With hydration identified as a one of the top health concerns during Ramadan, it’s important to ensure your body is getting the fluids essential to keep you healthy as you fast. Failure to stay hydrated can lead to weakness, dizziness, severe migraines, nausea, confusion and other unwanted, dangerous symptoms. Follow these top tips to stay on track, says Sophie McCarrick
1. WATER ALL THE WAY! Water is the most important fluid to consume during Ramadan – or any time for that matter. Around 60% of the body is made up of water, so if you dramatically reduce your intake it can seriously affect your organs and nerves from functioning properly. On average, men need to drink about three litres of water, while women need to consume about 2.2 litres a day.
2. SAY NO TO SUGARY JUICES Many fruit juices are perceived as healthy, simply because the word ‘fruit’ is mentioned. But in reality a lot of them contain more sugar than unhealthy fizzy drinks. These beverages are fatty and do not hydrate the body at all. If you fancy something sweet, try squeezing juice from fresh fruit at home yourself.
3. STAY OUT OF THE SUN A disadvantage of Ramadan in the Middle East means that there’s the scorching hot sun to put up with. Limit your time in direct sunlight as much as possible to prevent further dehydration through sweating.
4. EAT FOODS WITH HIGH WATER CONTENT To maximise fluid intake, opt for foods with high water content during Iftar and Suhoor. Items like tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, watermelon, apples and strawberries have high water content, and will help get the fluids that you need into your diet. Make a salad with them or a smoothie, or snack on them for dessert.
5. WAVE GOODBYE TO CAFFEINE Beverages with caffeine such as tea, coffee, coca-cola and other soft drinks should be cut down on or avoided completely. The diuretic properties of caffeine can dehydrate the body even further – so although the drink might act as a great ‘pick me up’ for an hour or so, it will affect the body negatively as the day goes on.