Unlike many years before, the holy month of Ramadan this year (and the next five years) will be at the height of summer, which is dominated by temperature and humidity in most of Arab countries. Fasting in such a climate creates difficulties for the body.
The loss of large amounts of fluid can lead to dehydration, especially with a long fasting period exceeding sixteen hours as a result of summer daylight length So, how can you maintain body endurance when exposed to a severe shortage of liquids and alleviate health problems for the summer?
It must be noted that fasting in summer itself is not considered a physical difficulty, although the length of day accompanied with warm weather makes it look like that. However, those who suffer from chronic health problems require regular check-ups in order to regulate drug intake during fasting.
Tips for coping with summer fasting:
- Delay suhoor in order to preserve most of your food energy during the day. With that in mind, it is not advisable to use excessive physical effort in the mornings while fasting, so the body can maintain a good proportion of its energy; it is preferred to exercise after Iftar.
- Stay away from soft drinks. Drinking juices containing artificial colors and large amounts of sugar will only increase the feeling of thirst, as they affect digestive mechanism of stomach and reduce efficiency of digestion. Research had also shown that people who tend to drink soft beverages are more prone to allergic rhinitis, congestion, stuffy nose and headache.
- Eat a healthy diet: eat meals that contain sufficient amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and stay away from foods that contain hot spices and greasy seasonings because they consume large amounts of water after eating.
- Stay away from chilled liquids: drinking cold water increases a sense of thirst, as a result of cooling the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth, thereby hindering the ability to function in the respiratory tract. This leads to chest tightness, which coincides with the warm weather this year. This reflects the importance of drinking warm soup every day.
- Avoid carbohydrates: foods full of carbohydrates are like foods high in fats and salts, they cause stomach limp that affect general ability to fast.
- Drink yogurt: dairy products contain many vitamins, minerals, and beneficial bacteria, which in turn helps the body to compensate the lack of dietary supplements during the day.
- Drink water: The best way to compensate the lack of water in your body is to consume it in intervals after Iftar.
- Choose the right Suhoor meal: vegetables and fruits contain large amounts of fresh water and fiber, which stays a longer time in the intestine and weakens the sense of thirst and hunger.
- Eat Watermelon: Watermelon is a summer fruit par excellence, it is gentle on the stomach and rich enough that it compensates man's need of water and nutrients of the long and hot fasting day.
- Eat dates: Dates have a high content nutritional content that provides an ideal benefit for the body, whilst containing beta carotene (that prevents dizziness and a feeling of fatigue).
- Compliance with eating meals during Iftar and Suhur times: this has a positive impact on the stability of one’s body just as it makes sense to have certain meals in ordinary days, and it supports the immune system and maintains energy during the day.
- Ablution: Ablution, even without prayers, helps moisturize the skin to feel refreshed, and thus alleviate the sense of heat that induces thirst.
- Avoid drinking caffeine: It’s best to stay away from tea, coffee and other tonic beverages after Iftar for a minimum of two hours. Once taken they should be followed with exercises that activate muscles and joints, and revitalize the body’s energy after the day’s recession.