Like any other form of exercise, it is never a good idea to head into an intense yoga sweat-session on an empty stomach. That can cause dizziness, headaches, and low energy. Of course, you also don’t wanted to feel overly stuffed or bloated before you hit the mat. Try these five power foods before yoga to boost endurance and performance without leaving you dragging.
You can chow down anywhere from two hours before your yoga practice to a half hour prior. Avoid eating directly before class to avoid cramping and to ease digestion. Remember, none of these foods make up for the most important element that goes in your body: water. Hydrate and satiate to get the full benefits of your yoga practice.
- Apple and Peanut Butter
It may bring you back to your kindergarten days, but this combination is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and protein. The soluble fiber in apples makes them easy to digest and their high water content helps hydrate you while boosting your Vitamin C levels. Want a longer-lasting carb hit? Substitute a banana for the apple. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter, or almond butter if you prefer, for an added dose of protein and a small jolt of sugar. This edible power couple is an ideal food before yoga class.
- Small Green Smoothie
Sticking to mainly greens in your smoothie ensures high-quality amino acids and antioxidants for a natural energy booster and an immune system defender. Even better? A smoothie can take less than five minutes to make. Choose your favorite form of leafy greens: kale, spinach, swiss chard, and collards are great. Add in a healthy liquid like cashew milk and a small portion of fruit to sweeten the taste. The perfect fuel for an energy-packed yoga practice.
Get a protein kick to help you beat those hunger pangs with the added benefit of potassium, Vitamin E, and magnesium to help with endurance. Avoid salted and roasted almonds and stick to plain, raw ones to get the maximum energy kick. Nuts provide heart-healthy fats and fiber; just be sure to practice portion control. A small palmful are enough to do your heart and body good.
- Oatmeal and Berries
Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast anymore. Low on the glycemic index for slow-burning complex carbohydrates, oatmeal warms you up and fills you without leaving you heavy. In addition, the magnesium helps you boost energy and avoid muscle cramps. Add a handful of raspberries or strawberries for extra antioxidants and vitamins.
- Yogurt and Seeds
A source of lean, energizing protein, yogurt is full of lactose, which contains a naturally occurring sugar to provide sustained energy. Add in your favorite seed for an extra kick of powerful health benefits. Grab chia seeds to help you stay hydrated and lower blood sugar while supplementing your Omega-3. Or toss on some flaxseed for additional fiber and protein.
Food before yoga is always a good idea. It keeps you focused, energized, and satiated. Pick and choose from the list above and keep in mind you want a combination of a simple carbohydrate, a lean protein, and some healthy fat. Train your mind and body with healthy, smart, and easy snacks to turbo-boost your yoga practice.