Most people have heard about the importance of hydration, and the need seems obvious during certain activities. Running, playing sports, Bikram yoga. But hydration is just as important if you are not going all-out in an extreme situation. Your yoga practice, and your body, can benefit substantially from proper hydration.
Importance of Hydration
Around 60% of your body is composed of water, so it makes a lot of sense to pay attention to how well hydrated you are. Your hydration levels are constantly going down through natural body processes, evaporation in the form of sweat, and urination. The more you exert yourself, the more of a drain you put on your hydration.
Most yoga practices involve a fair bit of movement, even if you are taking it easy. This means you need to hydrate to replenish what you are shedding. There are several healthy options for hydration, including:
The most obvious, but some of us need reminding to consume enough of this. Get a reusable water bottle and keep it with you all the time. This will encourage you to drink more water throughout the day, so you won't have to drink as much during and after your practice.
Many people consider this nature's sports drink. Coconut water is great for hydrating – even better than water in some circumstances. This is because it contains the full range of electrolytes that our bodies need, including phosphorus, calcium, potassium and sodium. It is much better balanced than most commercial sports drinks, because it does not have any added sugars or high fructose corn syrup.
Water is the ideal everyday drink for hydration, but most of the time it is missing some of the crucial electrolytes we need to rehydrate effectively. While many commercial sports drinks contain electrolytes, they often also include a lot of added sugar, high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners. They are also expensive to drink regularly.
Coconut water is preferable to sports drinks for health reasons, but it can also be costly to drink all the time. This is why people who workout regularly often purchase electrolyte packets to add to their water. These can be had for cheap, especially in bulk, and offer most of the same benefits as the more expensive hydration options.
Keep in mind, basic electrolyte options are not necessarily tasty. If you want something that tastes better, you can look for electrolyte options that include flavoring or non-calorie sweeteners.
Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing
Most modern sportswear is designed to pull moisture away from your body. This helps keep you cool when you are working out, drawing your sweat away from your body. The cooler you can keep your body, the less sweat you will produce, and the less dehydrated you will become.
Make Hydrating Second Nature
If you start adopting healthy hydration habits in your yoga practice now, they will soon become second nature. You will not have to think about getting enough water and electrolytes. Until then, take a little time and plan your hydration. Your body, and your practice, will benefit.
What is YOUR favorite way to hydrate? Comment below and share...
By: Alice Jennings (G+)