This year, Ramadan is smack dab in the middle of the summer. So pretty much unless you’re in Australia, it is extremely hot during the day. For those that are fasting, this added element of heat makes it a bit more challenging. There are plenty ways of not only reducing your thirst during the day but also not becoming a total glutton when it’s time to break your fast.
Tips for staying hydrated:
1) Watermelon is made from 90% water. Eat lots of it all throughout the night, as it will fill you and will serve to hydrate you at the same time.
2) Cucumbers and tomatoes are also full of water, and are delicious alone as well. Just try not to cover them in salt, as that will dehydrate you.
3) Coffee-lovers… Coffee dehydrates you as it fills your bladder and forces you to go the bathroom more often. Try to stick to only one cup of coffee during Iftar, and then keep hydrating with water.
For breaking your fast in a healthy way:
It’s easy to become so famished by the time Iftar rolls around and to want to literally consume everything in your path. Try to avoid this mentality. Break your fast with one date, a large glass of water, and a bowl of soup. Typically, after 14+ hours of fasting, your stomach naturally shrinks a bit so if you pace yourself, you won’t stretch it back out again and make yourself uncomfortably full (which is never good, anyway). After this, you can allow yourself to sample traditional foods like Sambousek or Atayef, but remember: all in moderation. If you eat a lot for Iftar, make sure your Sohoor meal is a lot more conservative. And all throughout the night, be constantly replenishing your body with water. Be sure also to consume lots of protein, not just carbohydrates, to restore your muscle strength.
For training/working out:
Many that stick to a strict work-out regime will find it difficult to continue it throughout the month. As it is best advised not to work out or do very strenuous physical activities during the day, if you must do them, stick to the couple hours before Iftar. That way you will be able to drink water as soon as you are done, not causing your body too much strain. Because these activities make you sweat, causing you to lose more liquid, it’s really unhealthy to do them in the middle of the day without being able to have water. The best exercise this month is to go on a long power-walk right before Iftar, or to do yoga. Any exercises that serve to stretch you out and get you moving without being physically exhausting are alright. If you enjoy playing sports, why not organize a football game before Sohoor with your friends, that way you can be hydrated throughout the game and it won’t be as hot out at night.
Do you have other tips for staying healthy during Ramadan? Tell us about them at Editor@Barakabits.com.