The Best Foods to Eat Before and After Yoga

Updated on April 8th, 2020
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If you’ve wondered whether doing yoga needs prerequisites, then you’ve come to the right place. “Isn’t it enough to practice Yoga? Why do I need to watch what I eat before doing it?” is a common question. The simple answer: body movements impact yoga form, and yoga form impacts your well-being.

Yoga Foods, Things to Remember

  • Generally, foods take around 3 hours to digest. And if you practice Yoga, while your diet is still assimilating, then the blood circulation and energy are diverted entirely to the digestive tract.
  • During some yoga poses, especially forward bends and twists, there is pressure on abdominal organs, which may push the food upwards, resulting in a feeling of significant discomfort.
  • Yoga can best be done in the mornings when your stomach is empty.
  • There is more room in your abdominal space for deeper breathing, and mindfulness is more satiating on an empty stomach!
  • Eating before Yoga session depends on how fast the foods get assimilated in your stomach.
  • Fruits take around 30, and light meals may take two and a half hours, heavy meals take three hours or more.
  • If you practice in the mornings: Take a glass of lukewarm water with a tinge of lemon and honey. Also, clear your bowels before doing Yoga.

[ Read: Foods to Eat Before Running ]

Yoga and Diet

  • A Yogic diet is a well-balanced diet that ancient mystics believed had a considerable impact not only over our thoughts but on our physical well-being and, ultimately, our spiritual and emotional and well-being.
  • Yogic diet can also be called Lacto-vegetarian, which includes non-animal foods except honey and dairy items.
  • With more awareness about the body through hatha-yoga, you may find those vegetarian foods become a natural choice.
  • They can also help you maintain the same energized, light feeling that yoga is known.
  • Practicing Yoga is one of the most beneficial fitness regimes, but when complemented with healthy food choices, it can create miracles.
  • Eating the right food is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Yoga does not classify food into carbohydrates, proteins, or fats; instead, it ranks them according to the effect they have on the mind and body into three types – sattva, rajas, and tamas.
  • Tamasic food is the kind of food that makes us sluggish or lethargic, while Rajasic food is that which brings about restlessness or activity.
  • Sattvic food is the kind that makes you feel energetic, light, and enthusiastic.

[ Read: Benefits of Yoga for Mental Health ]

What to Eat Before Yoga Class?

Before you start yoga sessions, you want to aim for foods that are easy to digest, and that will help you stay free while you practice.

Of course, what works for your body is personal and specific; that is why we asked experts to give you all the right information you need to make appropriate choices. Here are their recommendations:

1. Go for simple carbs

yoga foods

Go for simple carbohydrates with small amounts of protein(1), fiber, or fat for power and energy. Go for combinations Like banana or apple with peanut butter, avocado toast, or hummus with carrots or crackers.

2. Energizing snacks

It could be fruit and nut butter, a smoothie, toast with avocado, or anything that feels energizing to you.

3. Easy-to-digest foods

Before Yoga, choose foods that digest quickly and give you balanced energy, such as a combination of whole-grain carbohydrates, protein, and fat for staying power.

4. Eat two hours before you practice

Have a full meal two hours before a yoga class, if eating within two hours of a course, choose a light food.

5. Avoid fatty, spicy, and acidic foods

Spicy Food
Image: Shutterstock

These foods can upset your stomach. You should also avoid foods that digest slowly, as they can make you uncomfortable while you practice.

[ Read: Bunk the Junk Food ]

6. Give yourself some time to digest before your session

As a thumb rule, allow yourself one to two hours to digest after a light food and two to four hours to assimilate after a light meal before your yoga session. But the most important thing here is to listen and experiment with your body to determine the timing that works best for you.

What Food to Eat After a Yoga Session

Having a well-balanced, satisfying meal or a side-snack with some proteins, carbohydrates(2), and fats will help fuel your mind and body.

Get back your mojo after a fruitful session!

Choose protein plus carbs

After yoga class, especially if it’s a vigorous session, you’ll want to refuel with a great meal or a side dish that has a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, which can help regrow muscle tissues and restore vitality levels.

Some of the best post-yoga snacks include a Greek yogurt parfait with fruit, a quinoa bowl with veggies, nuts, and granola, tofu, or legumes; or, banana, mint, Greek yogurt, and kefir or silken tofu or a smoothie with frozen wild blueberries.

What Pregnant Women Should Eat Before Yoga:

  • Yoga classes can be up to two hours long, so you may feel dizzy or even hungry or faint during your session if you don’t have a meal beforehand.
  • Pregnancy can make you feel starving, so try not to go without food for very long periods.
  • You may have a morning, afternoon, or evening class. So, there’ll be a meal break somewhere around the corner.
  • Take a bottle of fresh drinking water with you, and keep sipping from it during your class and throughout the day, so you don’t get dehydrated.
  • If you’re eating the main course, wait about three hours before starting a yoga session.
  • Performing some poses on a full stomach may make you feel uncomfortable.
  • You may also feel lethargic, as your body uses its energy for digestion.

[ Read: Pregnancy Diet ]


Eating the perfect food before and after yoga is thus crucial to its success; also when to eat. Go for a holistic approach for a healthier and joyful living the natural way.

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