It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is celebrated by people as 'Ramadan' belonging to the Muslim community all around the world.
This annual observance is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. It lasts between one sighting of the crescent moon and the next. It is said that Ramadan is the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad's first revelation.
While the festivity is all about heightening one's spiritual credence and detoxifying the body by fasting from dawn to dusk, it may prove to be enervating for those who do not prepare themselves adequately for it.
During Ramadan, people have their first meal before sunrise known as 'sehri' (also called suhoor) and the other meal is 'iftar', which is served after sunset.
However, fasting during the holy month can take a toll on one's body. With all the changes to eating and sleeping habits combined with the sweltering outdoor heat, staying fit during Ramadan in summer can prove to be a task. Dehydration could also be a common hassle among people at this time of the year.
For those who want to save themselves from the same phenomenon, here is a list of a few tips and tricks to help you keep hydrated for the whole day:
1. Drink enough water
A simple and important way to stay hydrated is drinking enough water during suhoor. According to various studies, minimum of 60 ounces or nearly 2 litres of water can help you keep hydrated for an entire day during the fast that falls in the season of summer. The tip is to sip gradually and not chug it all at once.
2. Light and healthy is the rule
Sehri meal should be light and healthy. If you think that eating a lot would suffice you all day, then you are wrong. The key is to have a rich in fibre diet that will leave you feeling energized the whole day.
3. Dates are a must
Dates are given priority during Ramadan and it has been a tradition to include them in the meals as Prophet Mohammad did so in history. Scientifically, dates are considered important during fasting because they are rich in copper, selenium, and magnesium.
It also contains Vitamin K, which coagulates your bones. It helps human body cells to store fluids as they are a natural source of glucose. Therefore, it can increase the uptake of sodium and water in the intestines.
4. Early to bed and early to rise
Overall wellness of the body is built on the foundations of sufficient sleep. And waking up early morning is known to have many benefits. Hence, one of the key factors of staying fit during fasting is getting proper sleep.
It is especially important for one to wake up on time in order to have suhoor, which is a pre-dawn meal during Ramadan and is the most vital part of the day. If one will be fasting till the sunset, they need the energy to carry them through the day.
Hence, no matter how tired you are, it is important that you set up your alarm at least 40-50 minutes before Fajr to wake up on time, prepare the meal, freshen up and enjoy it in peace. This is recommended because the human body needs enough time to digest the first meal that is taken during dawn time. On the other hand, it is also unhealthy to gulp food if you eat everything in the last 5-10 minutes of sehri.
5. Don't skip the yoghurt
Even a spoonful of yoghurt could work wonders! Eating yoghurt at the end of your sehri meal is scientifically correct and beneficial as it helps to soothe your stomach and prevent acidity, eventually preventing you from getting dehydrated.
6. An apple and banana a day, will keep the dehydration away
Banana and apple are recommended as they will add roughage to your diet. Both the fruits are low in calories and high in necessary nutrition like fibre, Vitamin C, and various antioxidants that can help you from feeling drained.
7. Avoid salty, spicy and sugary food
Keeping spice, salt, and sugar low in your meal could help you from feeling thirsty. Sodium in these types of foods helps balance fluid inside your body. When you consume high salty foods, water is drawn away from your cells, which later triggers thirst.
8. Add water-rich, juicy fruits
Adding water-rich foods like cucumber, tomato salad, and juicy fruits like watermelon, oranges, kiwi, and more in your sehri meal could keep you hydrated throughout the day.
These were a few tips and tricks to help smoothen the fast practice for the holy month. Following these will not only prevent one from getting dehydrated but also from catching an infection.
Keep a check on your iftar meal too as it is very important to replace fluids lost during the day and to start the next day of fasting well-hydrated and with a light stomach.
Feast and indulge in your favourite delicacies this Ramadan but don't forget to add these tips to your daily routine.
Wishing you a happy Ramadan that will inspire you with courage and strength and will help you win every challenge in life!