Yoga and Supplements: Understanding the Pros and Cons
Above Picture Source: pexels.com
A lot of people think that supplements are just a natural and harmless way of getting healthier or relieving various health problems, but that is not always the case. There are many benefits of taking supplements, and there are many benefits of practicing yoga, but do those two things play well with each other? That is what we will be taking a look at today.
Why You May Need Supplements
There is a long list of reasons why any person may need to be taking supplements on a regular basis. However, in terms of yoga specifically, the issue of supplements can be broken down into two main categories: diet, and exercise level.
Let’s take a look at diet for a start. Many yogis tend to be whole foods vegans, compared to non-yogis, and this may lead to problems with nutrition. For example, if you stop eating meat, dairy and eggs all of a sudden but everything else about your diet remains the same, then you will most likely be lacking some crucial macronutrients, vitamins or minerals after a certain period of time.
Now, on to the issue of exercise and supplements. For many people, when they start practicing yoga it is the first time in years that they have done any real exercise on a regular basis. This increase in the level of exercise will obviously lead to an increase in the need for energy. If your diet is already fairly poor, or when coupled with a change to a plant-based diet, you may not have enough energy. This can be remedied by taking the appropriate supplements as well as fixing up the holes in your nutritional intake.
Popular Supplements for Yogis
Picture Source: pexels.com
There are many supplements that have become popular in the world of yoga, for both newcomers and veterans alike, so we have put together a list of some of the most talked about.
- Protein – Despite what you may have thought, and despite what you see in much of the advertising, taking a protein supplement is not just for bodybuilders or those looking to put on weight and / or muscle. Vegetarians and vegans in particular may find that they need to take a soy-based protein supplement if they are not getting enough from their regular food.
- Vitamin B12 Complex – Basically, the “complex” part here means that the supplement contains all of the necessary B vitamins that work well with each other when taken in a combined form. These vitamins include folic acid, thiamine, niacin, and more. Some of the popular brands of supplements will also include vitamin E in their B12 complex formula.
- Vitamin C – You have probably heard of the benefits since you were a child, but the fact is that today’s vitamin C is even better for you. If you take quality supplements like liposomal vitamin C that come in liquid form it will be absorbed in to the body much more efficiently.
- Glucosamine – This supplement has been used for many years as a treatment for people suffering from osteoarthritis and joint pain. However, because it was almost always made from shellfish in the past it was not suitable for vegetarians. Now it is possible to buy glucosamine supplements which are made from vegetarian and vegan-friendly ingredients. Glucosamine is one of the essential substances in your body that, when coupled with protein, create the structure in cartilage so it can help your flexibility in yoga.
- Detox – In the philosophy of yoga it is important to cleanse the body of toxins, and there are some supplements that can help with that. Look for these detox or cleanse products that are plant-based and have contain protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
The Problem with Supplements
Picture Source: freepik.com
Now that we have gone over some of the benefits and uses of various supplements, we should talk about some of the problems.
For a start, it is always recommended that you talk to your doctor before you start taking supplements on a regular basis. There is a small chance that the particular supplement you have chosen could interact badly with a prescription drug that you are currently taking or exacerbate a health condition.
Another problem with supplements is that they can give you a false sense of security and cause you to continue eating a poor diet. In other words: if you are taking a bunch of healthy plant-based supplements, you may think you can skip eating a salad. Try not to fall in to this trap!
So, in summary it is safe to say that taking supplements can be beneficial for those practicing yoga, as well as just about anyone else for that matter, but it is important to be mindful about what you are putting into your body.