Ramadan Tips for a Healthy Body
- Understanding some basic nutrition science can help you stay healthy this Ramadan. Your body gets its energy (glucose) from food, and for 2-4 hours after you eat your energy will come from that food (after that your liver will release glucose to be turned into energy). Try to eat foods like potatoes, beans, vegetables, and grains at suhoor (breakfast); these foods are called complex carbohydrates and because they are ‘complex’ the body takes a longer time to turn them into glucose (energy) - giving you a long lasting source of energy.
- Dates, and other fruits, are simple carbs meaning they’re digested quickly and are good for quick jolts of energy. Don’t eat them at suhoor, they’ll end up making you thirsty throughout the day, save them for when you break your fast to quickly recharge your system.
- Invest in a once a day multivitamin that you can take at suhoor. Your body will be in famine for extended periods of time, and chances are you aren’t getting enough nutrition while you’re able to eat. A multivitamin can help make sure you fill in those gaps that your dinner isn’t covering.
- Drink some water every hour you’re able to eat and drink. After that first gulp of water in the evening it’s easy to forget that you were dehydrated all day.
- Exercise after iftar (dinnner); exercising while fasting will only make you more dehydrated and more fatigued. Your muscles can store glucose (energy) that they can use during exercise, but you’ll see the consequences, of exercising while fasting, when you’re not able to lift as much weight or run as far as you’d expect. You’re also more prone to cramping and injury while you’re fasting, so wait until after dinner to exercise if you can.
- I know that halfway through the month it becomes harder to eat suhoor as you become more and more tired. My suhoor of choice, once it comes to that, is a protein lassi, which hydrates me and keeps me full the majority of the day. I mix water, greek yogurt, a scoop of protein powder, mango nectar, and a sprinkle of cardamom powder the night before, and once it’s time for breakfast I wake up drink the smoothie, pray, and then go back to bed.
Stay Healthy this Ramadan! Remember that you can’t fast anyway if you get sick or injured, so do your best to prevent it!
Ramadan Mubarak! Happy Ramadan!