Guide to healthy fasting: Drinks to avoid during Ramadan

Avoid having too many cups of tea or coffee as the caffeine leads to loss of water which increases thirst. (Shutterstock)

60 –70% of your body is made of water and any reduction in your water intake can affect your body's cells and nerves from functioning properly.

During fasting, human body loses liquids, which is why one needs healthy drink after or during iftar in order to avoid dehydration in an effective manner.

Dehydration may also cause undesirable side effects such as: constipation, headache, dizziness, tiredness and dry skin.

Avoid tea, coffee:

Avoid having too many cups of tea or coffee as the caffeine leads to loss of water which increases thirst.

More so, sugary foods or drinks, get digested very quickly and could leave you feeling hungry sooner than you would expect.

Having said that, drinking too much water is also not advisable. It will dilute the stomach acids and lead to bloating and indigestion.

Avoid fizzy drinks:

During the evening hours, resist the temptation to drink aerated cola and soda. When visiting friends or family, ask for glasses of water.

Try to avoid drinking fizzy water in Ramadan, because this causes digestion problems and a sense of fullness and decreases the quality of digestion.  

Drinking too much of the Ramadan drinks and other soft drinks will fill up your stomach and delay your digestion process

Footnote - If you are in the habit of drinking many cups of tea or coffee or caffeine –containing drinks during the day, please start reducing over a period of 1-2 weeks before Ramadan.  Tea and coffee contain caffeine, an addictive substance that causes severe headaches on withdrawal.

Why is water important:

Water is the most important fluid that replenish your thirst during Ramadan.

Unfortunately though, most people do not drink enough but have only small amounts at iftar.

Unlike water, other fluids contain a lot of sugar and can result in you consuming extra calories

If you feel like a headache is coming on or light-headed, you’re probably dehydrated.

Fresh fruits, juices and veggies with high water content will keep you hydrated.

Coconut water is a great source of electrolytes with simple sugars and minerals that replenish water loss. Add cool foods like cucumbers, pineapple, tomatoes, oranges, melons and onions which help in reducing body heat.

Keep away from salty foods as they increase fluid loss in your body.

Good to Remember

Water plays a significant role in weight loss and maintenance, because it helps to get rid of toxins and reduce the feeling of hunger. This is why it is important to drink small quantities of water throughout the night.

How to prevent getting thirsty during Ramadan:

The food that you eat plays a major role in controlling your thirst while you are fasting. Here are a few pointers:

Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. If you are exercising and are outdoors in hot weather, you lose more fluids. So make sure you drink more water.

Avoid hot and spicy dishes as it increases thirst

Do not add too much salt to salads and other dishes. Also avoid eating salty foods like salted fish and pickles as they increase the body’s need for water

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables because they are rich in water and fibre. They stay in the intestines for a long time and reduce thirst.

Drink fresh fruit juices rather than sweetened juices

Try not to drink large quantities of water all at once or a lot during a meal. Instead drink water between your meals.

Good to know

Drinking iced water to break your fast does not replenish your thirst but can cause your blood vessels to contract and cause indigestion. For this reason, it is recommended you drink water at room temperature or slightly cold.

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