What To Eat After Hot Yoga

Hot yoga classes are intense; there’s no doubt about that. Many of these sessions take place in a sweltering studio set to above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with multiple individuals sweating it out throughout the class. The moves are grueling on their own, but once you add the elevated temperature to the mix, you take it to the next level. 

While these classes are an excellent way to challenge your strength and endurance, they take a lot out of your body. After class, you need to eat, rehydrate, and recover for optimal results following the course. Here’s what you need to know.

Is It Good To Eat After Hot Yoga?

After a hot yoga class, there are a few things you need to do. Many folks push their bodies to the limit in a hot yoga session, so it’s essential to replenish after class. You’ll need to rehydrate and fuel your body for recovery. 

You’ll probably feel hungrier after your yoga class, but if you don’t, you don’t have to eat right away. Sometimes, you might want to cool down and relax for a few minutes after class before eating, which is entirely okay. 

However, since you likely burned a considerable number of calories in class, you should eat within an hour after class. You can eat heavier after class than you did beforehand, as you don’t need to worry about significant discomfort due to activity. 

What Should I Eat After A Hot Yoga Session?

After your hot yoga session, you might be hungrier than before class. While a small, light snack is perfect before class, you might want something with more sustenance after the fact. So, try to eat a solid combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for optimal muscle recovery and satiety. 

Protein helps build muscle and aids in recovery, while carbohydrates will ship nutrients to your muscles faster. Generally, consuming a post-workout meal within 30 to 60 minutes of your workout is best. Of course, you can adjust the best time frame to accommodate your schedule and how you feel, but many nutritionists recommend this general time frame. 

For example, let’s say you just finished an early morning hot yoga class. Since you might not have eaten a full breakfast yet, you could go with a well-rounded breakfast with oatmeal, milk, and fruit. Of course, you can tailor your meal to meet your preferences, as these foods are simply a suggestion. 

Or, let’s say you finished your hot yoga session later in the day. You could go with a sandwich with lean protein such as chicken (or a meat alternative if you’re vegetarian). Add a good source of healthy fats, such as avocado, and pile on with various vegetables, including lettuce, tomato, etc. 

If it’s time for a full meal, you can eat within an hour after class. Although eating a heavy meal before class may hinder your performance and make you feel unpleasant, your body will likely demand fuel after class. 

Remember to listen to your body throughout the day. Some folks may feel nauseous eating right after class, while others might begin to feel shaky or weak without eating. Every individual responds to hot yoga sessions and eating after class differently. 

So, it might take you a few sessions before you find the best time to eat after class. For some folks, this might be immediately after class, and for others, it might be about an hour after class. Base your eating schedule after class on how you feel, as it’s different for everyone.

What Should I Drink After Hot Yoga?

During a hot yoga class, most folks sweat profusely as a result of the exercise and heat combination. You’ll sweat out electrolytes throughout the class, and after class, you need to replenish your depleted stores. 

Although water will do the trick, it can take a while to completely replenish lost electrolytes. So, many nutritionists recommend adding electrolytes to your water after class. Alternatively, consider a sports drink with electrolytes. However, if you decide to go with a sports drink, pay attention to the sugar content, as this can further dehydrate you and derail your health goals.

Nutritionists recommend drinking a minimum of 20 ounces of water after class. This helps replace the fluids you burned through during class. Of course, you should stay hydrated throughout the day – 20 ounces throughout the entire day simply won’t cut it. 

Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day, including before and well after class is out. You’ll challenge your muscles throughout the class to move through different flows and hold various poses. Dehydration can cause muscle cramping after exercise, as our muscles become extremely sensitive and may spasm involuntarily without adequate fluid. 

So, while rehydrating after class is essential to replace lost electrolytes, it’s also critical to preventing muscle spasms and cramps. We don’t recommend drinking large amounts of water during class, as this can make you feel sick, but ensure to hydrate before and after class. 

How Do You Cool Down After Hot Yoga?

Perhaps you just finished an ultra-sweaty hot yoga class, and now it’s time to cool down. After the class concludes, you’ll probably still be sweaty and hot (considering the temperature in the room). So, you’ll need to bring your heart rate down and begin the cool-down process.

To start, leave the scorching room. Focus on hydration for a few minutes, working to replenish the lost electrolytes. If you feel your body needs an extra stretch, set up a mat in available space and move through a stretching routine. This will help decrease your heart rate, allowing you to cool off. 

After your heart rate comes down from its peak and you feel sufficiently cooled down, it’s a good time to shower. Many hot yoga studios have showers and lockers for students to use before and after class, so you might not even need to go home for a quick rinse. If you’re unsure whether the studio has showers for students to use, check with your yoga instructor. 

Clean the sweat from your skin, then moisturize once you get out of the shower. 

By now, you should feel considerably cooler and more refreshed than you did right after class. Now, you can move on with the rest of your day, but remember to hydrate and refuel!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I Eat Before Hot Yoga?

Hot yoga classes, such as the grueling Bikram yoga sessions, challenge your body to perform in sweltering temperatures. While refueling and replenishing your body after the 90-minute class is essential, you should remember to fuel up before class. 

It’s best to stick with a light snack that will give you the energy you need to push through the class. Ideally, you should eat a small meal or snack containing a simple carbohydrate and lean protein. These are easy to digest, giving you the energy you’ll need without bogging you down or making you feel sick. 

Examples of these snacks may include:

  • Small portion of oatmeal with walnuts, skim milk, and grapes
  • Fruit with a low-fat yogurt smoothie and low-fat granola
  • Egg whites with whole wheat toast and fruit juice

You can tailor your snack to meet your meal preferences – if you’re not at home, you might opt for a low-fat smoothie with a touch of protein from a local juice and smoothie company.