105 Degrees Fahrenheit
Sweating makes us happy and healthy. And when the thermostat reads 105 for 90 minutes, hot yogis release a great deal of fluid, escorting precious minerals in tandem.
Proper hydration is the first prerequisite for maintaining electrolyte balance. However, you cannot effectively hydrate with just water alone. Large amounts of water without electrolytes will only further dilute depleted electrolytes. In turn, electrolytes only become active when in water. The two go hand-in-hand.
Some Signs of Dehydration During Class:
- fatigue / tiredness
- dizziness / vertigo
- not sweating enough
- muscle cramping
Electrolytes are Not Optional
Electrolytes conduct electricity and transmit signals, affecting every organ and all systems throughout the body. They play a critical role in regulating things like heart rate, muscle contraction, body fluid balance, and pH levels.
Two of the critical electrolytes, potassium and sodium, work together by creating a sodium-potassium pump in order to generate muscle contractions, including the heart muscle and regulating the heartbeat.
Consider Replenishing 3 Crucial Electrolytes after a Hot Yoga Class
Depletion of either sodium, magnesium, or potassium = muscle cramping.
1. Pass the Salt, Please!
One of the most important electrolytes to rebalance is sodium. Salt has two electrically charged particles, sodium and chloride. And the role of this combination is to keep just the right amount of water inside and outside of our cells and in our blood.
So, replacing salt during and/or after class is important. If you drink water during class, it’s easy to add a pinch or two of high quality salt to your water bottle, with no detectable salty flavor. And after class you can do the same, or perhaps consider some apple cider vinegar diluted 50/50 with water and a pinch of salt. And, of course, you can add salt to your food throughout the day.
If you have extreme thirst, and drinking water does not alleviate this, and/or you experience dizziness, vertigo, or heart palpitations, you might be deficient in potassium.
Here is one of the best products I’ve found for adding potassium to your daily regimen. I take this before and after class. It’s also an easy way to bring this electrolyte with you when traveling and/or when you have little access to potassium rich foods.
While sweat typically contains less magnesium than sodium or potassium, it’s important enough to replenish this mineral to prevent muscle cramping or weakness. Magnesium dfeficiency may not always be obvious, but hot yogi’s will likely be losing this vital mineral during sweating.
Since oral magnesium may not be tolerated well or absorbed effectively, using transdermal magnesium is one of the most efficient and effective ways to replenish and balance this mineral. My favorite topical magnesium is Ancient Minerals. I use a few sprays after class and often at night before going to sleep.
Take the Sweat Test
Check out this simple, fun rehydration formula, modified for a 90 minute hot yoga class:
a = your weight before your yoga class
b= your weight after your class
c = every pound lost while in the hot room
d = your sweat rate for 90 minutes
Complete the following equations with your values:
a – b = c
c x 16 fl oz = d
Value ‘d’ represents your 90-minute sweat rate while in the hot room. Based on these calculations, the formula advises to replace at least HALF that amount in order to maintain appropriate hydration and achieve optimal performance.
If you drink a measurable amount of water during your 90 minute practice, you can factor it in using this Sweat Rate Calculator.
Of course, your sweat rate is based on variables that change daily, so always listen to your body and make adjustments as needed.
SWEAT, SMILE, REPLENISH, AND REPEAT!
This article was contributed by Jane Hill – fierce Bikram Yogi, lover of all things natural, and my best yoga buddy. Look for more articles by Jane in the Off the Mat Chats section of Views From the Podium!