I’m surprised at how often I overhear my yoga students mentioning that they come to class on a completely empty stomach, as in they haven’t eaten at all that day. Sure, eating a big meal before a practice is problematic, but so is coming to class without anything to fuel your practice.
Since there’s so much conflicting information out there, I’d like to tell you what works best for me. I like to eat a small amount of protein rich food to fuel my practice about 45-60 minutes before class. My go-to pre workout nutrition is my Herbalife 24 shake; made up of 2 scoops 24 Formula 1 Meal Replacement & Protein, 2 scoops Prepare (supports blood flow and nutrient delivery to muscles during exercise), 2 scoops Beverage Mix (more protein, low calorie and delicious). It's light, around 200 calories, and consists of about 24 grams of protein. If this magical concoction isn't available, I like eating a banana with some peanut or almond butter, or even a little Greek Yogurt. Eating a light, protein-rich meal helps you preform your best, especially in the more strenuous classes.
But what if you either eat a really big meal before class or skip eating altogether? Well, generally you’ll experience feelings of discomfort or weakness, either of which will compromise your movement on the mat. But here’s a specific rundown of what you can expect:
Eating a big meal before class:
- Gas or bloating
- Uncomfortable feeling, or sluggishness
Not fueling your body:
- Light headed
- Feeling listless and without energy
For me having something about an hour before a workout is the sweet spot between too much or nothing at all and I believe that’s the perfect choice. Too much food, or none at all, would be the extreme choices, and that banana and peanut or almond butter is the way to go.
What do you find works best for your practice? Have you ever been uncomfortable on the mat because of how you ate? We’d love to hear your stories, so please share what works best for you and how you fuel your flow.
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