Have you ever wondered – should I take a protein shake before yoga?
The answer is yes if you haven’t already taken the needed protein for the day! Many people follow a yoga diet plan when practicing yoga because, as with every exercise, it burns calories and it requires some nutrition to have a positive effect on the body.
Okay, but what if you are not following a Hatha yoga diet, but you still want to get enough nutrition and proteins? Then you are in the right place, and we will share all the needed information with you today!
How much protein do you need?
Protein is essential for immune function, muscle mass, weight control, and good energy levels. Furthermore, it is required for all enzyme activity, detoxification, and basic body maintenance.
Most often, protein is associated with fitness workouts, growing muscles, and lifting weights. However, more and more yoga practitioners realize that they also need a proper amount of protein, and they add protein shakes to their plan for yoga nutrition.
This is one great decision since yoga is a way of exercising and requires a proper protein intake. But how do you ensure you take the exact amount you need, not too much or less than required?
Dietary Reference Intake says that 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight are the perfect amount each of us should take. Considering those guidelines, the average woman needs around 45 grams daily, while the average man – 56.
Okay, but when you are active, in this case when you are practicing yoga – you definitely need more protein for your muscles and immune system.
So, the most active yogis need around 100 grams of protein per day. This does not mean that you need 100 grams of the food. It means you need a portion of food or a protein shake that will give your body those 100 grams of protein for the day.
Taking enough protein will significantly affect your body – you will restore faster after a challenging yoga workout, your energy levels will be recharged more quickly, and the muscle breakdown will be gone in a day!
Signs that you are not taking enough protein
Are you wondering if you take enough protein? Well, your body tells you everything you need to know.
Protein is required for keeping the muscles from being too sore after working out, it is needed for building stamina and strength, and of course – it is necessary for higher energy levels.
If you wake up in the morning and feel like you want to go back to sleep like you can sleep all day long, this is one sign that your body needs more protein. If you practice asana yoga, run, or lift weights, but your body feels like it will burn out before it is allowed to, you definitely need to add more protein to your diet.
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Your body will also tell you that it needs more protein if the results are not visible. If you are following a practice routine and a good diet, and you feel like you are stuck and you can not see results, then you may require these molecules made up of amino acids.
There are more signs such as hair loss, headaches, sugar cravings, joint pain, higher depression levels, and disturbed sleep – then you may need to start taking more protein.
How to add more protein to your diet?
You can increase the amount of protein in your diet by following some steps. Here is our advice:
Eating the protein first may help you feel fuller and keep your blood sugar reasonable.
Change the snacks with cheese. We all eat snacks. It’s normal. However, the chips and crackers are low in protein, so you better go for cheese. Yes, it may sound strange, but cheese sticks are super tasty and may be a satisfying snack.
Add almonds to your diet – almonds contain 6 grams of protein in a 28-gram serving, so adding them to your food is one great way of adding more protein. You can sprinkle them over salads, yogurt meals, or oatmeal.
Protein shakes for breakfast – yes, the smoothie is a great breakfast, but it does not contain much protein. You can add some protein powder to it or directly go for a protein shake.
Add peanut butter to your diet – peanut butter is not only tasty but also very high in proteins. So, you can add it to your diet, and you will definitely increase the protein levels in your body. Just watch out for the calories.
Cottage cheese is a must – adding cottage cheese to your diet is one essential step to adding more protein. It is delicious and goes perfectly for breakfast, dinner, and a snack between meals.
Best foods rich in protein
You may ask – should I take whey protein after yoga, and we can answer – yes. Whey protein is one great option for giving your body the required amount of protein for the day. However, you can do it naturally, too, without needing supplements.
You are probably not surprised, but eggs are one of the best protein sources. The egg whites are pure protein, and the yolks have vitamins, healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants. One egg weighing 50 grams will give you 6.3 grams of protein, so you better start eating them!
Maybe you have seen that many people trying to higher their protein intake are eating a lot of chicken – there is a reason! Chicken breasts are rich in protein, zinc, B vitamins, and selenium. They are easy to cook and perfect for any dish. 86 grams of chicken breast will give you 26.7 grams of protein.
