Hydration in Ramadan !
Doctors and scientists recommend drinking roughly 16 cups of water per day for the average man and 11 for women. While fasting, and in addition to the significant reduction of water intake, our bodies also lose a lot of water reserves through sweating, breathing and urinating.
This can affect our metabolism in many different ways that include:
- Higher body temperature
- Joints lubrication issues
- Sleeping disorders
- Mood swings, etc.
What will happen to our bodies when dehydrated, and how to avoid it ?
When our bodies are dehydrated, symptoms may occur such as :
- Dry mouth
- Weakness in muscles
In case of severe dehydration, it could lead to :
- Lack of sweating
- Sunken eyes
- Shriveled and dry skin
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
Here are some tips to keep yourself hydrated while fasting :
-Get the necessary amount of water your body needs during the day. Experts recommend 11 to 16 cups of water per day. And not all of those cups have to come from plain water, some can come from water flavored with fruit or vegetables (lemons, berries,watermelons or orange or cucumber slices), or from coffee or tea.
- Maintain electrolyte balance in your body by making sure you get enough minerals and vitamins such as Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Calcium, absorbed in your body through whole foods or supplements.
- Keep yourself away from drinking sugar-sweetened beverages when trying to stay hydrated
- Avoid eating high salted and spicy meals as it increases thirst and body’s need of water
Keep in mind that a balanced diet and a sufficient water intake are very important to keep your well being,
especially in the holy month of Ramadan.
Does hydration affect performance ?
Despite knowing the importance of water in our bodies, many people do not seriously consider the effects of dehydration on performance especially while fasting in our high temperature countries. Understanding how our body operates helps us recognize the importance of hydration. For example sweating is the body’s primary way of maintaining optimal body temperature, a loss of sweat equals to 2 to 5 percent of body weight causing a noticeable decrease of up to 30 percent of physical and mental performance.
Hydration also helps prevent muscle fatigue, and burn more fat while stabilizing heart rate, which helps us manage stress. It enhances our central neural system that will only operate if it's well hydrated, naturally leading our bodies to perform better.
So it's not a surprise knowing that our physical and mental performance are essentially related to hydration.
One thing to keep in mind is that water is the primary component of our bodies and it's crucial for us to stay well and healthy.