As Muslims across the world observe the holy month of Ramadan, a period of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad(SAW), there is also need for them to stay hydrated during this period in other to prevent health complications.
Although the major practice to avoid dehydration is by drinking enough fluids, in cases such as the Ramadan, you can reduce your need for water between Sahur (midnight meal) and Iftar( to breakfast / evening meal) by following the tips for the next 30 days.
You need to drink as much water as you can between Iftar and Sahur. It is advisable to break your fast with water before consuming your meal.
Water makes up 70% of our bodies, it is also the most important fluid that replenishes our thirst and energy. Studies have shown that reduced intake of water affects our bodies on a cellular level and causes problems in their proper functioning because dehydration has many adverse side effects such as constipation, headaches, dizziness, tiredness and dry skin.
Prepare for your day of fasting by drinking enough water throughout the night. Keep a bottle of water close by during the evening, and try to drink a cup or two at least every hour.
It is also preferable to drink lukewarm water instead of cold water as it aids digestion. In order to encourage drinking more water, lemon slices or mint can be added to give water a sweet flavour and increase the desire to drink.
During this heat wave, you need to be careful when picking your daytime clothes during Ramadan. The colour of your shirt, the fabric of your pants, and the layers of clothes all play an important role in keeping your body temperature as low as possible.
If you work indoors, pick a light-coloured shirt; if most of your day is spent outside, a darker outfit will help protect you from the effects of the sun. Black, however, is not advisable, as it tends to attract the heat and lock it close to your body.
Also, a loose cotton t-shirt, which allows your sweat to evaporate, is a better idea during this period.
Avoid sugary fluid
HEALTHY DIET…Consuming a healthy diet throughout the life-course helps to prevent malnutrition in all its forms as well as a range of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
In as much as you crave sugary drinks to break your fast, you should also have in mind the need to reduce sugar intake leading to weight gain.
Foods that contain a lot of sugar can really dehydrate you, while fruits are perfect for providing extra water. Instead of ending your iftar feast with piles of sweets, eat a couple of slices of watermelon or orange. Green salads are another good source of extra water, so include them in your Ramadan diet.
Avoid salty food
You also need to reduce the amount of salt in your food because foods containing high volumes of sodium trigger thirst throughout the fasting hours of the day.
More salt in the diet means the kidneys keep more water in the system, so not drinking enough could force the body to draw water out of other cells, making you dehydrated. People who consume high-sodium diets usually urinate more because of all the excess water.
Eat dates at Iftar
It is good to break your fast with dates. Most people break their fast in accordance to the ways of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Apart from following the tradition of the prophet, it’s important to eat dates during iftar. Dates help with hydration since they are a natural source of glucose, which encourages your cells to store fluid and fuel for energy.
It may look exhausting and tiring working out during this period but exercising is important for hydration. When you exercise, your body disposes of toxins and other harmful elements that might cause dehydration later on.
Pick a good time for exercise (two to three hours after iftar is advisable) and attend a cardio class, but try to counterbalance the amount of water lost by drinking water before you go to sleep and when you wake up at Sahur.