Feelings of thirst and hunger are very common during Ramadan, this is why it’s important to take necessary measures to keep your body hydrated and stay satiated.
Avoid dehydration and thirst
•Dehydration is usually caused by low fluid intake, high sodium intake, or excess of caffeine coming from coffee, soft drinks or tea. Staying in air-conditioned rooms can dry out your skin which also leads to dehydration. Besides thirst, getting dehydrated can result in headaches, fatigue, and even fainting.
•If you normally drink 8 cups of water daily, it’s advisable to bring that up to 10 cups during Ramadan, which you can divide between iftar and suhur to adjust your fluid levels (2 cups before suhur, 2 cups after, 2 cups as soon as you break your fast, 2 cups during iftar and another 2 after it).
•You can also get your fluid intake from other beverages and soups, as well as water-rich fruits and vegetables (watermelon, grapefruit, lettuce, cucumbers, celery, and tomatoes). Try to limit your use of salt in cooking to reduce the causes of thirst during the day.
•First and foremost, don’t skip suhur! It should be the meal that keeps you full and provides you with enough energy for many hours. Have your suhur meal at the right hour before sunrise, as this will balance your blood glucose levels during fasting.
•Make sure to eat slow digesting foods which contain fibers such as whole grains (bread, cereal, brown rice), legumes, nuts and seeds, and fruits and vegetables. High fiber food can help neutralize stomach acid that is caused by fasting.
•Food rich in protein will last longer in your body and keep you full until the next meal. Good sources of protein include skinless chicken, lean meat cuts, and fish.
•Stay away from fast-digesting food such as sweets, knefeh, white bread, white rice, etc…
Some examples for a fulfilling suhur meal:
Whole wheat bread with a cup of milk
White cheese or foul mdammas with whole bread
Boiled eggs with brown Arabic bread
Always include vegetables like cucumbers, or tomatoes and 1-2 servings of fruits.
Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian