Have you ever felt gassy while doing hot Yoga? This may be because of what you ate in your pre-workout meal. Yoga involves movement, twisting, and turning. The last thing you want when you’re busy flowing through a new sequence is to experience a stomachache, bloating or gas. But it takes work to fuel our bodies correctly. Sometimes we accidentally eat gassy veggies before class, and other times we must remember to drink adequate water.
So, why is it essential to know what to eat before hot Yoga class? This is indeed a crucial question! But don’t worry!
This guide will show you some simple tips & meal hacks for a healthy and energised experience throughout your hot Yoga practice.
What Is Bikram/ Hot Yoga And Its Important Benefits?
Bikram Yoga, also commonly referred to as ‘Hot Yoga’, is a form of Yoga that is performed in hot and humid conditions. This unique style of Yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s and has gained widespread popularity over the years. The practice involves 26 different postures and two breathing exercises, all carried out in a heated room of 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40% humidity.
There are many benefits to practising Bikram Yoga. Here are some of the key points:
- Improves posture and mobility.
- Reduces anxiety and stress levels.
- Strengthens and tones muscles.
- Regulates blood circulation.
- Develops balance and coordination.
- Enhances focus and concentration.
- Increases flexibility.
- Assists in staying motivated with regular practice.
Overall, practising Bikram Yoga can provide a challenging and rewarding experience that offers numerous physical and mental benefits.
Check out this soothing and insightful demonstration 30-minute Bikram Yoga series exploring 26 hot Yoga poses for beginners & all levels!
What Would Be Good Food To Eat Before Hot Yoga And After Hot Yoga Practice?
“Learn how to stop eating mindlessly—and instead master eating mindfully— for your best hot Yoga practice.”
Bikram Yoga is a rigorous Yoga practice that requires careful dietary planning to ensure the best possible experience during and after your class. It is highly recommended to avoid eating any meal at least two hours before your first class. This will give your stomach enough time to properly digest whatever you’ve consumed that day and prevent any uncomfortable stomach upset that can occur when trying to exercise and digest food simultaneously. Additionally, avoiding consuming too much caffeine and caffeinated drinks is best, as these can interfere with your Yoga practice.
By following these dietary guidelines, you can ensure that you are well-prepared for your Bikram Yoga class and can reap the full benefits of your practice.
What To Eat Before Hot Yoga Practice? With Some Amazing Meal Ideas!
Have you ever felt you didn’t eat the right foods before a Bikram Hot Yoga class? Or you needed to eat more food earlier in the day?
It’s normal to spend time deciding what suits your body the best. For your practice to be as effective as possible, it’s essential to experiment with different healthy options; eating less, eating different foods, eating earlier and avoiding caffeine. Finding the perfect formula may take some time and patience.
Some students may need to have an empty stomach before class, while others may be able to enjoy a snack of fruit an hour before an early morning lesson. Listening to your body and finding what works best for you is essential.
Here Are Some Of The Optimal Foods
Fruits are an excellent choice to eat before and after a Bikram Yoga class. Bananas, a great source of potassium and sodium, are an ideal snack to replenish the electrolytes lost from sweating during class. Fruits are low in calories and contain little to no fat, making them a light snack that won’t leave you feeling weighed down. Additionally, fruits contain carbohydrates and provide a natural source of sugar to give you the energy needed to perform asanas and concentrate during class. Dates, raisins, apricots, water-rich plums, and peaches are all great yogi snacks packed with essential nutrients.
Whole-grain carbohydrates provide sustained energy to power you through a 90-minute Bikram Yoga class. Unlike refined carbs such as white bread, whole grains contain fibre, which helps regulate energy release into the body. This helps you to maintain balanced blood sugar levels, avoiding energy crashes and hunger cravings. To ensure you have enough energy for your class, enjoy a serving of oatmeal topped with nuts for added protein and healthy fats for breakfast or a snack a few hours before class. After class, pair carbs such as sweet potato or brown rice with lean protein to restore glycogen and aid muscle recovery. This will help to replenish your energy levels and ensure you are ready for your next Yoga session.
- Healthy Fats
Due to how long they take to digest, heavy, fatty foods should be avoided by practitioners. However, this doesn’t mean you should eliminate fats from your diet. Healthy fats, including those in nuts, avocados, and olive oil, can be beneficial when consumed in moderation. Eating a handful of nuts or topping a light, leafy-green salad with a quarter of an avocado or a drizzle of olive oil can help create a feeling of fullness, stabilise blood sugar levels, and prevent hunger pangs during or after classes.
6 Pre-Hot Yoga Workout Meal Ideas
- Oatmeal with fresh fruits and nuts
Start your day with a delicious and hearty bowl of warm oatmeal, topped with fresh fruits like bananas, berries or apples and a handful of your favourite nuts like almonds or walnuts for added crunch and nutrition. Oatmeal is a great pre-workout food because it is high in complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy.
- Greek yoghurt with berries and granola
Greek yoghurt is high in protein, which helps build and repair muscle tissue. Combine it with some fresh berries and a sprinkle of granola for a tasty and nutritious pre-Yoga snack.
- Smoothie with spinach, banana, and almond milk
Whip up a green smoothie with spinach, banana, and almond milk for a refreshing and nutrient-dense pre-workout snack. Spinach is rich in iron and other essential nutrients, while bananas provide a quick source of energy, and almond milk is a great dairy-free source of calcium.
- Brown rice with steamed vegetables and grilled chicken
For a heartier pre-workout meal, try some brown rice with steamed vegetables and grilled chicken. Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate, which means it releases energy slowly and steadily, while vegetables provide fibre and essential vitamins and minerals. Grilled chicken is an outstanding source of lean protein to help your muscles recover after your workout.
- Quinoa salad with avocado and black beans
Quinoa is a high-protein grain that is perfect for pre-workout meals. Combine it with creamy avocado and black beans for a tasty and nutrient-dense salad that is high in fibre, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.
- Tuna salad with whole wheat crackers
Tuna provides an excellent source of lean protein, while whole wheat crackers are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates. Combine the two for a delicious and nutritious pre-Yoga snack that will help fuel your workout and keep you feeling full and satisfied.
What To Eat After Hot Yoga Practice? With Some Amazing Meal Ideas!
It is best to consume your post-workout meal within 30-60 minutes after your workout. During this period, you want to consume foods that will be quickly absorbed into your digestive system, supplying your muscles with vital nutrients. After your workout, restoring your muscle glycogen is crucial so that your muscle tissue doesn’t break down. For that purpose, carbohydrates are the best to eat, which will help push nutrients into your muscle tissue faster. Protein intake during this time will help to build muscle, recover and adapt.
Choose Carbs Plus Protein
After Yoga, especially if it’s a vigorous flow, you’ll want to refuel with a meal or snack with a 3-to-1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, which can help repair muscle tissues and restore energy levels.
Post-Hot Yoga Workout Meal Ideas
- Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Vegetables
Cook up some quinoa and toss it with your favourite roasted veggies for a hearty and satisfying post-workout meal. Add some avocado or shredded chicken for extra protein and healthy fats.
- Grilled Chicken and Sweet Potato Salad
Grill up some chicken breasts and slice them over a bed of mixed greens and roasted sweet potatoes. Add extra colour and flavour to your meals by drizzling some delicious balsamic vinaigrette on top of them.
- Grilled Salmon with Steamed Vegetables
Add some omega-3 fatty acids to your diet with a grilled salmon fillet served alongside a side of steamed veggies. Garnish the dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some chopped herbs for added flavour.
- Lentil Soup with Crusty Bread
Warm up with a hearty bowl of lentil soup and a slice of crusty bread. Lentils are an exceptional source of both protein and fibre, making them a fantastic choice for post-workout fuel.
- Turkey and Hummus Wrap with Veggies
Spread some hummus on a whole wheat wrap and add slices of turkey breast and your favourite veggies for a quick and tasty post-workout meal. Roll it up, and enjoy!
- Greek Yogurt Parfait with Berries and Granola
Try a Greek yoghurt parfait and top it off with some fresh, colourful berries and crunchy granola for the ultimate flavour explosion. This protein-packed treat is a great way to refuel after a tough Yoga session.
6 Tips for Nourishing Your Body for a Successful Hot Yoga Session
- Time It Right
When is the best time to eat before Yoga class? Ideally, we ask you not to eat 2 hours before Yoga. However, it doesn’t hurt to load up on a 200-300 calorie healthy snack an hour or so before class. This will keep your stomach from rumbling obnoxiously while providing enough time for digestion.
