Last week we talked about some ideas for your pre-yoga snack. This week, lets look at something that is equally as important as pre-workout fuel — your post-workout fuel.
It used to be thought that eating a source of protein within 30 minutes of finishing your workout was optimal for helping to support muscle repair – we now know that is not really the case.
Generally speaking, eating a meal that contains some fats, some protein, some carbohydrates and is dense in nutrients after your practice – whether it be right after, or within an hour or so – is going to be optimal for most people.
Let's look at 5 different post-yoga meal or snack options for 5 different post-yoga circumstances – because what you eat after an early morning practice will be different from what you need to eat if you are doing a 9pm class. Check out these options and see what is best for you to eat after.
An Early Morning Class
If you are doing your asana between 4-8am, you most likely took to your mat on a relatively empty stomach, or a totally empty stomach. After class, I recommend re-hydrating first with at least ½ a liter of water. Then tuck into something with a little protein, a little fat and a little carbohydrate. This can look like:
- Some scrambled tempeh with coconut oil and sprouted toast and veggies,
- A smoothie with fruit, greens and chia or hemp seeds,
- A few bananas with a handful of almonds and stir-fried greens,
- A bowl of oatmeal or quinoa cooked in almond milk with berries and walnuts
Here you are going to want something complete and balanced to fill you back up from your practice, and give you what you need to make it to lunch (or mid-morning snack).
If you are doing a lunch hour of power, you most likely will want to eat something very light beforehand just to get you through your class (like a piece of fruit) and then consume a nice balanced lunch afterwards. Some great ideas are:
- Hummus with sprouted grain crackers and veggies
- Sprouted Grain wrap with black beans, salsa and guacamole
- Large green salad with cooked grains or beans and a sliced avocado
Go for something filling, that again is balanced with some carbohydrates, some protein and some fats.
If you are taking a mid-afternoon class, you are most likely still busy digesting your lunch, so you probably won’t need to eat anything more after class other than a nice, light snack to get you through to dinner time. Here are some ideas:
- An apple with a handful of almonds
- A small bag of trail mix with nuts, seeds and fruits
- A piece of gluten free and or sprouted bread with nut butter and jam
- Some Hummus with Sprouted crackers or veggies
Keep it light so that you still have room for dinner.
Early Evening Class
An early evening class usually will mean you are saving your dinner until after class. Hopefully you grabbed a quick snack before class, so here are some dinner options to help re-fuel your body after practice, that wont ruin your sleep with a ton of digesting:
- A soup with veggies, beans/lentils and barley or quinoa.
- A salad with raw salsa, raw guacamole and refried beans.
- A rice bowl with a nut or tahini based sauce and lots of veggies.
- A big plate of steamed veggies with avocado.
Late Night Class
If you are burning the midnight yoga oil, you most likely have already had dinner. Any after-class eating should be light so that you are going to bed without a giant meal to digest, but also not lying awake and hungry.
- A bottle of coconut water and an apple
- A banana with almond butter
- Guacamole and sprouted grain or gluten free toast
- Miso soup.
What do you like to eat after practice? Have you gotten into a routine, or do you struggle with post-practice nutrition?