Hydrating for yoga is an essential part before, during, and after your yoga sessions. While there are many advantages to working out on a regular basis, you can also damage your body if you become dehydrated. Pre-yoga hydration is essential to avoid stiffness and cramping. However, drinking too much water right before a yoga session may also lead to bloating. If you are unsure of the amount of water you should be drinking, consult your doctor before starting your yoga classes.
There are three popular kinds of yoga that we have incorporated into our daily lives; hot, aerial, and regular. Each have different demands and use different skills to complete. Staying hydrated through each will allow you to function at your best and keep your body healthy.
Hot yoga incorporates a hot room that ranges in temperature from 90 degrees Fahrenheit to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. That does not include the 40 percent humidity rate that you will also be subjected to. Being enclosed in this type of environment helps the body sweat, and sweating helps the body rid unwanted toxins. Hot yoga is largely linked to dehydration and its effects. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself down. If you are not properly hydrated, you run the risk of becoming over-heated. Hot yoga sessions have become very popular as a more extreme alternative to regular yoga, but be careful of the heat risks that may come along with it.
Aerial yoga combines the physical practice of yoga and elements of acrobatics. Silk material, which is suspended from the ceiling, is used to perform traditional poses in the air. To get the most out of this exercise, you want to stay hydrated leading up to your class. Doing so may alleviate any headaches that can come along from staying inverted for extended periods of time. Breathing is especially important during aerial yoga sessions as you may mistake a need for air as thirst. Before grabbing your water bottle, upright yourself and take a few deep breaths to determine what your body needs. Continuously drinking water throughout your aerial workout can do more harm than good.
Typically done in room temperature, about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, regular yoga is often what we think of when we hear about yoga. While the positions are usually the same to those used in hot yoga sessions, it is clear that regular yoga is more relaxed. You probably will not sweat as much and there is less risk of heat related illnesses in regular yoga. With that being said, hydrating for this yoga session is still important to keep your body in the best shape.
Guidelines for Hydration
The American Council on Exercise has provided the following guidelines to staying hydrated during your yoga sessions. These may change depending on things like your size, age, and what kind of yoga you are engaging in.
• Consume fluids at regular intervals throughout the course of normal daily activities.
• Drink 17–20 ounces of water or a decaffeinated beverage at least two hours prior to the class.
• Drink frequently and early, before the onset of thirst during exercise. The underlying goal is to match one’s sweat loss with fluid replacement.
• Measure body weight prior to exercise, and evaluate any change in body weight after class. Consume fluids to return body weight to normal. Drink 16–24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during exercise.
If hydration is not taken seriously, it may take a toll on your body. Feeling thirsty is the first step to dehydration and if not handled properly, may lead to severe consequences. Signs of dehydration include: confusion, dizziness, and even heatstroke when in high temperatures. While dehydration is a concern for yoga fanatics, over-hydrating can also pose a threat. The symptoms of over-hydration are similar to those of dehydration. One way to tell whether you are over-hydrated or dehydrated is the color of your urine. It should not be clear, but rather a pale yellow color. Keep this in mind when determining how much water to drink.
Water is essential to keep your body functioning. Perform better and live healthier by making water a regular part of your routine!