What to Eat Before Bikram Yoga: A Helpful Guide

What to Eat Before Bikram Yoga: A Helpful Guide

Hot yoga has been around for a number of years. From saunas to showers, there’s something about the heat that really agrees with the human body. When practicing a sport, diet is as important as the workout itself.

Since hot yoga is also considered a physical activity or sports, what to eat before Bikram yoga sessions and what to avoid are important considerations. For you to better understand the principle behind it, let’s talk about Bikram yoga first.

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Choudhury is the founder of this type of hot yoga. The 74-year-old Indian man has designed this 26-posture session after undergoing a lot of practice. According to history, he has been practicing yoga poses since 1947 when he was just three years old.

At the age of 20, Bikram was involved in a crippling accident, but he stayed resilient and fully recovered within six months. Since then, he has been constantly practicing and teaching many types of yoga.

Bikram yoga, in particular, is strictly being practiced in a hot environment (40°C or 104 °F). That is is because it’s better for practitioners to be in a warm environment since their bodies will be more flexible. The heat also gives sort of cleansing effect, so it all works out just great.

What Foods to Avoid at All Cost?

Try to steer clear of food that takes a lot of time to digest, like cucumbers, dairy and anything that’s resemblant of broccoli or cabbage. Needless to say, avoid things that are high in fat content since they’re also hard to digest and create an energy deficit that can’t be good for a workout.

Beans are a good example of a type of food that’s generally very healthy but a poor choice in this case. They digest slowly and can cause bloating and flatulence. Imagine how uncomfortable a gassy session of hot yoga can be; it’s definitely a horrible idea.

Since it’s a hot yoga session, it’s also recommended to steer clear of sriracha, Tabasco and other spicy foods in general. In addition to causing heartburn (potentially), imagine having a mouthful of fire, all while sweaty and trying to maintain balance and stay focus. Alcohol is also out of the question. Generally, beer has the same effect as carbonated drinks and anything stronger.

What to Eat before Bikram Yoga?

It’s best to go to the studio as light as possible. This will allow practitioners to feel as comfortable as they can, but eating before heading to yoga class is a good way to get the necessary nutrients to get through the day.

To add, it also keeps energy levels high, which is essential in building up good tonus. It also prevents overeating after the sessions, which can be a problem for some people.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the best suggestions on what to eat before Bikram yoga.

  • Yogurt and Berries

Yogurt is 81% water, the rest being sugars, proteins, fats, and carbs. In essence, it is the perfect base for a healthy pre-workout meal since it keeps practitioners hydrated and gives them enough energy to get through the session without causing any discomfort. It comes in many different forms, so finding one that’s tasty and satisfying is just a matter of trying and testing.

Berries and yogurt make a perfect pair. They are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, very tasty, and have a color that’s meant to attract. They’re also super easy to come by; a small box of frozen berry mix can rest in the freezer until needed.

  • Granola Bars

Granola bars digest easily, have a high fiber content and work incredibly well with an active lifestyle. They also have vitamins and minerals, like Vitamins E and C, potassium, and zinc. They have a good contribution to weight loss, cholesterol level reduction, and good digestion promotion.

  • Peanut Butter with Fruit Slices

Eating nuts and fats is definitely a big no-no before attending hot yoga sessions, but that doesn’t apply to peanut butter. Peanut butter is very rich, which means that a little will go a long way. Along with the satisfaction, this gooey goodness will also bring a lot of nutritional benefits. It’s low in cholesterol and full of good fats. It also pairs well with apple and banana slices, making it a complete healthy snack.

Bonus Tips

Since Bikram yoga is established as a “hot” sports, those who practice it should really stay hydrated before attending sessions. It’s also an excellent idea to bring a bottle of fluid along. Although veggies and fruits are a good way to get a healthy water intake, it’s still a good idea to gulp up around two liters of water before the session.

Make sure to drink water; just water. While it’s obvious that sugary drinks will do damage to the body, there are a lot of studies out there which claim that diet soda has an even bigger negative impact on one’s health. Water or plain tea will always be the way to go when maintaining a healthy regime.

When it comes to food, always keep the meals light, energy-packed and healthy. Consider eating one hour before going to the studio since any sooner than that might not be helpful as the food has not been digested well and converted into energy yet.

If time is a problem, a lot of industry specialists recommend planning meals. Something as easy as a serving of oats and berries can be prepped in a manner of minutes. These meals can be planned and stored, ready for each day of the week.

After workouts, there’s not really any rule regarding what one should eat, so anything goes here. That being said, a healthy diet is essential for a healthy lifestyle, so maybe lay off the chips and beer and eat some lean meat and veggies.

Final Thoughts

If in doubt, ask gym and Yoga trainers since they can definitely provide some amazing insights on how to diet and eat when practicing a sport. Nobody is the same, so experiment with different meals, observe the results, and adjust accordingly. Everybody is unique and will react differently, so make sure to be comfortable when practicing these intense workout sessions.

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