laziness. Resist the urge to pick up a bag of chips from the store on the way home, or to order pizza instead of taking that extra step. Your body will thank you.
This post was written by Carolina on October 9, 2015