If you celebrate Ramadan, you are currently fighting a constant battle against thirst from dawn to sunset.
To stay healthy and hydrated, follow this advice from Muslim registered dietitian Nour El-Zibdeh.
“A lot of people focus on juices because they are culturally used to breaking their fast with two glasses of juice, but that’s what causes weight gain,” says El-Zibdeh.
2. Seriously, just stick with WATER.
Water is better for hydration and essential for almost all major body functions, including helping dissolve minerals and other nutrients from food to make them accessible to your body.
Breaking the fast with dates is not only tradition because that’s how the Prophet Muhammad broke his fast; dates also help with hydration since they are a natural source of glucose, which encourage your cells to store fluid and fuel for energy.
5. Carry a 12-ounce water bottle with you if you go to nighttime prayers.
Or anywhere else at night.
6. Keep water by your bed — you need to sip continuously through the night.
Let’s say you weigh 150 lbs so you need to drink 75 oz in a day, but you’ve only had four 8-ounce glasses of water (32 oz. total) so far. If you’re a goal-oriented person, you could set benchmarks to meet throughout the night by marking them on a water bottle.
“It’s common for your urine to be darker just before the iftar meal,” says El-Zibdeh. “But if you hydrate properly at night, by the suhoor meal it should be back to normal.”
7. Use this formula to determine how much water you need to drink in between fasting:
8. There’s no point in chugging four glasses of water in a row.
“The body’s not going to use that,” says El-Zibdeh. “You want to make sure you are sipping on water throughout the night.”
9. Choose foods with high water content.
Foods like cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, apples, and spinach help you stay hydrated because they contain a lot of water. So at iftar, make a salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Make smoothies for suhoor with hydrating ingredients like watermelon or strawberries. Have an apple with suhoor. This — rather than appetizers made of bread and cheese or fried foods — will help you get fluids in your diet.
10. If possible, minimize sweat and the time you spend in hot/humid conditions.
If your job requires you to be outdoors, try to spend some time in the shade. El-Zibdeh doesn’t recommend strenuous exercise while fasting for Ramadan.
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