Ramadan is upon us and so is that famous question “How should I spend my Ramadan in a healthy way?” Well we at SQUATWOLF want to help our Wolf Pack every step of the way, so here are 15 tips from our experts on how to spend Ramadan in a healthy way.
1. Never use Ramadan as a reason not to exercise.
Just because you are fasting does not mean in any way that you have a free pass to stop going to the gym for an entire month. The average fast lasts between 12 to 14 hours, which means you have over 10 hours of the day to do everything else. No one is asking you to work out during your fast but if you want to say goodbye to all those hard-earned muscles, you might as well take a break then.
2. It is advised to either workout after Iftaar or Tarawih.
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated during a workout. It is advised to workout post-fast and the most ideal time is to work out 2-3 hours after Iftaar, which means a trip to the gym after Tarawih is going to be exactly what your body needs. We cannot stress this enough, STAY HYDRATED.
3. It is important to have easily-digested proteins, complex carbs and essential fats in Suhoor, such as; nuts, whey shakes and a lot of fruits.
It is important to keep your nutrients in check if you are planning to work out later in the day. Make sure you have a healthy amount of proteins, carbs, and fats stored to get you through the day. If you are looking to work out later in the day (I mean at least we hope you are since you are already here) try and take whey shakes, a few fruits and a handful of nuts during Suhoor.
4. It wouldn’t be a smart thing to pass your PB in Ramadan
Oi, Big man, we get that you are used to going beast in the gym and you want to completely demolish your last deadlift personal best, but how about you put that off until next month. Your body is undernourished during Ramadan, so it’s best to not overexert your body and risk injury.
5. Get in and out of the gym in under an hour, preferably 45 mins.
Try and keep your workouts tight during Ramadan. It doesn’t matter if you take much longer, you can get a lot done in 45 mins. Just keep in mind, Ramadan is all about anti-atrophy, not hypertrophy, which means if you are looking to make gains in Ramadan, you better say goodbye to that goal. It is better that you try and maintain your muscle mass and prime them for those gains next month.
6. Drink as much water as you can and then drink some more in the time of the day you are allowed.
Hydration is so important that we literally had to give it, it’s own independent heading. Dehydration can cause you to pass out during the workout, fall and crack your skull open and let’s be honest, nobody wants that do they. Water helps replenish mineral loss, regulate body temperature, lubricate joints and transport nutrients. You see why we talk about it so much.
7. Don’t worry about working out, you won’t lose your muscle gains, just keep your workouts low or medium intensity.
You have a 10 to 12-hour window in between each fast, this is enough for you to complete 3-4 meals a day. If you are keeping track of the nutrients and doing low to medium intensity workouts, losing muscles are the last thing you need to worry about.
8. It is good to take some sort of supplements to compensate for the drop in food intake.
Apart from the whey protein, there are some supplements specific for this month.
- Since you have a short window to eat food, a good digestive enzyme can be your best friend during Ramadan
- Protein powders, both whey, and casein
- Magnesium can be great before you sleep to help you get that much-needed rest
9. Avoid working out during fasting hours.
There are a number of things you shouldn’t do during Ramadan and trust us, this is up there. It would be dangerous and foolish to work out during your fast. Your body is running on fumes during the day, so it isn’t exactly advised unless you want to lose that muscle mass. If you push your body beyond its limit, it will start eating away at your own muscles to get the energy it needs to do the workout. So DON’T!
10. Try to cut down on any caffeinated drinks.
You’re already low on water and caffeine being a diuretic will drain out whatever your body has managed to store. So tea, coffee, and colas are a huge no during Ramadan.
11. Don’t overindulge during iftaar. Take it easy on the food.
We get that you’ve been deprived of food all day and you want right now is just a mouthful of food, but you’d be better off taking it slow. Start off with a date and some water to get your stomach ready for the onslaught of food coming its way. Try and stay away from deep-fried foods as much as possible.
12. Under no circumstances should you ever skip Suhoor.
Suhoor is the only meal you get from dawn to sunset, which means it is the only source of energy your body has to rely on an entire day. It is the most important meal for you to take, so don’t skip it.
13. Aim to eat ample amounts of fruits and vegetables every day.
Drop that sweet and pick up an apple. You need to avoid sweets anyways and this can be a healthy alternative. Apart from all the vitamins, fruits are high in water content which can help replenish the water in your system.
14. As painful as it may be, try to cut down on sugary and processed foods.
Ramadan is all about sweets and deep fried snacks, but we strongly advise against it. These foods are high in fats and low in nutrients, don’t put that stuff in your body.
15. High-intensity workouts are a big “NO NO” during Ramadan unless you’re feeling like a boss.
Even on a normal day, high-intensity training can bring you to your knees, doing that when your body is low on nutrients isn’t a smart move at all. You can do it if you’re feeling brave enough, but again, we would strongly advise you to put it off until next month.
Ramadan is meant to a month of blessings and good habits. Taking care of your health is a good deed as much as anything else. This Ramadan, promise yourself to eat right, workout and take full advantage of this month.