Drinking 7–8 glasses of pure water every day is ideal for optimal health, according to Ayurveda, but there's more to staying adequately hydrated than just drinking plain water. Read on for 4 tips to help you quench your thirst and meet your H2O needs, before and after yoga class.
1. Eat your water.
Being adequately hydrated helps your metabolism run at its optimal level, Catherine Guthrie reports in Yoga Journal’s 6 Myths About Drinking Water, and eating the right foods can help you get there. Fruits, vegetables, soups, and grains have a high water content, particularly lettuce, broccoli, grapefruit, carrot, apple, spaghetti (cooked), watermelon, and skim milk.
Produce is also rich in potassium, which helps restore and maintain electrolyte balance, thereby preventing dehydration. To make sure you get enough of this essential mineral in your diet, eat plenty of cucumbers, bananas, fennel, shelled edamame, and cooked garbanzo beans, Karen Ansel reports in Yoga Journal's 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Grab a Snack. For a hydrating snack, try a fluid-rich 6-ounce container of plain low-fat Greek yogurt with 1 cup berries, or 1/4 cup hummus with a sliced cucumber, which can provide 1o–11 ounces of water.
The trick to staying adequately hydrated is avoiding becoming thirsty to begin with, as thirst can be a signal of dehydration. If you're heading to yoga class -- particularly a super sweaty hot yoga class -- make sure you drink up before you arrive. "Hydration pre-yoga is essential to avoid stiffness and cramping,” Kara Lydon, RD, a Boston-based nutritionist and yoga instructor, tells Yoga Journal. But don’t down a bottle of water right before class begins, she warns, or you may end up feeling bloated during practice. Instead, slowly sip 16 ounces of water during the hour before class.
Think you're done hydrating when you walk out of class? Think again! Rehydration is just as important as pre-hydration, especially if you've just completed a hot yoga class. Katie Cavuto, RD, a nutritionist in Philadelphia, recommends drinking at least 20 ounces of water after class to replace lost fluids. Read more about what to eat and drink before and after yoga class.
4. "Spike" your drink.
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