Foods give us the fuel and energy we need to live our lives, and that includes our yoga sessions. Many say it is better to practice yoga on an empty stomach, but it depends on your hunger level.
When practicing yoga, you do not want to let something get in the way of your flow, and some foods may do just that. You want to refrain from eating fried food or anything that takes too long to digest. Broccoli may also not be a great choice, as it can bring about bloating and gas.
Before your yoga class, you should opt for a complex carbohydrate with a protein pairing that will not make you too full but will sustain your practice. Check out this article if you want to know which foods to avoid eating before yoga class.
Can What You Eat Really Impact Your Yoga Class?
When you eat before yoga, you need to think small. A small, lighter meal or snack of something like an apple with two tablespoons of peanut butter. This is an example of a complex carb with a protein that will satiate you but not make you so full that it is difficult to practice yoga poses.
Some other examples of good snacks you can have before yoga:
- Homemade trail mix with nuts, seeds, edamame, dried fruit, and chocolate chips
- Whole wheat toast and cottage cheese with half a cup of blueberries
- Half a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato
- Plain or Low-fat Greek yogurt with half a cup of berries or half of a banana, a small handful of coconut flakes, and a drizzle of honey
These are all examples of snacks that are great to have right before a yoga class because they are energy-packed and nutritious. Ideally, you should eat an hour or two before yoga class. A light snack will give you the fuel you need to do your exercise, but you will also keep your blood sugar level balanced.
If you do not eat a light snack or meal before yoga class, you will likely not be able to concentrate, and you may not be as focused to perform and get into poses. Pay attention to your body to figure out the best food to consume prior to your yoga class. Do not have a big meal, as the bending and twisting in yoga can make you nauseous if you overeat.
How Long After I Eat Should I Wait to Do Yoga?
You should aim to eat a light snack or meal and give your body enough time to digest the food without sacrificing the energy that the food will provide for you. However, you should never perform yoga right after eating. It can make you very uncomfortable for the duration of your class.
You will typically need one and a half to two hours to digest a light snack or two to three hours for a small meal. However, many people swear by practicing yoga on an empty stomach.
The truth is that it all differs depending on how hungry you are. If you are feeling ravenous, chances are you will not be able to concentrate enough to let your body flow through your asanas with ease.
Foods to Avoid Eating Before Yoga Class
Let’s face it. Yoga is relaxing, and you can easily leak out gas one way or another if you eat the wrong foods before yoga. It will not only embarrass you, but it will make those around you uncomfortable. Some foods will also take longer to digest, leaving you feeling too full to bend, twist, and move about freely.
The following are some foods you want to avoid when performing yoga.
1. Fried Food
There is no worse feeling than eating greasy fried foods like French fries and a cheeseburger and feeling like you could never eat again afterward.
Fried food is the worst because it can take up to 6 hours to digest, depending on what you eat and your metabolism.
It makes you sluggish and unmotivated and is not suitable for yoga. It also often comes out by way of diarrhea, which is never a pleasant experience.
This one is a no-brainer, as broccoli is exceptionally high in fiber, which can cause significant bloating and gas.
You cannot gracefully practice yoga postures when dealing with a distended, gassy tummy. Broccoli may fill you well enough, but it does not contain the calories or protein required to keep your energy going.
Broccoli is incredibly healthy, but it will not sustain your yoga session.
3. Red Meat
Red meat is heavy on the body, and it is a workout just to change that bad fat into energy.
Red meats can weigh you down and make you feel tired while your body is trying to digest your food.
Red meat is also high in fat, which means the blood goes to your gastrointestinal tract, and your muscles do not get the oxygen they need to be able to exercise.
4. Spicy Food
If you love Indian food, save it for after your yoga class. It can give you serious heartburn and disrupt the flow of your downward dog or happy baby pose.
A lot of spicy food contains capsaicin, which allows your food to sit in your stomach and take longer to digest. This situation is what causes acid reflux to occur.
Skip the salsa if you want to get the most out of your yoga class.
5. Whole Milk Yogurt
Full-fat or whole-milk yogurt is an excellent snack, but it is not ideal as a pre-workout food.
The high-fat content of this type of yogurt can leave you too full to enjoy your yoga session. It will also increase the acid in your stomach and make for a not-so-fun experience.
Low-fat or plain Greek yogurt may be a good option, but you know what your stomach can handle best.
6. Creamy or Oily Salad Dressing
The first thing to mention is that salads are best as a post-workout meal.
Creamy salad dressing high in fat can trigger inflammation, and oily dressings will remain dormant in your tummy.
You should save your chicken caesar salad for later.
There are several types of food you want to stay away from before your workout. However, after your yoga class, it is game on.