ashtanga yoga diet

The Ashtanga Yoga Diet: Simple Tips for Optimizing Your Health and Performance

One way to get even more out of your yoga practice is to have the proper diet. 

But what are the right food choices to complement your workout?

For many, protein is the first choice. But it isn’t the only type of food that works well with yoga.  

Questions about what to eat and when to eat it are bound to crop up at some point for anyone who practices yoga, and Ashtanga yoga in particular. How much? How little? What is most beneficial for me? When?

Here you’ll find an overview of the key parts of the Ashtanga yoga diet so you can decide if it’s right for you.

Ashtanga Yoga Diet Overview

Protein is a common pick, but it is not the only nutrition one should consume. A person performing Ashtanga yoga should eat a balanced meal.

First, many people who exercise frequently tend to sweat heavily. This causes the body to lose a great deal of water. Replacing that fluid is necessary in order to prevent dehydration. This is why drinking warm water or coconut water after practice is a vital part of this diet.

Ideally, you’ll want your meal to contain a wide variety of nutrients rather than relying solely on protein. This strengthens the body. Many people often avoid meat and other animal products after exercising. But a balanced diet is ideal for Ashtanga yoga or any other form of training.

Good Food Choices

Another good food choice is making a smoothie. A good list of ingredients includes almond milk, almonds, three to four dates, unflavored protein powder, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger.

Simply peel and chop your almonds and place them in a blender with the remaining ingredients. Pour into a cup and consume. You should accurately measure your ingredients and utilize small bits rather than large quantities. Additionally, avoid adding fruits, ice, and yogurt when preparing a smoothie.

Banana smoothies are a delicious and nourishing option to other smoothie options. One good recipe here includes 1 banana, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 inch of ginger, 3 dates, 1-1/2 cups of coconut milk, 1 handful of nuts, 1/2 cup of oats, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, and 15 grams of hemp protein (or any other whole food protein powder). Add all ingredients to a blender, and if necessary, add more nut milk.

Ashtanga Yoga Meal Plan Example

As to what you should consume before every workout, includes the following:

Apricots or datesThese help the practice get off to a good start.
NutsA combination of protein and fat to give you energy for practice.
OatsThese help the body burn muscle more efficiently for longer.
A smoothie containing chia seeds and coconut oil (among other things)The fat in chia seeds is burned as a carbohydrate, which makes it easier for the body to burn fat and coconut oil.

It’s best to wait 3–4 hours after eating before doing yoga. Ashtanga is usually done in the morning, so if you do it in the morning, you should do it on an empty stomach.

The main reason to practice yoga on an empty stomach is so that you don’t use up energy that should be going to digestion. Also, bending and twisting will probably feel very uncomfortable if you don’t give your body enough time to digest.

As for post-workout meals, these include: 

ProteinPulses, tofu, seeds and nutsEach pound of body weight needs 0.36 grams of protein.These will help the body make more proteins.
Carbohydrates Fruit, sweet potato, rice, dates and oatsGenerally, between 900 and 1,300 of the 2,000 calories we eat every day should come from carbs. That’s the same as eating 225–325 grams of carbs daily.These will help make up for the fuel we use up in our muscles when we work out.
FatsNut milk, avocado, chia seeds, salmon, and eggsGenerally, 20% to 35% of your calories should come from fat. So, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, you should get between 44 and 77 grams of fat each day.This will help your body burn fat.

You shouldn’t eat right away after working out. Instead, you should wait at least 15-20 minutes to give your body a chance to get some energy back since you used a lot of it while working out. Eating right after working out might not feel good or mess up your digestion, so it’s better to let your body rest for a few minutes.

So, there you go! An overview of the Ashtanga yoga diet.