American Academy For Yoga in Medicine

The  Power of Hydration in Your Hot Yoga Practice

“Make sure you drink lots of water.” It’s a common refrain at Yoga Fever as you wrap up your mat after class. Yet, despite hearing this reminder frequently, many students still find themselves dehydrated during hot yoga sessions. This raises important questions: What’s the best way to hydrate? How do you know if you’ve had enough water? What signs indicate dehydration?

In our heated yoga studio, symptoms like tiredness, dizziness, cramped muscles, or a lack of sweat – even in the intense heat – can indicate dehydration. While it’s normal for newbies to take a few classes to acclimate to the heat, persistent struggles may signal insufficient hydration.

We’ve previously discussed the importance of nourishing your body before hot yoga, but let’s dive deeper into the critical role of hydration.

Prepping for Your Hot Yoga Class

Arrive at the hot yoga studio already hydrated. Trying to catch up on hydration once you’re in the room is challenging, as it takes your body about 45 minutes to process water. Proper hydration before yoga helps prevent stiffness and cramping. Ideally, the water you bring to class should serve as a refreshing boost, not a desperate attempt to hydrate.

After class, make sure to replenish the fluids you’ve lost. Nutritionists recommend drinking at least 20 ounces of water post-class to replace lost fluids.

Sneaky Tips for Proper Hydration

In hot yoga, water alone isn’t enough; you need a balance of water and electrolytes. However, not all electrolyte options are created equal. Many sports drinks contain excessive sodium and sugar. Instead, consider coconut water. With five key electrolytes, vitamins, and potassium, it’s an ideal choice. Fun fact: coconut water is so similar to blood plasma that it can be used as intravenous fluid in emergency transfusions.

Another way to stay hydrated is by eating your water. Certain fruits and vegetables, like lettuce, broccoli, grapefruit, cucumber, and watermelon, are high in water content and can help boost your hydration levels.

If plain water becomes boring, add a twist of flavor. Natural additions like cucumbers, oranges, or lemons can enhance your water, or you can opt for flavored powders.

Take the Hydration Challenge

I challenge each of you to embark on a personal hydration challenge. Sip on water throughout the day, even when you’re not thirsty. Refill your reusable bottle as soon as it’s empty. Slowly drink a bottle of water in the hour leading up to yoga class and another within 30 minutes after class. Stock up on water-rich produce and see how your yoga practice transforms over the course of a week.

By prioritizing hydration, you’ll not only enhance your hot yoga experience but also support your overall health and well-being. So, bottoms up – here’s to staying hydrated and thriving on and off the mat!

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