Panduan pemakanan sihat ketika di bulan Ramadhan

Panduan pemakanan sihat ketika di bulan Ramadhan

Ramadan Health Tips

    Hydrate: While this is the most obvious, it’s also the most important. Once fast is over, drink lots and lots of liquids. By liquids I mean water, gatorade, orange juice, or milk. Yes, milk is STILL important (Calcium is necessary for muscle function!!). I know instinctively everyone will go for that first cup of chai (/coffee), but try and limit it to one cup. Why? Cause chai has caffeine, which dehydrates your body. You DON’T want that.

    You need carbohydrates for energy! If your family is anything like mine they’ll shove heaps of meat on your plate for *dari-speaking-accent* anurgy (energy). Meats, however, mostly provide protein. What you really want to eat for slow-releasing energy is carbohydrates! Why? Carbs turn into glucose (a type of sugar), which then leads to ATP formation. In short, it’s the “food" our muscles need to function!

    You need glucose in your system! If the carbs aren’t enough for glucose production, your body will automatically go after protein as another source of blood glucose. But too much of it can lead to problems…so stock up on that pasta! During a 24hour fast, your body can produce approximately 180g of glucose. This supplies about 720 Calories of energy. It isn’t enough for your body! The average person needs ~1500 Calories per day just for normal functioning!

    Without glucose, your body gets out of wack: A low plasma glucose concentration not only affects your muscles, but the entirety of your central nervous system. Your brain will feel the effects foremost causing headaches and dizziness. You could also have an increased heart rate, trembling, anxiety, confusion, loss of coordination, and in extreme cases, seizures and convulsions.

    Do not exercise while fasting! Some of you will feel like you have the energy to continue your routine workouts, but I’d strongly advise against it. For one, you’ll be sweating which decreases the water in your system and increases the likelihood of dehydration. Two, you’ll be using precious energy for the increased metabolic activity, energy that is already lacking. You’ll be more prone to fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and really just an overall unpleasant feeling.

    Eat well when you break your fast, but don’t BINGE! This is probably the biggest issue. Once you break fast, eat meals that are balanced in carbs, proteins, and vitamins (salads, greens, etc). Also, don’t forget sugars! Fruits are the healthiest way to get some sugar in your system to raise your blood glucose levels and get rid of any of the side effects of low glucose levels (like those mentioned above). Pace yourself and drink lots of liquids (2-3pints if you can).

Quick summary:

    Drink as much water/juice as you can but stay away from caffeinated drinks, they make you more thirsty!
    Carbs are important for maintaining energy and having glucose in your system. Without either you will feel tired, fatigued, and could experience headaches and dizziness.

    Don’t exercise! The combination of heat, fasting, and increased muscle activity is a recipe for disaster and could have very negative side effects on your body. If you must, do so after you break your fast and have drank lots of fluids.

    Don’t engulf your food within 5 seconds of iftar. Pace yourself! Your stomach is elastic so let it gradually increase in size as you eat so more food and liquid can fit. Eating quickly will not optimally “stretch" your stomach.

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