By: Jamie Finnan, CorePower Yoga
If there is one piece of advice to give yogis everywhere, especially in the Arizona desert, it is to stay hydrated. Drink water early and drink it often. As humans, our bodies are made up of approximately 65% water and the bottom line is we need to replenish to survive. Our bodies typically lose water when going to the bathroom, sweating and even when breathing. This loss rapidly increases when the weather, and a hot yoga studio, increases in temperature.
On average, a person sweats between 24-47 fluid ounces per hour in a heated yoga class. At that rate, it’s important to make sure you are properly hydrated long before you take a yoga class.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to achieve proper hydration before, during and after class.
Begin your yoga practice in a well-hydrated state. A continuous consumption of water is highly recommended, with an emphasis on the two to three hours prior to class. Try to drink 20-40 ounces of water during this time frame. For an early morning class, properly hydrate right before bed and leave a full glass of water at your bedside. If you wake up at all, take a few gulps and head back to sleep. You may have to go to the bathroom more frequently, however your body will reap all the benefits during class.
Drink small amounts of fluids throughout class. On average, water takes anywhere from 5 to 120 minutes to absorb into the bloodstream, depending on how much food you have in your stomach. When drinking in class, it is typically to quench a thirst or take a break, rather than hydrate. So take small sips of water to avoid the “full” feeling while continuing on in class.
Consider a supplemental electrolyte drink. Our bodies lose much more than just water while sweating in class. Consider adding an electrolyte drink to help replace important minerals lost in sweat such as sodium and potassium. Whether it’s an electrolyte powder, coconut water, or an electrolyte infused water, consume your beverage of choice post-sweat.
Continue to hydrate long after class. Something to consider: if you are thirsty, then you are already dehydrated. Keep a water bottle on you at all times, drink when it is offered, and if you can’t remember when the last glass of water you’ve had was…it’s time to drink up. The key is to continuously be drinking water.
Invest in a reusable water bottle. Save money on purchased water, help reduce waste, save the environment and have a place to put that cool new yoga sticker. The benefits to purchasing your own reusable water bottle are endless. Bottom line, it will offer convenience and act as a reminder for you to drink some more water.