4 Drinks That Hurt Yoga Practice – and 3 to Improve it
Any yogi understands there’s no one right way to do yoga – that’s why it’s call a practice.
It’s the same with our diet – bio-individuality is a food philosophy that means there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to nutrition.
However, there are certain foods and drinks that will disrupt anyone’s practice.
4 Key drinks to avoid
1. Soft drinks
Loaded with sugar, these negatively affect your performance by causing energy slumps, bloating, brain fog and weight gain. And diet drinks with artificial sweeteners aren’t any better, causing poor gut health, sugar cravings, mood fluctuations and digestive issues.
For most people coffee is fine is small doses – 1 to 2 cups (or shots of espresso) per day has benefits including lower rates of cognitive decline, lowered inflammation and protection against sun damage. However, excess consumption of caffeine causes jitters, nausea, rapid heartbeat and muscle aches. Additionally, added extras in takeaway coffee often make it unhealthy like cow’s milk, artificial sweeteners, syrups and flavours (high in sugar).
While encouraged by nutritional authorities as a good course of calcium, the newest research shows many reasons why dairy is not good for humans. Its proteins and sugars (including lactose and casein) are common allergens that can aggravate asthma, allergies, headaches, sinus problems and weakened bones. It also affects our joints, which is not good for our flexibility.
No surprises here! Alcohol takes a significant toll on health – for your practice, this means lethargy, fatigue, reduced energy and stamina, and lack of mental clarity. Not to mention that a yoga class with a hangover is just not fun. If you do like a drink, best choices are red wine (look for organic, bio-dynamic or natural wines), vodka with soda water, and spirits on the rocks.
Complete list of drinks to avoid
To perform your best and for overall better health, this is our comprehensive list of drinks to avoid:
Soft drinks, including ‘diet’, ‘lite’ and ‘zero calorie’ soft drinks
Tonic water – basically a soft drink (it has just as much sugar)
Artificial sweeteners – including aspartame (sold as Equal, NutraSweet and SilvaSpoon), saccharin (Sweetex and Hermesetas) and sucralose (Splenda)
Bottled fruit juice – high in sugar, plus and the vitamins and minerals normally associated with fruit are almost entirely eliminated during the manufacturing process
Sports drinks like Gatorade
Energy drinks like Red Bull, V and Monster
Take-away coffee with cow’s milk, sugar, sweeteners, syrups and flavours
Smoothies with cow’s milk or yoghurt
All types of cow’s milk – including skim/skinny/low-fat/skimmed
Cocktails – made with sugary syrups
Spirits with mixers (soft drinks)
Beer – high in carbohydrates
Prosecco and white wine – higher in sugar than red wine
Best drinks for your practice
The good news is, there are drinks that will see you bursting with energy, clarity and focus instead! They are:
1. Before: Green juice
30 to 60 minutes before your class, have a vegetable-based green juice. We like the combination of spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon and green apple.
2. During: Coconut water
Coconut water is loaded with electrolytes – the minerals lost during strenuous activity – making it the perfect choice during a vinyasa class.
3. After: A non-dairy smoothie
After class, replenish with a non-dairy smoothie using ingredients like banana, avocado (for ultra creaminess), spinach, berries and chia seeds.
Have you noticed any health benefits when you exclude or include particular drinks?
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