Fasting of the body is food for the soul. The disciple to abstain from one of life’s greatest pleasures is a tremendous feat indeed. And the mind is the key player in this monumental display of self-control. However, we often neglect the body when it comes to fasting. Depriving our physical form of its second most vital resource can cause major consequences. So here are seven ways to help you keep hydrated during Ramadhan.
Keep Hydrated during Ramadhan Tip #1: Water is vital. Juice is not.
We know. The force is strong on this one. Not having a cool, refreshing glass of juice to break your fast is almost unthinkable. But rest assured, it will make sense when you consider the detrimental effects of juice. These drinks fill up your stomach up quick, giving a sense of fullness and decreasing the quality of digestion. The excess sugar from these drinks will also cause weight gain in the long run.
Water is the better alternative for hydration. A no-brainer of course, but internal battles are fought when faced with the decision of what to drink at Iftar. Just know, that this clear natural liquid will ease your digestion by dissolving minerals and other nutrients from food, making them accessible to your body. Water is your body’s best friend. Never substitute it for another form of liquid, more so when fasting.
Keep Hydrated during Ramadhan Tip #2: Keep on sipping, sipping, sipping.
You’ve been depriving your body of water the entire day. So, during the hours when you can actually drink, you need to keep sipping, continuously. Keep a botte by your side as reminder to take constant swigs. Only then can your body return to its original levels of hydration, before you commence your fast again. To find out how much water your need to drink in a day, in ounces, take your body weight (in pounds) and divide it by two.
Keep Hydrated during Ramadhan Tip #3: Hydrate with Food
For the sake of hydration, carefully consider the foods you consume. Foods that contain a lot of water are gold. So at Iftar, make a salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. At Suhor, go for a homemade watermelon or strawberry smoothie, and an apple while you’re at it. Your body isn’t going to hydrate itself, you’ll have to put in the extra effort. So abstain from bread, cheese and fried foods and turn to hydrating ingredients that will help you get fluids into your diet.
Keep Hydrated during Ramadhan Tip #4: Turn down the heat
Fasting, in itself is already a strain on all your systems. Avoid heightening the duress your body is experiencing by refraining from physical exertion. The body gets energy from the food that we eat, and without it, energy conservation is a must in order to function as normally as possible.
Keep Hydrated during Ramadhan Tip #5: Shun the sun
Exposing yourself to heat will kick off the sweating mechanism of your body. You’ll squander the much needed liquids in your body that keeps you hydrated. Not just that, the water escaping your body will induce thirst. So stay in the shade and in cool, enclosed areas as much as possible. Wear a hat or cap if you have no choice but to go outdoors.
Keep Hydrated during Ramadhan Tip #6: Break it slow
You’ll need to be more mindful about how you break your fast if you want to take good care of your body. Easing into it is the key. Start off with water, of course, then small appetisers, like soups, light salads, yogurts and dates, before starting with your actual dinner. You could even eat morsels of food, leave to pray, then return for the real meal. This bit-by-bit ingestion will allow your body time to readjust back to normal digestion and assimilation. It’s a great habit that will avoid the long term negative side effects of fasting.
Keep Hydrated during Ramadhan Tip #7: Eat the extra mile
There are some foods that’ll help you go the distance in your fast. Foods that are low in sugar but contain complex carbohydrates. These characteristics help them stay in your system longer, hence aid in curbing the hunger pangs. Power foods like these include whole grains, like barley, wheat and oats; legumes like lentils and beans; and fresh produce like fruits and potatoes. Protein rich sources such as lean meats, fish, eggs, milk, nuts and seeds can also help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which tone down the food cravings.
Comment below if you thought these tips were helpful and share one with us that wasn’t on the list!