During yoga, the body is stretched and exercised, and a practitioner may become thirsty and want to drink water. This may lead one to wonder whether it is best practice to drink during a yoga session.
Should I Drink Water During Yoga Practice? It is best to drink water before or after yoga practice. Your body heats up during practice and this heat has health benefits, but those benefits may be diminished by the coolness of water. Excessive thirst during practice may indicate dehydration.
Water and staying hydrated are essential for bodily health and improving at yoga. In this article, we will examine when the best time to drink water during yoga is. We will also cover the benefits provided by waiting to drink, and the proper temperature of water to drink after practice.
Water Should be Drunk Before or After Practice
During yoga practice, it is common to wait to drink water until after the practice is over. Likewise, it is also generally understood to drink water around 30 minutes before class or practice, but not to drink directly before. This is because stretches place pressure on the abdomen, and unsettled water may cause an upset stomach.
Whether you are practicing alone or participating in a class, drinking water during the yoga session can be quite distracting. Yoga sequences require the practitioner to maintain a sense of flow to their movements, as well as a concentration on the body. Drinking water can cause both aural and visual distractions that disrupt a person’s flow and concentration.
Hydration is Key to a Good Practice
If you are becoming so thirsty during yoga practice that you have to drink during the session, it could be an indicator that your body is not receiving enough hydration throughout the day. According to Manna Hydration, dehydration can cause nausea, vomiting, and other gastro-intestinal problems, making your body unable to properly push forward effort during practice.
It is important to be conscious of how much water you are drinking throughout the day. According to WebMD, average adult men should be drinking around 13 cups of water per day and average adult women should have around 9 cups. Pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding need closer to 10 -12 cups per day.
If a lot of time is spent in hot conditions, the body will sweat out more water. This means the amount of water needed per day will increase. During yoga, the body heats up and most people sweat. Thus, a consistent and regular yoga practice may cause a person to need to drink more water throughout the day.
In order to improve your yoga skills and abilities, maintaining a well hydrated body is a must. This will help you to safely push your body further during practice. Plus, proper hydration is a necessity not just for yoga but for a person’s overall health and ability to focus.
Listen to the Body’s Needs
If you are practicing yoga and the thirst is so overwhelming you cannot concentrate on the task at hand, it is best to just go ahead and drink. While the general rule may be to wait to drink, a person should still listen to their body and be aware of thirst levels. Allowing yourself to get too thirsty can result in light-headedness and nausea.
However, a person should be aware of their own wellness and listen to their body throughout the day, not just during practice. Yoga is a great way to get in touch with yourself and can help you to identify bodily issues with more ease. People should be considering their thirst and hydration levels throughout the day, not just during times of exercise.
If you notice you have not been drinking enough water in the day, but have a yoga practice coming up, try to drink a few cups at least 30 minutes to an hour before practice. This will help to provide your body with some hydration to rely on during the session.
Waiting to Drink has Health Benefits
Waiting until after yoga practice to drink water has its own health benefits. This is because it is beneficial to not interrupt your body while it is going through the yoga sequences. By allowing yourself to complete an uninterrupted session, your body reaps more of the rewards that yoga offers.
According to the American Osteopathic Association, yoga helps not only with flexibility and strength but also with respiration, energy, vitality, metabolism regulation, and cardiovascular health. The practice can also offer mental benefits including stress reduction, improved concentration, sleeping problems, and even drug abuse.
The best results of yoga are achieved when the body and mind stay focused throughout the practice. Therefore, drinking water in the middle of a session is not recommended as it can be highly disruptive and lessen the benefits of the practice.
Yoga Heats Up the Body
The practice of yoga relies not only on the physical body, but the practitioner’s mental state and energy. Throughout the practice, an energy within the body known as prana is built up over time, according to Do You Yoga. This energy can be affected and essentially awakened thanks to the flow of blood in the body that helps to produce heat. In turn, this heat helps the body to boost cardiovascular health and metabolism, as well as reducing blood glucose levels and nourishing the skin.
Maintaining Flow is Key
Part of building up heat and prana, or the pranic body, in yoga is an uninterrupted flow of movement. Yoga sequences are designed to be followed continuously, as each pose moves into the next fluidly. The flow of yoga also teaches the body to be in tune with itself, making it easier for the person to identify when bodily problems or inconsistencies arise.
By stopping to drink water in the middle of practice, the flow that has been built up is broken apart. Once you have rejoined or continued your practice, you may not have the center of focus left to continue where you left off. This can make it harder to follow the pose sequence, drawing too much attention to what moves come next rather than focusing on the clearing of the mind.
Consider the Water’s Temperature
Once you have completed your practice, it may be best not to drink immediately after. This is so the heat and energy you built up isn’t immediately swept away by cold water. Cold water directly after practice can confuse the body and diminish the benefits that were worked for through the flow.
Therefore, it is not a bad idea to wait at least 10 – 15 minutes after completing a session to drink water. Of course, the body needs to be rehydrated after sweating and expending energy, so do not put off drinking for too long after practice.
Drink Warm Water after Practice
It may actually be beneficial to drink directly after practice if the water is warm. Warm water can help to maintain the heat that was built up in the body during practice and further boost benefits such as improved metabolism. Adding lemon wedges, mint, or other fruit or herbs to the warm water can also help to boost immune health and help the body recover from physical exhaustion.
Drinking water regularly helps the body to be pushed to its full extent and potential during yoga practice. However, drinking during the session is disruptive to the body’s flow and the build up of energy and heat. Therefore, it is best to drink only before and after a practice.