The yoga and pilates movement is not a fad, and is most certainly are not just a bunch of stretches and awkward poses. As a sound mind-body practice that can impact how your body functions and how your mind processes information, this week I am going to share the foods and nutrients you should consume to compliment your yoga and pilates practices.
Before the class
Too often, people think they need to avoid foods before a class, enduring it with a grumbling tummy and low blood glucose levels. Important to maintain your energy levels and performance, if you’re pushed for time, or are not looking for a full meal, these are my favourite foods that keep me focused and energised for my classes.
Bananas– These are a great pre-workout snack as they are potassium-rich. The potassium interacts with sodium and keeps your body hydrated, while the magnesium works to prevents cramps and bloating.
Almonds- Able to boost energy levels and keep your hunger at bay, almonds contain potassium, magnesium, and vitamin E, helping you to stay hydrated and giving your muscles staying power (very important for during those tricky poses!) Make sure you’re eating them plain and unsalted!
Avocados- A big yogi-favourite, avocados contain important electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, contributing to proper cell and muscle function. With most of the fat in avocados helping to lower bad cholesterol and promoting lean muscle growth, it’s a perfect food for yogi’s to enjoy. As avocados are nutrient-dense but don’t have a lot of volume, which means you’ll be full, light, and strong as you move into downward dog.
Dark Chocolate- Great for keeping your blood glucose levels in check and the blood flowing to your brain, eating a little bit (not the whole family block!) will boost your concentration and the ability to focus. It also contains phenyl ethylamine (the same chemical your brain creates to release endorphins) and caffeine, stimulating and enhancing alertness, without getting the jitters.
Smoothies- Wondering what the ultimate pre-yoga/pilates food option is? How about simply blending the first four food together! Blend banana, almonds, avocado and cacao with coconut water to set your body and mind in motion to achieve the most during your class.
After the class
Equally as important as preparing your body for the class, is ensuring that your body has the nutrients to stretch out the benefits of the class, and what it needs to repair and refuel.
Water- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Water rehydrates, refuels and replenishes. Add fresh lime or lemon into your glass for an alkalising effect and for a Vitamin C boost.
Protein- High protein foods are very important to keep your muscles from being too sore after your yoga work-out. I love lean protein such as chicken breast and tuna, or here are some amazing protein sources that you may not think of.
Enjoy my Yogi-friendly recipes below, and if you haven’t tried yoga or pilates before, put it on your To Do list this week.