Cottage cheese is low in fat and high in protein, calcium, selenium, and many other nutrients. It is similar to eggs, making it perfect for people who want to add more proteins to their diet. So, one cup of 226 grams of cottage cheese will give you 28 grams of protein.
Even though many dietitians say that milk should be excluded from the diet, it is actually very high in protein and vitamins. The same goes for lactose-free milk, yogurt, and some cheeses. However, milk alternatives such as coconut and cashew milk are not so high in protein. Keep that in mind. 256 ml of dairy milk will give you 8.32 grams of protein.
Lean beef is an excellent source of protein, iron, selenium, zinc, and other vitamins. If you want to higher the intake of protein, then you should eat red meat more. It is not only delicious and easy to cook but also very healthy. 85 grams of lean beef will give you 24.6 grams of protein.
Of course, fish is one of the best sources of protein and other vitamins and minerals. Fatty fish like herring and salmon are high not only in protein but also in Omega-3, which makes them perfect for a healthy diet. 124 grams of salmon fillet will give you 30.5 grams of protein.
What about vegetarians and vegans?
Many yogis are vegetarians, or vegans (read here about Mitahara), making protein intake a little bit more complicated. Today we have prepared a list of the best foods rich in protein, and we have also added some vegan ones for those who have decided to leave meat out of their diet.
Quinoa is a vegan protein source that provides the body with iron, folate, fiber, and many other nutrients. Many experts believe that quinoa is almost a complete protein. 185 grams of it will give you 8 grams of protein.
Tofu is a favorite of all vegan people because of its great taste and texture. It can be easily cooked, and it can be added to almost any dish. Furthermore, it is also very rich in protein, which makes it perfect for a yogis diet. 100 grams of tofu will give you 8 grams of protein.
Buckwheat is a seed that is very rich in protein and other vitamins. Its popularity is growing, because of its great taste and variety of products. 100 grams of buckwheat will give you 5 grams of protein, and this is not all – it is gluten-free!
Beans are delicious, can be quickly cooked in many dishes, and are rich in protein. You can go for edamame, pinto, soya, and others, and 100 grams of those will give you between 7-10 grams of protein.
Oats are an excellent vegan source of protein. They are perfect for breakfast and provide the body with a lot of nutrition. 100 grams of oats will give you 10 grams of protein, which is more than impressive for the day’s first meal.
Chia is one of the best vegan sources of protein. Those seeds can be used in almost every dish – you can put them in your breakfast, sprinkle them over soup, or a salad. You can also cook very delicious desserts with them. A tablespoon of chia seeds will give you 2 grams of protein.
There are hundreds of yoga benefits, but when having the proper diet, and eating enough protein and nutrients, then the results of the practice will be astonishing! Practicing yoga is easy. All you need to do is be consistent, focus on your breathing, and select the proper food. And don’t forget the water intake, too. Good luck!
Do you need to consume protein when doing yoga?
Yoga is a form of workout, so the answer is yes – you need to consume enough protein in order to have positive and visible effects.
How much protein should you consume when practicing yoga?
You should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight, especially when exercising often. When practicing yoga actively, you may need around 100 grams of protein per day. This will lead to better immune function, weight control, muscle mass, and energy levels.
What are the signs of not taking enough protein?
If you are not taking enough protein, you will feel a lack of energy in the morning and through the day. The results of practicing will not be visible, and you will see hair loss, you will experience headaches, joint pain, disturbed sleep, and even sugar cravings.
How can you add more protein to your diet?
You can add more protein to your diet by eating more chees, almonds, and of course – protein shakes for breakfast. You can also add peanut butter to your diet, as well as cottage.
What are the best foods rich in proteins?
The best foods rich in proteins are the following: eggs, cottage cheese, chicken breasts, lean beef, fish, and milk.
What are the best vegan foods rich in proteins?
The best vegan foods rich in proteins are the following: Quinoa, tofu, beans, buckwheat, oats, and chia seeds.
What is the best yoga protein?
We don’t think there’s such thing as “best yoga protein”. There’s no protein particularly for yoga.