- Avoid Fatty Foods
You probably already know this one, but before any workout, you should avoid fatty or greasy foods. Focus instead on foods with fast-acting carbohydrates or lean protein. Your body can use this energy immediately to provide the boost you need.
- Snack Smart Before Morning Class
It’s hard enough to drag yourself to an early morning Yoga class, let alone try to throw in eating properly before the crack of dawn. We recommend eating as lightly as possible before class and then consuming a solid breakfast afterwards.
- Bring an Eco-Friendly Water Bottle
At Yoga Fever, we strongly encourage you to bring an environmentally friendly water bottle to every class, or we sell H2O at the studio if you still need to pack one. Bring water into the studio with you and remember to drink it whenever necessary (even during the class). We won’t constantly remind you to hydrate, so be conscious of your intake before, during and after the hot Yoga session.
- Befriend your Blender
Some of the best pre-workout snacks are healthy, protein smoothies. These fruit and veggie-filled drinks are all the rage these days, so it will take a little while to google a recipe you like. If you head to Yoga straight from school or work, mix it up in the morning and keep it in the fridge during the day.
- Hydrate and Replenish
The first thing you’ll want to do after rolling up your mat is to drink some H20 and add some electrolytes to your water. Electrolytes help you replenish the much-needed nutrients, sodium and minerals your body lost during your sweat session. You can purchase it at Costco or any local pharmacy. Whatever you do, just be mindful to keep your water bottle near you for at least an hour after class, although your body may crave extra water for the rest of the day.
Remember, these are only suggestions. There are undoubtedly additional food items you can add to the list. And it’s important to note that everyone’s body is different. Listen to yours to decipher which foods it can digest well and which are better left for an off-day. And after hot Yoga, stock up on your lean protein by eating yoghurt, drinking low-fat milk, or snacking on turkey and hard-boiled eggs.
Most importantly, remember that these tips are designed to help you focus on your practice. We want our yogis to invest fully in each hot Yoga session and not worry about dehydrating or depleting their adrenals.
STAY HYDRATED & EAT HEALTHY!
Important Tips on What to Eat/Do Before Hot Yoga & After Hot Yoga!
Hot Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise these days. If you’re thinking about joining in on the fun, or if you’ve already been doing it for a while, you should be aware that there are some guidelines that you should follow.
What to Eat/Do Before Hot Yoga
If you’re dehydrated, this exercise will make it more challenging to stay loose and mobile. Drink plenty of water before starting hot Yoga, and keep sipping throughout the class. You can have electrolyte water to stay hydrated.
- Eat light
Most people become constipated after taking a challenging class like Bikram hot Yoga. Eating a few light meals beforehand will help to avoid this problem. Avoid having heavy meals, greasy foods, or foods that take a long time to digest before hot Yoga. Instead, choose filling snacks like fruits, nuts, light salad, oatmeal, or a protein shake.
- Wear comfortable clothing
Make sure that you wear lightweight, breathable clothing for hot Yoga. This will help you stay cool and comfortable during the practice.
- Arrive early
Make sure to arrive at the studio early (at least 15 minutes before class) to allow yourself time for check-in and to acclimate to the heat before class starts.
What to Eat/Do After Hot Yoga
Drink a sufficient amount of water to replenish fluids lost during the session. Coconut water or sports drinks can also help replenish electrolytes.
- Eat light
Eat a light meal or snack within 30 minutes to an hour after hot Yoga to refuel and aid in muscle recovery. Opt for easily digested, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Avoid heavy or greasy meals.
If you do any kind of exercise, make sure to stretch afterwards to reduce any possible knots or tightness. This includes stretching your legs, abdomen, and thoracic spine.
- Cool down
An excellent way to complete your post-hot Yoga routine is by taking some time to cool down. This may include stretching your limbs and breathing deeply until your heart rate returns to baseline.
Allow your body time to recover by taking a day off from hot Yoga or doing a less intense activity.
Important Tips on What to Avoid Eating Before Hot Yoga!
The deep twists and forward bends of Yoga can often lead to uncomfortable burps and farts, so it’s essential to be mindful of what you eat before practice. Avoiding foods that are known to induce gas can help you stay comfortable and focused during your Yoga session.
- Greasy or Fried Foods
You’ll want to avoid anything heavy or filling before a hot Yoga workout, so a burger, fries, or pizza before class is probably not a good idea.
