Yoga Before Or After Breakfast?

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Woman in red tops doing yoga outside - Yoga Before Or After Breakfast?

Some resources for losing weight and toning your muscles suggest that you should work out first thing in the morning before you eat anything, but what about yoga?

The truth is that you can eat breakfast before or after a yoga session with similar results since it varies from person to person. However, some evidence suggests that eating breakfast before doing yoga is better than having breakfast afterward.

Read on to learn more about when and why you should eat for the best yoga practice you can have.


Is it Good to do Yoga First Thing in the Morning?

Doing yoga first thing in the morning can be a good thing. This is particularly true when yoga is practiced between 5 and 7 AM, the times when the sun starts to rise most often.

This is because your muscles are already relaxed from being asleep, but both the mind and body quickly become active after waking up. If you practice outside, you will find the air to be fresher during these times and the atmosphere to be quieter and cooler as well.

All of these things can benefit your yoga session, especially if you want the physical benefits of yoga more than the spiritual or mindful ones.


Why is Yoga After Breakfast Better?

There is nothing wrong with performing yoga before you eat breakfast. However, there are benefits to having a light breakfast and practicing yoga afterward.

You should eat breakfast before doing yoga because you need enough energy to properly carry out your yoga session.

Another reason why many people choose to eat breakfast first is that they can feel dizzy or light-headed during yoga if they don’t have something to eat first. This doesn’t mean you should eat a large breakfast or foods that are calorie-dense, though.


How Long After Breakfast Should You Do Yoga?

Trying to do yoga right after eating is not usually a good idea. This is because your body needs time to digest your foods and give you the benefits of what you consume.

You can also upset your stomach or cause similar digestive issues like bloating when you stretch and twist during yoga if you don’t wait a sufficient enough time after eating.

Some resources suggest waiting 4-6 hours after eating to perform yoga, but you may notice that this practice takes you to the next meal time or well after the calm morning hours.

So you are probably safe waiting just an hour or two and practicing mindfulness during this time instead.


What Sort of Breakfast Should You Have?

You should aim to eat a light breakfast, enough that you will have the energy for yoga. This means just a piece of fruit or two or some wholesome and hearty whole grains.

The most important thing is that you avoid eating so much that you feel heavy, bloated, or tired because this will affect your yoga. Other ideas for foods you can consume before yoga include:


  • Low-fat yogurt, like Greek yogurt
  • A light, fruity smoothie
  • A handful of hearty nuts
  • Complex carbohydrates like oatmeal
  • Simple cereals without added sugar


Foods You Should Avoid Before Yoga

Aside from avoiding a large, heavy breakfast, there are many foods that you should avoid eating before yoga so that you are ready to center your mind and body. These kinds of foods include:


  • Fried foods like some forms of eggs and breakfast meats
  • Foods high in sugar, like kids’ cereals and donuts
  • Caffeinated drinks like coffee and energy drinks
  • Acidic foods like things with vinegar or citrus fruits (including the orange juice)


All of these foods and drinks can upset your stomach as you do yoga, so it’s best to avoid them altogether, but if you must have them consume them in small amounts.


Final Thoughts on Yoga Before Or After Breakfast

While there are benefits to eating breakfast before doing yoga, you can err on the side of caution and practice before breakfast. If you choose this option, you should be in tune with your body and know that you won’t get dizzy or sick from not eating beforehand.

You can also eat a large dinner the night before if you wish to wake up early and practice yoga without eating breakfast because this should provide you with energy without having anything in your stomach.