International Yoga Day 2023: Foods To Eat Before And After Yoga
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On International Day of Yoga and beyond, people across the world pledge to take up the yogic way of life for wellness. And while this commitment is commendable, yoga does not exist purely as a form of physical activity. Rather, yoga is a way of life. So, learning how to perform yoga asanas is just as important as knowing that food, sleep and meditation are also part and parcel of yoga

When it comes to food, the yogic way of living prescribes a proper yogic diet. This yogic diet recommends that not only should we practice the tenets of ahimsa, sattva and saucha, but also be mindful of what we are eating and when. Yoga is about calmness and restrain, and yogic diet supports that in the realm of food by recommending listening to the body’s hunger and fullness cues instead of overindulging. 

Given this, it is but natural that to practice yoga properly, one must know what foods to eat before and after a yoga session. It is important to choose foods that are nourishing and allow the body and soul’s alignment with nature for a yoga session to work like it should. If your pre-yoga meal is too rich and makes you uncomfortable, then it is likely that your yoga session won’t be fruitful. So, knowing what to eat before and after a yoga session is very important. 

Here are all the foods you need to eat before and after a yoga session. Follow these recommendations for the best results on International Yoga Day and beyond. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Bhairav Shakti

Pre-Yoga Session Foods: Nourish, Not Overload

Your pre-yoga meal needs to be consumed at least an hour before your practice so that proper digestion can happen. Before a yoga session, it's important to fuel your body with nutritious foods that provide sustained energy and support your practice. Here are some key foods you can consider eating before a yoga session. 

Complex Carbohydrates: Opt for whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, or oats. These provide a slow release of energy, keeping you energized throughout your practice. 

Fruits: Choose fresh fruits such as bananas, berries, or apples. They are rich in natural sugars and provide a quick energy boost. Bananas, in particular, are great for preventing muscle cramps due to their potassium content. 

Light Proteins: Incorporate lean sources of protein, such as Greek yogurt, tofu, or a handful of nuts. Protein helps repair and build muscles, which can aid in recovery from your yoga practice. 

Hydrating Foods: Include foods with high water content, such as cucumbers, watermelon, or oranges. Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining energy levels and avoiding muscle cramps. Stay hydrated by consuming herbal tea or plain water before your yoga session. 

Healthy Fats: Add a small portion of healthy fats like avocado, chia seeds, or nut butter. These provide sustained energy and promote a feeling of fullness. 

Post-Yoga Session Foods: Replenish And Recover

After a yoga session, it's important to replenish your body with nutrients and aid in muscle recovery. Here are some essential foods to consider eating after a yoga session. 

Protein-Rich Foods: Consuming protein after yoga helps repair and rebuild muscles. Opt for lean sources such as grilled paneer, chickpeas, kidney beans, tofu, yoghurt and other lentils. Include nuts and seeds too as they provide healthy fats as well as protein. 

Leafy Green Vegetables: Include leafy greens like spinach, kale, or Swiss chard in your post-yoga meal. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that aid in reducing inflammation and supporting overall health. 

Colorful Fruits and Berries: Enjoy a variety of colorful fruits and berries like berries, oranges, mangoes, or pineapples. They provide essential vitamins, antioxidants, and natural sugars for energy replenishment. 

Whole Grains: Incorporate complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat bread. These grains provide sustained energy and assist in muscle recovery. 

Hydrating Foods: Rehydrate your body by consuming water-rich foods like watermelon, cucumbers, or celery. They help replenish lost fluids and assist in maintaining optimal hydration levels. If you prefer a quick and convenient option, consider preparing a post-yoga smoothie or protein shake.