I’ve been taking class in the afternoon more often lately and it seems these days I’m noticing more and more how much harder I have to work for flexibility in the morning classes than I do in the afternoon classes. I used to hate practicing in the afternoon because I had to think all day about my food consumption and water consumption because I have never really been able to eat and practice without CONSIDERABLE amount of time in between…what I’ve come to figure out, and it’s not a fail proof rule, is that it really depends on what I eat and not the fact that I eating….that is only an aside though, as this post is really about sweating a replenishing…but how the body feels in class from morning to night is a good topic as well! One day.
Ok…so now that summer is here (and before you start with the snarky comments in your head all you West Coasters, I am bare armed and bare footed and not the least bit cold…so as long as I don’t have to put on my parka and my feet can stay out then we have a summer…but FYI, if the dial doesn’t get turned up on the thermostat soon, this unicorn is going to have to pack up her bag and go chase the sun!!). So, as I said, now that the temperature is warmer outside, our bodies start to burn more fluid on a regular basis…so its doubly important to make sure to replenish the minerals and electrolytes we need. The studio here has been pretty sweaty…and I’ve been sweating like a man (haha, honestly, that has to be one of the least attractive things a woman could say out loud…and be proud of it…but for me it’s almost like a badge of honour!!) these days. I loooove the humidity, I loooove the sweating. But with all the sweating comes loss of vital minerals and electrolytes from the body. Now, you get many of these minerals and electrolytes from fresh whole fruits and vegetables…of which I eat lots…but sometimes we need a bit of a boost and additional support.
I’ve never been much of a fan of powders and potions and things. I’ve certainly has my phases of taking MANY supplements thinking I needed these essential additions to my diet to help me function optimally…but after a certain amount of time I get “over” the tablets and mixtures and potions and I stick to eating what feels good and going from there. However, the one thing I do usually have in my diet or (almost) daily routine is a mineral/electrolyte supplement. When I’ve had a particularly sweaty class or I’ve been travelling or am just a bit more run down, I feel it immediately. So, I”m going to highlight the ones I know of and the ones I like and/or use on a (semi)regular basis…
Let me start with good old coconut water!! Yay for coconut water. Of course, my fav is straight from the coconut off the tree whilst sitting on the beach in my bikini…however that is not realistic for everyday, so I settle for the canned variety most days. Let it be known that I do buy the fresh coconuts from time to time. You can get 2 for $5 at the Rootcellar and I think they are $2 each down in Chinatown (but I haven’t bought them there for a while, so not entirely sure on the price). The real young coconuts are a little more challenging to get into than the cans or tetra packs are (duh) but worth it, I think. If I don’t have the fresh to go to, then I go with the bottled kind…here is a list of the kinds I like and/or know of. My favourite so far is Real Coconut Water by Taste Nirvana. I like this brand for a few reasons…one is that it comes in a glass bottle which I appreciate. But, really, the flavour is the best. It’s not as sweet as some of the bottled coco waters and lately it has had some little bits of coconut flesh in it which makes me feel like it really came from the coconut and minimal processing. Another one I like is Organic Lives. It comes in from Vancouver (the restaurant Organic Lives brings it in directly from Thailand). It’s quite a bit more on the pricey side, but it’s organic and raw (un-pasturized). It comes frozen…apparently it’s taken fresh from the coconuts and then frozen immediately and sent here. it’s super delicious, but as I said it’s about two to three times the price of the bottled kind you can get. I’ve seen it at Lifestyles as well as Ingredients. The one other that I have been drinking lately (because they have it at BYSaanich) is Cocos-Pure. I love this company because it’s local!! Of course, the coco water is not local, but the company has it’s head office on Johnson St…I always love to give love to the locals!! It’s great tasting, not sweet, light and refreshing.
Ok…so, the benefits of coconut water are amazing. It is full of minerals and electrolytes and it’s the closest to the make up of human blood plasma and was used intravenously in WW2 for soldiers. So, seems like a good idea, no? Coconut water is really hight in potassium which is great for muscles, so awesome for exercising and feeding the muscles…however, it’s low in sodium (but lets be honest, there is soooo much sodium in day to day eating…), so I’ll tell you about the cheapest and easiest supplement that I use…
I have in the past used VEGA electrolyte powder. I like this powder good enough. When I’ve had a particularly hot and sweaty class I can gulp this stuff down in my water and feel like I’m back on track. I like the company and what it stands for, and I like Brendan Brazier’s story…and he’s from North Vancouver and has been vegan since the age of 15…so, I like the whole idea of it!! There are 2 flavours, I prefer the lemon/lime…tastes a bit like iced tea powder. I am not sure that this stuff helps me feel more bendy or recover faster from dehydration…but I like the shot of it after class is great to give me a bit of a boost. Honestly, at this point in my life, I’m pretty connected to my body and I don’t often get over the top dehydrated…it’s very rare that I have a total killer yoga class that takes me to the floor or have to lie down (the last doozy of a class was in Truckee last month, but I also chalk that up to altitude and flying, etc…and even then I kinda like it!! haha).
There is always the old stand-by, Emergen-C. I don’t use this stuff unless it’s an emergency (ha!) but if I’m desperate and need a shot of electrolye then I’ll gulp down one of these. There is a “light” one which is sugar free, so I usually go with that one if I have the oportunity.
OK…here is the one that I suggest everyone start to use…Hymalayan Pink Crystal Salt. (I capitalized it for emphasis). I read about pink salt and Sole years ago but never experimented with it until last year. There is a local (!!) company called Salt of Life. You take a tsp (or more) in the morning with lots of water. It’s simple, easy to use and effective. I think, for some reason, that I sweat more when I take it in the morning, but I don’t feel like I get more dehydrated from it. I asked about the sweating more factor and they thought perhaps it was because the sole helps to detoxify and pull impurities from the body that that might cause me to sweat more to push it out…It also helps to balance the PH of the body, neutralizing the acid/alkaline in the body. Who wouldn’t want that??!! The only thing about the Sole is that it doesn’t travel well. I still need to figure out a way to travel with it…a container that won’t leak that I can have a few rocks and water in, but it’s too heavy…if you have any ideas, let me know!!
So…test everything, Yogis!! You have to find what works for you. I use the sole in the morning and often have a coco water after class (I mix the coconut water with regular water because I find sometimes downing the coconut water right after class on an empty stomach can make me a bit funny in the belly…cut with the water it doesn’t have that effect. I’ve been thinking about getting a container of VEGA as well, just to test that out for a bit…
OK…happy sweating, little chickadees…make sure that you are drinking extra water for the summer (and, let’s be honest, always!)…and test out a few different products and see how it makes you feel.