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A lot of students ask me if i take electrolytes during practice. ‘no’, i personally get a rush and then a sudden drop of energy when i have taken them during class. I will wait till after class and have a coconut water which is full of potassium.   ‘well deserved’.

Electrolytes — minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium — help regulate fluid balance in your body and, when present in proper amounts, ensure that your muscle fibers contract efficiently and powerfully during exercise. They also help regulate your blood pressure, blood pH and nerve function. If your electrolytes are out of balance, you may experience symptoms such as muscle cramps and twitching, heart palpitations and weakness. Sodium and potassium are the electrolytes most subject to imbalance as a result of sweating during intense exercise.

During class

A water bottle is standard equipment for Bikram yogis, although more advanced students sometimes choose to go without. Bikram teachers usually recommend that you sip plain water over carbohydrate-containing beverages during class, and indeed a study in “Journal of Sports Sciences” confirms that the presence of carbohydrate in a beverage slows gastric emptying and the subsequent availability of fluids to your body. However, there is no prohibition against drinking electrolyte-enhanced beverages during class, and some students choose sports drinks, water mixed with electrolyte/vitamin powders, or coconut water, which is naturally high in potassium.

Before and After Class

The best way to maintain proper electrolyte levels during Bikram yoga is to hydrate yourself before you come to class. The Bikram Yoga website recommends yogis drink an extra 64 to 80 ounces of water above their normal consumption during days that they practice, supplemented with sodium and potassium as needed. Because individual physiology varies, so will your need for supplemental electrolytes. The USDA specifies an AI — adequate intake — for adults of 4.7 grams potassium per day from all sources and 3.8 grams of sodium in the form of sodium chloride, or salt, to support basic metabolic needs as well as losses during exercise or hot weather. If you find yourself suffering cramps or other symptoms of electrolyte imbalance despite consuming adequate amounts, check with your doctor.

Considerations

During the first 20 minutes of class, Bikram students may not drink anything at all because the object is to build heat in the body — all the more reason to hydrate yourself before going in. Although sipping between postures is allowed anytime after eagle pose, students who drink too much or gulp their liquids often find themselves nauseated, particularly in backbending postures like camel, or those that require balancing on the stomach, such as bow pose.

Article from livesstrong.com

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