- Garlicky Foods
Eating garlic-laden foods before Yoga can be a risky move, as the pungent smell of garlic can linger in your mouth and cause unpleasant garlic burps during your practice. Not only can this be embarrassing, but it can also distract other people in the class.
To avoid this, it’s best to avoid garlic-heavy foods before Yoga and opt for something lighter and easier to digest.
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are a convenient and complete source of protein, but they can cause unpleasant sour burps, especially during Yoga.
To avoid this:
- Try eating boiled eggs with a meal that includes other foods, such as vegetables, grains, or dairy.
- Additionally, adding herbs and spices to the eggs can help reduce the sourness of the burps.
- Finally, drinking sufficient water throughout the day can help reduce the intensity of the burps.
While some people swear by pre-workout smoothies, others find that the excess liquid can cause discomfort during poses that involve pressure on the abdomen, such as Locust Pose.
To avoid this, it is best to wait until after class to enjoy your smoothie.
Drinking alcohol before hot Yoga can make it harder for your body to absorb oxygen and may result in dizziness or vomiting during the class.
Avoid taking vitamins on an empty stomach (unless you’re used to them).
Tips & Meal Hacks!
- Bring some apple slices and peanut butter to work so you can munch on them before heading to class or grab an orange. Oranges are 87% water content and are loaded with vitamin C. They’re perfect for adding some quick hydration.
- Carrots and hummus are light, easy snacks that will give you the energy and nutrients you need.
- Save the tofu burger & fries for a once-in-a-while thing (and not before you hit class).
- When your instructor allows you to skip chaturanga and go straight to a downward dog, use the extra time to hydrate if needed. Listen to your body – it’ll tell you when the time is right.
- For your sunrise Yoga session, opt for half a cup of oatmeal, half an avocado, or a small handful of almonds. A cup of tea works well, also.
- Hydration is super important before Yoga, so try adding ingredients like green tea, oranges, pineapple, or mango. The antioxidants will also prevent muscle soreness.
- You can also add other naturally-hydrating drinks like fruit juice or coconut water. Cucumber, watermelon, and pineapple (all chilled) are great post-hot Yoga treats.
- Here are four recommended pre & post workout foods:
- Carbohydrates: Cereal, oatmeal or bananas.
- Protein: Hard-boiled eggs, chicken or fish.
- Fat: Avocado, nuts or seeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you eat before a hot Yoga class?
In general, it is best not to eat anything an hour before Yoga is supposed to start. However, eating something is better than having no energy for class if you’re hungry. Try to pick easy-to-digest carbohydrates and protein.
Can you do hot Yoga on an empty stomach?
The human body requires time to process food and digest it, which is why one should have their meal 4 hours before or a light meal at least 2 hours before doing Yoga. Digestion requires a lot of energy, which your body does not have while practising.
What to Eat Before Hot Yoga in the Morning?
Some examples of good pre-workout breakfast options include:
- A smoothie bowl with bananas, berries, and granola
- Greek yoghurt with nuts and fruit
- Oatmeal with almond milk, honey, and mixed berries
- A whole-grain English muffin with avocado and a scrambled egg
What to Eat Before Hot Yoga in the Evening?
Before taking an evening class, it’s important to choose foods that will give you sustained energy without weighing you down. Here are some ideas:
- Vegetables and hummus or guacamole
- Fruit (bananas, berries, or pineapple)
- Whole grains (brown rice or quinoa)
- Light soup or salad
What to Eat Before Hot Yoga at Night?
Eating the right foods before hot Yoga at night can help you get the most out of your practice. Here are some healthy options that can provide sustained energy and prevent stomach discomfort:
- A banana with almond butter and honey
- Oatmeal with fruit and nuts
- Greek yoghurt with granola
- A small salad with grilled chicken or salmon
After considering what to eat before and after hot Yoga to achieve optimal fitness, it is clear that everybody requires a different approach, as everybody’s individual circumstances and preferred diet vary. Therefore, it is important to set realistic and achievable goals for yourself, as well as track your progress, to ensure that you are reaching your ideal fitness diet. As long as you maintain a balanced lifestyle and strive to stay dedicated to your goals, you can reach your ideal fitness diet and realise the many benefits of hot Yoga.
See you next on the Yoga mat! Namaste!