Finding an appropriate period to exercise during Ramadan may help you maintain your energy levels and stabilize your metabolism. The task certainly seems daunting! Just follow the instructions and tips that the article will give you to maintain an exercise regime during the holy month, with the need to consult a doctor in case of illness or over the age of 50!
The most effective times to exercise during Ramadan
Ideally, athletes should eat and drink in moderation and not in large quantities before, during, and after training, so the timing, duration, and intensity of exercise sessions can be adjusted to better take advantage of the nutritional opportunities available on the fasting day, and therefore the following recommendations should be considered regarding the ideal times to exercise during Ramadan:
1. First recommendation
Do not put pressure on yourself to exercise during the day while you are fasting, as with high temperatures and the inability to drink any liquid from sunrise to sunset, you will endanger your health by putting too much pressure on yourself with exercise, especially:
- Intensive cardio exercises.
- Weight lifting exercises.
2. Second Recommendation
Adapt the duration and intensity of exercise in line with your nutritional and hydration status and weather conditions, such as heat and humidity.
3. Third Recommendation
Morning sports sessions can benefit from taking fluids and food before dawn, but restoring energy and water after a sports session will not be possible, since another opportunity to drink or eat will not be available until sunset! Try to avoid this timing!
4. Fourth recommendation
Sports sessions planned to finish right before Iftar will allow you to eat right after that, which will give him energy during the night! This is considered good timing!
5. Fifth recommendation
Only training sessions that take place two to three hours after the end of fasting can respect the hydration/eating cycle that you must adhere to before, during, and after exercise. However, getting enough sleep during the night is also essential, so be careful not to waste your sleep hours to get training!
The best times to exercise according to the University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham recommends exercising before breakfast, two hours after breakfast, and before suhoor.
- Exercises before Iftar: it is best to exercise during Ramadan just before sunset, as you will have the opportunity to be provided with food and water immediately after, and during the rest of the evening.
Carbohydrate-rich foods should be eaten for Iftar, and at least 20 grams of high-quality, quickly digestible, and absorbed protein should be consumed shortly after exercise whenever possible, as well as high-quality protein-rich foods at every opportunity to eat in the evening and before dawn.
- Exercises after Iftar: are a good option for those who have less free time during the day, and exercising after eating can be useful, but a balance must be achieved between exercising at that time and sleeping!
Be careful to consume low amounts of carbohydrates while exercising after Iftar.
- Exercises between 3 am and 4 am, before Suhoor: for people who wake up early, the best time to start their fitness schedule can be just before Suhoor time between 3 am and 4 am.
This way you will get energy from last night's meal, and you will be able to eat suhoor food in the morning after exercise. Make sure you drink enough water to hydrate yourself and then eat your meal.
Moisturizing the body when exercising during Ramadan
The need to drink water varies from person to person, and in particular, depends on the extent to which the body loses fluid due to sweating during physical exertion. Fasting Ramadan does not change the basic water requirements unless the athlete changes the type of effort and duration of his exercises.
Thus, the challenge in exercising during Ramadan is to compensate for all the water lost between sunset and Dawn, and to do this, it is preferable to follow a hydration plan instead of relying on drinking water according to thirst, as an athlete can easily determine whether his hydration plan is sufficient to balance his water losses, by:
- Examination of body weight.
- Monitor the color and amount of urine, especially in the morning.
- Urine should be clear and in a normal amount.
It should be noted that any weight loss after exercise should correspond to the amount of water that needs to be compensated, that is, an amount of liquid should be consumed equivalent to 150% of the lost weight, that is, drinking 1.5 liters balances the loss of 1 kg of weight.
The lost salt should also be compensated for when rehydrating, either by drinking rehydration solutions designed specifically for athletes or by drinking and eating at the same time (most foods contain salt), as this will help your body retain water.
It is better to divide your fluid intake during the iftar period on the day of Ramadan than to drink a large amount at once, as this strategy helps to reduce losses through urination.
Strategies to reduce sweating should also be used, for example avoiding exposure to heat or the sun. In addition, consider the use of cooling vests, cold baths, and fans, during and after sports exertion, especially if it's hot.
Finally, creating an exercise routine that fits fasting during Ramadan can be difficult! If you are going to continue exercising during Ramadan, cardio exercises and heavy weights are not recommended, and exercising can become dangerous if more effort is exerted than usual, especially during fasting!
And remember, if you feel unwell due to illness or fasting, please do not exercise until you feel healthy and able to!