Staying properly hydrated is always important for optimum health, especially in a warm climate like Texas. When undertaking a hot yoga practice, especially with Dallas hot yoga, please make sure to stay well hydrated both inside our studio and during the rest of the day. Our bodies can expend up to 3 liters of water during a single hot yoga class!
It is generally recommended that adults drink at least 2/3 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. This is your “hydration baseline,” the minimum you should be drinking on a day when you do not practice hot yoga. Drink water regularly throughout the day to stay properly hydrated. Don’t just wait until you feel thirsty – thirst is, itself, a sign of dehydration.
If you consume drinks that contain caffeine (such as coffee or tea) or any alcohol beverage, add an equal amount of water to your daily total to counteract the diuretic effects of these drinks. In other words, if you drink about 12 ounces of coffee in the morning (about the size of your average mug) then add 12 ounces of water to your “hydration baseline” total for that day. You would need to consume 2/3 ounce of water per pound of body weight plus another 12 ounces to account for the caffeine in a day to remain properly hydrated.
Hydration before Class
The sustained heat and resulting sweat loss in a hot yoga class mean that you’ll need to take in more water on the days you practice hot yoga. Drink at least an extra 16 ounces of water about two hours before you begin your hot yoga class. You can drink a smaller amount – around 10 ounces – about 20 minutes before class. Filling your belly with water just before starting class can cause discomfort (or a need to interrupt your practice to visit the bathroom) so please avoid trying to cram your daily hydration baseline into the final few minutes before class.
Hydration During Class
You can and should bring water into our Dallas hot yoga studio. Water should be sipped, not gulped, during class. Keep your water intake to one-quarter liter per 15 minutes during class, as it can provide a distraction from your focus during the practice. Drink only between postures, not while the class is in the middle of practicing an asana, so that you minimize distraction of both yourself and fellow students. If you are dizzy or overheated, sit or lie down on your mat, take a few sips of water, and focus on regaining control of your breathing.
Hydration After Class
At Sunstone Yoga, we recommend that you drink at least 32 ounces of water (above your hydration baseline) after a hot yoga class – but only after your core temperature has come down and your heart rate and respiration have returned to normal. Gulping water just after class, while your body is still warm, can result in an upset stomach. Drinking a few sips as you leave the studio can help you recover more quickly, but resist the urge to down your entire water bottle until you’ve had a little time to adjust to temperatures outside the studio.
Other Ways to Hydrate
Proper hydration is about more than water intake. As your body begins to adjust to hot yoga, the heat stress of classes can throw your electrolytes out of balance. We sell electrolyte Power Paks in all of our studios, made with Stevia by TraceMinerals. Just add water. Other electrolyte gels formulated for athletes can also readjust your electrolyte balance, but drink them sparingly. They do contain added sugars and calories and may actually further dehydrate an athlete if overused.
Sports drinks can also improve your electrolyte balance after class, but the same precautions apply. You can choose to drink a homemade solution of salt and lemon juice in water to create the same effect without the added sugars
Consider, too, that many fruits and vegetables have high water content. Eating fruits such as watermelons, apples, and grapes can aid in hydration, as can consuming vegetables such as salad greens, carrots – even eggplant! As a rule, consume more whole, unprocessed foods and forego processed, store-bought items that contain added salts. You’ll increase your daily hydration levels without trying and minimize your hydration baseline.
No matter how healthily you eat, remember to drink plenty of water in preparation for each hot yoga class, and drink more after class to help your body recover quickly. Treat hydration awareness as part of your yoga practice. Stay hydrated, and you’ll feel the benefits of our Dallas hot yoga more quickly and for longer between classes. Namaste!