How to Keep Your Body Healthy & Energy Boosted During Ramadan?
8 TIPS ON HOW TO STAY HEALTHY AND BOOST ENERGY DURING RAMADAN (INCLUSIVE OF WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK)
Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, though is done for spiritual reasons, also has psychosocial and health benefits. If practiced correctly, it can help to lose fat and even reverse borderline type 2 diabetes. Although if done wrongly, can negatively impact the health and energy levels specially making some people lethargic, dehydrated, giddy and low. It may take a few days initially, to get comfortable with fasting. Taking care of your lifestyle – diet, exercise and hydration makes the process easier and lets you enjoy the health benefits and high energy levels. Here are a few tips to stay healthy and boost energy levels during Ramadan for HEALTHY adults:
1) Hydrate yourself : Fasting puts a greater risk of dehydration specially during summers so it is important to keep yourself hydrated between Iftar and Suhoor. An average sized male requires 3 liters of water per day and an average sized female required 2.2 liters of water per day. Try to have water in regular intervals and not gulp down too much at once.
2) Replenish with electrolytes : Having natural electrolyte drink like coconut water between the meals can help get hydration as well as electrolytes.
3) Avoid excess caffeine : Caffeine is a diuretic and too much of it will only make you lose water from the body quickly and also will interfere with sleep.
4) Avoid sugary and processed food : These foods will lower energy levels in two ways. One, it will lead to dehydration and make you feel thirsty throughout the day as the breakdown of sugars in the body requires a lot of water. Two, having them will lead to fluctuation insulin levels in the body making you feel hungry, lethargic and fatigued throughout the day.
5) Focus on whole foods : Whole foods like meats, nuts, fruits and vegetables not only have good nutrient profile, but are also less calorie dense and keep you full throughout the day. Blood sugar levels will be more stable keeping your energy levels up throughout the day.
6) Eat enough proteins and good fats: Make sure your meals have enough high quality proteins. It is common to under eat the daily requirement of protein during Ramadan as we eat fewer meals. This can lead to loss of precious muscle mass, drop in metabolism and tendency to overeat more carbohydrate, processed and sugary foods. Proteins and fats will also keep you full and less hungry throughout the day as they stay longer in the gut, thus reducing the gastric emptying time and keeping the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’ in check. Proteins and fats also stimulate the hormone ‘cholecystokinin or CCK’ which is responsible for satiety.
7) Exercises regularly : Exercise helps you stay fit, strong, increase energy, improved mood and keep muscles and metabolism intact. The world is realizing the importance of exercising during the month of Ramadan and more people are prioritizing exercise every year during this time. The best time of exercise are close to Iftar (FASTED TRAINING just before Iftar) or after Iftar in a fed state. It is not advisable to train fasted with a long gap between Iftar.
8) Get proper sleep : The usual sleep cycle is disrupted during Ramadan however, making sure you get enough sleep (7 to 9 hours) in 24 hours can help manage hunger, fatigue and thirst issues and keep you energetic.
Abhinav Malhotra is an award-winning personal trainer, coach and sports nutritionist in Dubai, UAE. He also offers online services to clients around the world. A personal trainer par excellence, Abhi has worked with the world’s leading fitness chains, supplement brands and founded his own fitness academy in India. He has achieved successes for many clients from all backgrounds and has trained the Indian Army Rugby Team. He is the first International Kettlebell Sport athlete from India.