The Top 5 Supplements for Your Yoga Practice
It’s no secret that yoga is amazing for the body, mind, and spirit, but are you supporting your body and getting the most out of your practice?
If you’re looking to elevate your yoga practice, these five supplements can help you get more out of your next class!
Protein is essential. It helps maintain muscle mass, it supports energy levels and healthy immune function, and it helps support a healthy body weight.
Our daily protein requirements depend on our age, activity level, and body composition.
The recommendation in Canada is 0.8g per kg of body weight if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Active people can double that!
Taking a protein supplement used to be associated with serious athletes, but an increasing number of yoga practitioners are using protein powder to nourish and strengthen their bodies after practice.
Many yogis are vegan or vegetarian, others are trying to increase the proportion of plants to animals in their diet, which can make getting enough complete protein daily a bit more challenging. A protein is “complete” if it contains all nine essential amino acids (the ones that our bodies can’t make). Adding a scoop of protein powder to a smoothie is an easy way to do that!
Yoga is a low impact activity and pretty easy on your joints. But when it comes to joint health, it’s always a good idea to be proactive. Our joints naturally lose their resiliency over time with wear and tear. When the cartilage wears down, that bone on bone contact that leads to pain, stiffness, inflammation, and osteoarthritis. And that makes vinyasa a lot less fun.
Turmeric + Boswellia
Turmeric, often referred to as Curcumin, is a bright yellowy-orange root featured extensively in both Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Turmeric is a potent antioxidant offering anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, wound healing support, and support for liver health, respiratory, and gastrointestinal issues.
Try to include more turmeric in your diet – cook with it, add to smoothies, and enjoy a turmeric latte! However, a daily supplement ensures you get a standardized dosage consistently! And it’s great for those who are busy and on-the-go!
You probably know that yoga is not all about laying around on pillows! An intense vinyasa, power, or hot yoga class activates lots of muscle groups, requires strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination.
We ask a lot of our bodies, and yet we often end our practice with plain water. But when we sweat, we lose electrolytes, and water alone won’t replace them as effectively as supplementing with electrolytes.
Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge; these include potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium. They play an important role in muscular and nervous functions.
If your electrolyte balance is off after intense exercise or dehydration, you may experience:
- Muscular weakness, spasms and twitches
- Painful joints
- Poor concentration
- Irregular heartbeats
A sports drink for yoga?
There is a reason many athletes consume sports drinks regularly. An electrolyte replacement drink is the most effective way to replenish lost electrolytes and support recovery. We love After Practice Replenish & Repair during or after a sweaty class! It contains electrolytes, coconut water, and two vegan amino acids that support muscle recovery! All without sugar, calories, or artificial sweeteners.
Superfoods get a lot of buzz, and for good reason. They’re nutrient-dense and healthy! Think dark, green leafy and cruciferous veggies, berries, and sources of good fats like nuts and fish.
Superfoods can also help energize your yoga practice, though a big salad and green smoothie before class won’t make those forward bends and twists very comfortable.
This is where a powdered supplement can help. A light serving of greens like wheat grass, barley grass, and spinach can help alkalize your body prior to practice, while beetroot, grapeseed, choline cocoa extract, and MCT oil help with circulation and energizing your flow naturally.
Stress has always been a normal part of life, and our bodies were biologically designed to respond to, and deal with short periods of intense stress. But modern stress is very different – it’s chronic, so our adrenals, which are responsible for excreting stress response hormones, can get to an “always on” state, which is not good.
Chronically elevated stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, lead to many health issues: poor sleep, anxiety, burnout, and depression. This is your body telling you something has to change. Reducing stress is the best option but it’s not always possible. Making time for yoga, especially restorative or yin type practices, taking a walk, practicing deep breathing, and taking time away from your smart phone are all wise steps.
Reducing Stress Off the Mat
However, there is a supplement that can help! Adaptogenic herbs work with the brain and adrenal glands to help build endurance, stamina, and reduce physical and mental fatigue. Adaptogens also improve your reaction to stress.
Instead of feeling panicked, tearful, or just plain out of sorts, adaptogens help you feel calmer, focused and in control. Popular and well-researched adaptogenic herbs include: Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Holy Basil, Ginseng, Schizhandra and Bacopa.
Yoga gives us so much; we couldn’t imagine life without it! Give your body a little extra love and see if you notice a difference in how you feel – on and off the mat!