The Jakarta Post
Try not to skip 'sahur' meals even though you feel like you need more sleep, as your body will need the energy from the food. (Shutterstock/File)
Making sure you have enough energy throughout the day during the fasting month of Ramadhan, which will start on Thursday, is important as you continue to do your daily activities.
Below is a guide on what to eat and drink as well as exercises to take compiled by experts at Birmingham City University:
‘Sahur’ (pre-dawn meal)
- As your body will need enough energy to last until breaking-of-the-fast time, opt to consume foods that are high in protein and fiber as they will be digested more slowly by your body. Some good examples are oats, whole wheat foods like brown rice, and whole wheat bread or pasta.
- Try not to consume salt to avoid getting thirsty during the day.
- Before imsak (the time when Muslims start their fasting until dusk) arrives, make sure to drink enough water to prevent dehydration and increase your energy for the day. Tea or coffee drinks also contain water, however these beverages may cause dehydration due to their diuretic effect.
- Eating at a slow pace is recommended as it will slow the release of energy from the food in your system, hence providing you with longer-lasting energy.
- Try not to skip sahur meals even though you feel like you need more sleep, as your body will need the energy from the food.
Read also: Seven fasting tips for diabetics
Breaking the fast
- Opt to drink water first and as much as possible to fulfill your body's need for liquid.
- The tradition of breaking your fast with dates is scientifically beneficial as they are rich in energy and contain natural sugar. Other recommended foods are raw fruit and fruit juices.
- When choosing what to eat afterward, make sure you consume a balanced meal of starchy carbohydrates, such as potatoes, rice and bread; vegetables; proteins like meat and fish; and dairy. Avoid processed as well as sugar-added foods that are low in nutrient density, as well as deep-fried foods.
- You can still exercise during fasting but opt for lighter versions, such as walking, cycling, full-body stretching and mat exercises.
- Refrain from doing high-intensity exercises such as sprinting or heavy lifting as they may cause dizziness and low blood pressure.
- You can opt to work out within eating times but not when your stomach is still full, and keep it short, between 30 and 60 minutes. Also make sure to drink plenty of water afterward. (kes)