Happy Ramadan everyone, the Holy month has arrived! We have been receiving many questions about nutrition in the past couple of weeks, as all our eating habits during this month is pretty much different than the other 11 months of the year for people who are fasting, because they are not allowed to eat nor drink from sunrise to sunset. Here are 5 Golden Rules to follow to maximize your health, and athletic performance along the course of the month.
With Ramadan being in summer, we tend to lose loads of water and electrolytes without the ability to replenish during the fasting hours, not to mention if you are working out after Iftar, you will even lose more! Make sure to drink around 1 Liter of water on Iftar; specially if you are going to workout right after, and at least a total of 4 Liters during the non-fasting hours. Dehydration will negatively impact your general health, increase water retention, decrease your athletic performance, slower down your recovery, and make you more prone to injury!
2. Healthy fats are your best friend
Healthy fats should always be a part of your eating habits, specially in Ramadan! Compared to other Macro-Nutrients, fats are digested the slowest, therefore it will provide you with energy for the longest time. Also including healthy fats in every meal will help you burn more of the stored fats. The good sources of fats are: raw nuts (excluding cashews and peanuts), avocado, olives, olive oil (uncooked), and coconut.
3. Stay away from starchy foods and sugar
First, let us all agree that there is very tempting unhealthy food in most homes in Egypt, but these are the reason behind the extra pounds you put every year. Food high in glycemic index, will cause your blood sugar to rise causing Insulin spikes, this irregularity in Insulin levels is not only a catalyst for increasing the stored body fat, but is a cause for many chronic diseases like of diabetes, chronic heart disease, high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure, and the list goes on and on. Substitute the starch and sugar by fruits and veggies, and there are a lot of healthy paleo friendly deserts all around the internet, which are very delicious and guiltless in the same time!
Protein must be an essential element in all of your meals, since its a key player in the muscle repairing process, make sure that you have a meal within a window of 45 minutes after your workout that is high in protein (without neglecting the 2 other macro nutrients which are fats and carbs). Good sources of protein are lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and protein powder.
There are some supplements that you can increase your energy levels, aid your recovery, and help you maximize your gains allover the month, here is what we recommend:
– Whey Protein Powder
– Casein Protein (recommended with sehour meal)
– Omega 3