What’s more, according to Dr. Rudy Gehrman, DC, Physio Logic’s executive director and founder, and clinical nutritionist Michelle Miller, MSACN, that slow burn from an easy-going yoga practice is actually going to make you hungrier than more intense exercises. Apparently, when you’re, say, running on a treadmill, cycling, or running laps, your blood is going to redirect its flow toward the areas that are being worked, like your heart, lungs, and muscles. Because of this, Gehrman and Miller tell Elite Daily, your body isn’t going to want you to eat immediately after a workout.
But after something a little more slow-moving like yoga, the goal is to stabilize your blood sugar levels, hydrate, and pack in the protein.
Now, if you’re anything like me, chances are, after a workout, all the hangry feels blind you to anything related to nutrition. I’ll admit, I’ve helped myself to plenty of post-workout meals and snacks that weren’t exactly “healthy,” but you can bet they were super delicious. Still, it’s in your best interest to have some semblance of self-control and wait for the blinders to come off, so you can make smart decisions about what to snack on because, unfortunately, a scoop of ice cream after hot yoga might cool you down, but it won’t do much for your muscles.
So what should you eat after yoga? Well, according to Keri Gans, RDN, a certified yoga teacher and author of the book The Small Change Diet, the goal is to refuel with a meal or snack that includes two things: carbs and protein. “Any snack or meal post-practice should consist of carbohydrates and protein for replenishing glycogen stores and muscle mass,” she tells Elite Daily. “In other words, carbs for energy, and protein for muscle repair and building.” It’s no pint of Ben & Jerrys, but I think this combo is doable, don’t you?
So basically, this rule of thumb goes for any meal or snack, no matter what time of day you practice yoga. For example, Gans suggests grabbing yogurt topped with berries, or apple slices and almond butter for a snack, avo toast and egg for breakfast, a green salad with shrimp for lunch, and a whole wheat pasta salad with beans for dinner. As long as you have a balance of carbs, proteins, and a ton of essential vitamins and nutrients on your plate, you’re golden.