Hot yoga isn’t necessarily new, but it’s increased in popularity over the last few years for a variety of reasons. It increases the intensity of traditional yoga by using a heated room that can range from 90-108 degrees.
Some of the biggest benefits of hot yoga include reduced stress, greater calorie burn, and improved flexibility. People try out these classes for different reasons and can experience various perks. However, one thing almost everyone experiences is sweat.
A lot of it.
You can lose up to two liters of sweat in a single hot yoga session. Not only does that purge your body of a lot of water, but a lot of essential nutrients, including sodium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.
Because of this, hot yoga enthusiasts can be prone to dehydration, leading to potential health risks.
Whether you’re getting into hot yoga for the first time or you attend sessions every week, staying properly hydrated is crucial to your health and well-being. So, how can you make sure you’re replenishing your body with what it needs after a sweaty session?
Go Beyond Water
Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after a hot yoga session is important. If that’s all you have available, it’s absolutely fine and will keep you from getting dehydrated. However, because you can lose so many essential nutrients during a hot yoga session, you should first ensure that you’re drinking high-quality water. Poor-quality water can contain heavy metals and minerals that could be damaging to your health and make you feel worse. Choose filtered water or bottled water from a brand you trust.
You can also add things to your water to provide an extra “boost.” Adding electrolytes, for example, will make it easier for your body to transport nutrients and will balance your pH levels faster, making you feel more hydrated without having to drink so much.
Adding electrolyte powder is a great way to ensure you’re giving your body what it needs. You can also purchase sports drinks with electrolytes, but be sure to read the labels. Many of them contain large amounts of sugar, which can offset the benefits of your workout.
No matter how you feel after a hot yoga session, it’s vital to hydrate as much as possible before you continue with your day. While carrying a water bottle around with you is great, it’s also easy to get distracted and “ignore” the fact that you should be drinking at least 20 ounces to replace what you lost in class.
To make it easier to refuel and replenish your body, consider “eating” your water. There are plenty of foods that help you stay hydrated, including
Any of these options make great post-workout snacks. They’ll boost your hydration level and give you the added benefit of additional vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates your body lost through sweat.
It’s often easier to remember to eat something after working out than it is to sip on water all day. So, whether you’re going home after hot yoga or heading to work, most of the options listed here are easy to eat on the go or pack up for later.
Know the Signs of Dehydration
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might push yourself too far and not rehydrate properly enough. One of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe is to understand some of the common signs of dehydration. They include
Some people may be more susceptible to health issues if they’re dehydrated, including seniors. Older individuals need to be especially aware of dehydration signs before, during, and after a hot yoga session. Things like weakness and confusion can be clear signs, but lasting dehydration can lead to kidney and bladder problems, as well as cardiovascular issues in seniors. If you’re retirement age and taking hot yoga classes, make hydration your top priority.
There’s an old saying that suggests if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Don’t wait until you can’t live without a drink to reach for your water bottle. Hot yoga isn’t always easy, and it’s meant to be a challenge. However, yoga is meant to help with balance and restoration. Don’t hold back on taking a drink or two during your sessions to keep yourself healthy and focused.
Even on days when you don’t do hot yoga, you should have hydration in mind. It can take a while for your body to fully recover. So, choose a lifestyle that focuses heavily on drinking plenty of water (and other fluids), and eating foods with high water content every day.
When you keep yourself hydrated, you can enjoy all of the wonderful benefits hot yoga has to offer while you sweat away your stress and improve your health.
By Katie Brenneman
Try practicing hot yoga from the comfort of your own home. You can make this possible with a heater, or outside on a hot day!
Class Hot Yoga Series with Cicily Carter
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