For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of reflection, gratitude, and connecting with friends and family. Fasting from sunrise to sunset is a fundamental part of the Holy Month.
Whilst intermittent fasting is known to have many health benefits, combined with shorter periods of night-time sleep, you might be left feeling low on energy. As you get used to the changes in your lifestyle and daily eating habits, here are five tips for more energy during the daylight hours.
1. Choose a sustaining suhour
A balanced suhour (pre-dawn meal) will help prepare the body for the fast during the day, as well as making digestion more efficient. A mix of complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, and fruit and vegetables will sustain the body. Enjoy healthy eating by avoiding salty or deep-fried food and opt for whole-meal bread, brown rice, eggs, avocado, cheese, labneh, and bananas. It’s also the last chance to ensure you’ve consumed enough water to keep you going throughout the day, so it’s important to set your alarm so you don’t miss out.
2. Gentle activity
As your body adapts to fasting, the initial few days may see a drop in energy levels. To accommodate this, include gentle activity into your day. A few minutes of stretching, a short walk, or some simple breathing exercises can all help rejuvenate and refresh you. Learn more about exercising whilst fasting here.
3. Schedule your sleep
Traditionally a time when friends and family gather, Iftar, prayer and reflection often extend well into the night. If possible, try to get to bed earlier a few nights a week in order to catch up on sleep, or schedule a regular nap when possible.
4. Keep cool
With temperatures in parts of the Middle East expected to reach almost 40 degrees during May and June this year, it’s important to create an environment where you can be as cool as possible. Fans and air-conditioning, as well as staying out of the heat where feasible will all help. Support loved ones by keeping an eye out for severe dehydration and always seek medical attention if you notice signs such as a high temperature (over 38.8°C), confusion, and rapid breathing.
5. Stay connected
As friends and family come together, enjoy being surrounded by a positive and grateful mind-set the Holy Month is associated with. The health benefits of interaction have been well documented. Positive interactions, such as reading the Quran together and meeting and greeting neighbours after prayers, will keep your energy levels high, and can even cement new relationships.