You've just finished your yoga workout. You feel relaxed, at peace, strong, and…hungry! Completing a yoga workout can leave you just as depleted as running or taking a cardio class.
You don't want to replenish your body with the first foods you see. You want to carefully choose foods that are rich in the right nutrients to help you not only restock all the nutrients you used but also lose fat and repair muscles so that you can take another yoga class sooner rather than later.
If you're stumped as to what to eat, check out these post-yoga foods that are essential to recovery. You may be surprised at what made the list!
Water & Coconut Water
It's all about rehydration after yoga. While regular water is a good choice, coconut water is viewed as a better choice because it contains electrolytes to help rehydrate the body more effectively. Regardless of which you choose, hydrating after yoga is most important after your yoga session.
Dark Leafy Greens
You can choose to have these in a salad or make a smoothie with kale, spinach, or arugula. These types of foods help to alkalize the blood which is something you want to do after you've oxygenated your blood with your breath during your yoga practice.
Fruit salad post-yoga helps to replenish carbohydrates. The best fruits to add to your salad are those that are water-dense, like grapefruit and different types of melons.
Protein Packed Sandwich
When your yoga workout is wrapped up, grab a sandwich. Make sure it has protein-rich foods like tuna, turkey, or chicken. Add some veggies and a lite dressing if you want, too. This combination is perfect for replenishing protein that the body used during your yoga session.
It's no secret eggs are a great source of protein. Try a hard-boiled egg and a sliced apple with peanut butter. This is protein times three which is just what you need after your yoga workout.
Reach for the beets if you want to keep fatigue and sore muscles away. Beets contain nitrates that help to widen blood vessels, giving them more oxygen. This helps to break down the lactic acid in muscles that leave them feeling sore and keep you off the mat for the next few days.
Toast with Bananas & Almond Butter
Toast whole grain bread and spread almond butter on top of it. Add some sliced bananas and you have a perfect post-yoga snack that's full of protein and fiber.
As long as you're not packing smoothies with fruit and sugary ingredients, smoothies are a great choice. Mix spinach, raw nuts, coconut water, greens powder, and protein powder for a nutrient-rich smoothie when you're on the go after your yoga workout.
Before you think you're reading the wrong list, yes, it is a good idea to drink a glass of chocolate milk after your yoga workout if a meal is not an option. Why? Chocolate milk not only replaces fluids that were used during yoga but also gives the body back its carbohydrates and protein. A glass of chocolate milk also replaces glycogen and repairs muscles.
Post-Yoga Eating Tips
Now that you have an entire list of post-yoga foods to choose from, follow these healthy eating habits to get the most out of the foods you're consuming:
Stay away from any refined sugars. That means drop the cookies and cakes. These foods won't help to repair muscles at all and they’ll make you feel tired and sluggish shortly after.
No matter what types of food you choose, take advantage of eating them within the first two hours after your workout. This is the window when you want to rehydrate and replenish your body with proteins and nourishing carbohydrates since your body is most receptive to receiving and utilizing nutrients during this time.
Eat small portions. Even if you're eating all the right foods, don't gorge yourself. You'll end up feeling too full. Small portions are always the better option.
We all know there are benefits to practicing yoga but there are also benefits beyond the mat. A yoga workout that exercises your mind and body combined with nutrient-rich foods can help you feel strong and ready to face any challenge life throws at you.