Tips to stay hydrated and healthy during Ramadan
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk but it is important to get proper nourishment between Iftar and Sahari in order to be prepared for the next day – especially for those who need to work and go to school or university.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Healthy habits during the holy month are also very important in order to avoid gaining weight.
Cleveland Medical Center in , in the UAE, reports that there are a few simple times to help you stay fit while fasting.
The amount of fluids a person needs depends on age, gender, climate and activity level.
According to Cleveland Clinic, adults, on average, need 2 to 3 liters of water each day. So make sure to drink plenty of fluids before the start of the fasting hours. Unsweetened juices or milk are tasty, low calorie alternatives.
Experts warn against too much coffee and tea and soda drinks outside of fasting hours as the caffeine in them causes increased urination. Cleveland Clinic recommends these drinks be limited during the non-fasting hours.
The clinic also suggests that meals are started with broths, soups or stews. Fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, squash or spinach are mostly water and can also help to replace fluids.
Why is this important?
As stated by the clinic, the human body is about 60 percent water and it is vital for bodily functions, including metabolizing and transporting nutrients throughout the body and removing waste.
The amount of water in the body fluctuates – it is lost through urine and sweat and regained from food and drinks.
However, Cleveland Clinic states it is not unusual to become periodically dehydrated while fasting. Dehydration can result in weight loss that is quickly regained when normal eating and drinking habits resume.
Choose healthy options
Hunger tempts us to indulge or eat fast, convenient foods. But according to the Cleveland Clinic, highly processed foods are high in salt, sugar and unhealthy fats, which won’t last long and can increase thirst.
Try a handful of roasted nuts instead of ready-to-eat foods and also try to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
Eat, rest and exercise strategically
According to clinic experts, planning your activities and meals after breaking your fast will help to refuel you and prepare you for the next day of fasting.
Rest is important, but be sure to stay awake long enough to replenish the fluids and nutrients your body needs.
Eat balanced meals including: bread, cereals and other grains; fruits and vegetables; meat, fish and poultry; milk, yogurt or cheese; and healthy fats.
Focus on foods that are digested slowly and release energy over time. These include food that are high in fiber (e.g. whole grains, fruits and vegetables) and foods containing complex carbohydrates (wheat, beans, lentils, rice, etc.).
It is important to stay active too. Find time to take a walk or do some gentle stretching.
Why is this important?
Weight loss occurs when a person uses more energy than they consume. Some studies on weight loss/gain during Ramadan have shown that energy intake remains the same or increases, despite a decrease in meal frequency.