Millions of Muslims all over the world are observing the holy month of Ramadan where it is required for them to fast from dawn to dusk every day for a month. For Malaysians, the estimated fasting time is 13.5 hours, but it may vary by day. Fasting is not for every one as it is a rigorous test of patience and willpower. Thus, it is important to ensure adequate nutrition so that one can stay fit during this spiritual time.
Water, Water and more Water
Dehydration is common during fasting; thus, it is recommended to drink at least 2 litres of water between Iftar and Sahur. You can also opt for coconut water as it does not only taste good but will help maintain the hydration level right up to Iftar. For the caffeine junkies, it is best to drink your cup of joe moderately. Try not to sabotage your energy levels by adding too much sugar in your coffee. There are other sweetening options such as Stevia, Equal and many more.
You’d be surprised that how fitness and fasting works hand in hand. If you’ve just jumpstarted your fitness journey and have doubts about working out throughout the fasting month, you can do so without causing any harm to your body. It is best to avoid workouts that throw your pulse rate to 150 bpm and over. To ensure that you do not exert, it is best to utilise a smartwatch with a heart rate monitor feature. Stick with light workouts such as slow jogging, cycling, cross training, brisk walking, and light machine exercises.
Take it Slow During Iftar
Avoid gorging on food during Iftar as it should be done gradually. You can start by snacking on dates, nuts or fruits and then continue with a balanced meal. A well-balanced meal is important to assist in keeping healthy and it is advisable to stick to your regular dinner portions. Malaysians do love their bazaar snacks which consists of mostly fried food and sweet kuih-muihs. You can still enjoy them but do so moderately. Fasting does not give you the excuse to eat like there’s no tomorrow.
Make Protein your Best Friend
Protein is a slow digesting food which helps keep your energy levels up during the long fasting hours. By choosing high protein foods such as eggs, chicken, yogurt, beef or lamb, it can help suppress hunger pangs. These high protein foods are best to be combined with foods which are high in healthy fats for example salmon, nuts, tofu, etc.
Take a Break
For those who work desk jobs, taking a quick break can help keep you energized and prevent you from being sedentary. Simply take short breaks from the computer or do short walks around the office compound.
Happy Fasting and Have a Blessed Ramadhan!