You’ll see many things at the beginning of a yoga class. Mats, blocks, and belts are all ready. And at one corner, there is always a water bottle. How important is a water bottle if the class lasts an hour or 90 minutes? Does it make sense to drink water before yoga? How much water should I drink after my practice?
We’re a nation that drinks a lot of water. Health experts have urged us to drink 8-ounce glasses daily for years. We bring water to work, bike rides, and the car. Do we need a bottle of water at the ready just for a vinyasa session? A marathon is one thing, but a quick vinyasa practice may be optional.
Water bottles should not be used during yoga. It may seem strange not to drink water when practicing yoga, but water has many physical and energetic benefits. Maintaining a regular practice of yoga while maximizing hydration is a delicate balance.
How much water should you drink in general
The most straightforward water advice is to drink only when you are thirsty. While helpful, this advice is often overly simplistic, as thirst indicates that your body may be dehydrated. Previously, eight glasses of drinking water per day were recommended. Now, most health advisors understand that different individuals need different amounts of water depending on various factors, including gender, body type, lifestyle, and environment. People who are active or live in a hot, dry, or high-altitude environment need more water. Men are more likely to require more water than females. You can calculate the water you need by considering your food and drink intake.
Your body will tell you if you need to drink more water. Light-headedness or headaches, or dryness in the mouth, lips, skin, or eyes can all be signs that you need to increase your water consumption. Constipation, dark urine, or infrequent urination are all signs that you need to drink more water. Lack of sweat and cramps are signs of dehydration.
It is possible to drink too much or too fast. This can deplete your body’s electrolytes to digest food properly and stay hydrated. Clear urine, frequent urination, and excess mucus are all signs of excessive drinking. You may also experience bloating and abdominal weight if drinking too much water.
Ayurvedic Drinking Water Tips
You may still be thirsty even after drinking a lot of water. This could mean that your body doesn’t absorb it well. Ayurveda recommends drinking water in specific ways to ensure optimal hydration.
Do not drink cold water, even though it may be tempting. Cold waters are harmful to the concept of agni. This is the digestive heat we need to circulate the life force energy throughout our body. Ayurveda expert Dr. Vasant Lad even goes as far as to say that cold water is poison for the digestive system. Warm water is even better. Boiling the water will stimulate digestion and circulation. This makes it easier for you to absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. Ayurveda recommends drinking water in the morning (about a liter). Sip slowly in a seated posture to get maximum absorption.
Water and yoga: When should you drink it
You won’t need to hydrate your body during yoga if you drink warm water every morning, before meals (not after), and periodically throughout the day. When taking a high-energy yoga class, it is essential to stay hydrated by slowly consuming eight ounces of water 30 minutes before the class. Avoid drinking water before or during the course. Water consumption before or during practice can also affect our energy body. According to one theory, drinking water during yoga is like pouring water into our inner fire while we are trying to build it.
We often confuse the need for air with a thirst for water when doing strenuous exercise. I find myself distracted by imaginary “thirsts” during my asana practices. This is a great way to practice tapas or self-discipline. We can build strength and transform ourselves by resisting the urge to drink water. Check-in with yourself if you feel thirsty while doing yoga.
Drinking water in Hot Yoga
Hot Yoga Classes pose different considerations.
You can expect a lot of heat to be generated at that temperature. In addition to the room temperature, your body will generate heat internally during asanas. A few dozen downward-facing dogs, warriors, and handstands can give yoga an ego-pleasing sweat drench in a hot environment. As it attempts to cool you, the sweat is a good thing. But if the temperature in the room is high, this could lead to heat exhaustion or dehydration. Our breath also causes us to lose fluids. If yogis are not adequately hydrated, it is not uncommon to experience dizziness or even fainting in a Hot Yoga class.
If you are going to a hot yoga class, you should hydrate yourself before you go. Drink plenty of water the day before hot yoga to prevent feeling faint when you begin to sweat. You’ll be unable to provide your body with enough fluids and electrolytes if you wait until the last minute or in the middle of a sequence. Drink water mindfully in class. Sip your water slowly instead of gulping it.
According to sports performance research, losing even two percent of body weight can reduce performance by as much as 25 percent. You will lose mental sharpness and the ability to perform asanas at their best if you continue to do so. A higher percentage can be life-threatening. Two percent of body liquid is not much for a 120-pound yoga practitioner who has eaten lightly for the majority of the day to be able to go into class on an empty stomach.
Drink plenty of fluids before a hot yoga session. Choose water, clear juices, or nutrient-rich drinks. Sports drinks are also a good choice. Include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your daily diet. Drink plenty of water after any class to rehydrate.