We all know the power of a good cup of coffee. It instantly picks the day up and energizes us to the core. In one bad day, sometimes, a caffeine kick is all we need. But we have seen a lot of questions regarding coffee and yoga. Is it beneficial to consume your cup of Joe before your yoga practice? Let’s find out!

Coffee and yoga

Coffee is well-known for its energy-boosting effect. But did you know that it’s also packed with antioxidants that keep diseases at bay? On top of that, it also reduces the risk for deadly diseases such as stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer. But what does coffee mean when it comes to yoga? While coffee does not directly help with your yoga practice, entering your practice with that extra boost of energy! But take note, coffee remains to be beneficial as long as taken in moderation. 

woman in white tank top and pink leggings doing yoga

The pros

Consuming coffee is recommended by a lot of nutritionists and fitness trainers before any work out session and this includes yoga. According to a handful of researches, caffeine promotes less strenuous effect on the body and even allows your muscles to work more efficiently. There has been a belief that coffee is dehydrating. However, experts now believe that it takes a huge amount of caffeine to induce dehydration. If you explicitly drink coffee before yoga, I highly recommend Bullet coffee! It’s a great coffee as it energizes you without the crash others give. 

The cons

While coffee sounds good, it does not do enough for you to prepare for your yoga practice. Plus, while coffee being too dehydrating has already been debunked, it remains to not be the best option for hydration. If you can, some refreshing juice may also be beneficial. Additionally, coffee is acidic in nature so think twice if you have some acidity problems! Yoga entails some bending and twisting poses. Couple that with coffee and you might end up reaching out for those Tums!

When to not drink coffee?

Take note that coffee just before hopping on to your mat may have some negative effects: difficulty relaxing, jittery feels, or even an upset stomach. This is especially true for coffee-sensitive individuals. While coffee is not a contraindication to your practice, it’s best to consume one moderately and not immediately prior to your session. Yes, coffee is great but always weigh your options!

No coffee, no prana!

Pattabhi Jois is a yogi who actually established Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. According to her, “no coffee, no prana!” But first, what is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga? It is a practice consisting of dynamic and physically demanding poses. Overall, it generates significant internal heat through fast and strong sequences. It is so challenging that he actually encourages people to drink coffee before Ashtanga for that extra energy punch!

No coffee, thank you!

Now let’s move to the Yin practice or also known as Restorative Yoga. As opposed to Ashtanga, this is a slower practice with longer holds. In fact, advanced yogis can maintain poses for up to five minutes! The goal is to feel calm and aware through connections with your breath. Thus, this practice does not recommend consuming coffee. Coffee can increase your heart rate and may even induce palpitations which may hinder your goals in doing this practice. 

Coffee before teaching yoga practice?

person holding white ceramic cup with hot coffee

A yoga teacher actually tried a little experiment that may benefit a lot of you out there! She tried teaching decaffeinated and caffeinated! The result? On the day she did not consume any coffee prior to her class and meditated instead, she felt extra calm and composed without finding herself lacking energy. On the other hand, in the morning when she consumed coffee before her session, she noticed that she talked faster and felt some dryness in her voice. It goes without saying that she didn’t feel as calm as she did without coffee. A cup of coffee can affect so much of you! I recommend for you to try this experiment too and see which scenario actually allows you to have a better practice. 

Coffee substitute

If you’ve decided to do that experiment and found out that you’re better off without coffee pre-yoga, you might want to try other food or beverages to chug in! Plus, these can provide you with an energy boost as well without the upset stomach it may give. 

Matcha tea

We all know that people drink this beverage for its amazing health benefits. A small cup of green tea with matcha houses a greater amount of protein, L-theanine, and caffeine compared to a tea without matcha, even if in a bigger cup. It’s also packed with antioxidants and has a positive effect in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Thus, this is a great substitute for your coffee!

Plant-based

A plant-based diet is always a good idea because it’s a diet consisting of food straight from nature, thus, housing less chemicals. This diet actually nourishes not only your body, but also your mind. It goes without saying that incorporating this diet will definitely benefit the quality of your practice!

Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD has been rising to fame and we see all the reasons why. In fact, establishments, such as coffee shops, actually sell goods with infused CBD. CBD was found to help ease anxiety and this is backed up by a study. In other words, it has calming effects which could be beneficial for your yoga session. However, be cautious with where or who you buy CBD from! Make sure to source your supply from reputable places.

Kratom

Kratom is from a Southeast Asian family of trees and is known for its energizing aromas. Take note that there are different strains of this plant and some are better than others. Offer some time and effort in researching for which strain to get to maximize your money’s worth!

Yerba mate

Did you know that we don’t always have to reach out for Red Bulls and Monsters when we need an energy drink? There are actually healthier alternatives! Yerba mate is a natural herb from South America that is used in beverages to provide some energy boost! Another natural option is the guarana seed which is a Latin supplement that aims to do the same.

The truth about you and coffee

If you want to learn how coffee really works for you, you might want to try this:

  1. Go ten full days with absolutely no caffeine. Flush all traces of caffeine out of your system.
  2. Then, get yourself your favorite coffee and consume it into a sacred meditation.
  3. Stare at the coffee for about a minute from a place of admiration.
  4. Smell it a couple of times and bask in its scent.
  5. Take one tiny sip and swirl your caffeine fix intimately. 
  6. Sit while keeping that small sip for about a minute or two.
  7. Try your best to identify all that coffee makes you feel. 
  8. Take another sip.
  9. Consume the rest of the cup slowly.
  10. Once the cup is empty, you should now have an idea on how coffee impacts you and you can meditate on that. 

Not ready to go days without coffee?

Then try the following:

  1. Only drink coffee AFTER your practice.
  2. Mindfully think about the attachment and desire you feel towards coffee.
  3. Be aware of the justifications your subconscious creates.
  4. Meditate by thinking about your attachment to caffeine and start from there. 

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