What to eat before and after workout during Ramadan
Fasting for over 15 hours a day during Ramadan could make the thought of exercising very daunting.
While feeling sluggish after iftar is relatively normal, having the right meals could be the secret to a boost in energy and a craving for a quick workout session.
Sakina Mustansir, Dietitian at Prime Hospital, pointed out that the type of food and intake depends on the intensity of the workout as it directly affects energy levels.
For light to moderate intensity workouts carried out a few hours after iftar, a light snack combined with a citrus drink is recommended. “It can include three to four dates with some lemon juice or orange juice for a boost in energy, along with a moderate amount of water for hydration.”
Light to moderate workouts can include walking, jogging, yoga, Pilates, or a short session of cardio exercises.
After the workout, having a fruit or a protein shake will help make up for the energy lost. A meal containing vegetables with lean protein such as chicken, fish, or turkey is advised 45 minutes to one hour post workout. The meal can be combined with complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, oats and some healthy fats like nuts, avocado, and flax seeds, cooked in extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil.
In the case of high intensity workouts during Ramadan, water is the key to staying hydrated and energetic. “Approximately 1.5-2 litres of water should be sipped throughout the workout to prevent muscle fatigue,” Sakina said.
She explained that an average of 2.5-4 litres of water should be consumed between iftar and suhour every day depending on the activity level of the individual.
High intensity workouts such as weight training and competitive contact sports should be carried out one to one and a half hours after iftar. The iftar meal should include dates with juice and soup, followed by a balanced meal of vegetables, lean protein and complex carbohydrates.
Post-workout, a protein shake and a fruit is recommended to help restore muscles, and make up for the lost energy.
As for desserts, those with a sweet tooth planning on achieve their fitness goals during this month, it is recommended to avoid desserts on a regular basis.