When you fast, your energy mainly depends on the sugar glucose that you consume during your Suhour meal. But this meal can only provide energy for a few hours and then your body has to depend on its stored glucose (glycogen) and fats. And after fasting the whole day, it is the food you eat at Iftar that will provide your body cells with calories and nutrients to give you energy and vitality.
For longer lasting energy this year, it is important to pay attention to the quality of the food you eat at this predawn meal. It is considered essential, as it prevents hunger, tissue breakdown and offers better endurance ability during the long day.
Try to eat slowly digestible and absorbable foods which are rich in fibre such as complex carbohydrates (whole-wheat breads, rice, pasta, potatoes and whole wheat grains such as Burghul). These foods give you energy that can last for many hours unlike foods high in sugar which provide energy for only a short time and then lead to a drop in the blood sugar levels, leading to low energy. In addition, whole-wheat breads and cereals are rich in B vitamins which help release energy from the food you’ve eaten.
You can also eat protein-rich foods together with your complex carbohydrates, such as milk and dairy products (yogurt, Labneh, and cheese, preferably white cheese which has a lower fat content) or legumes (fava beans or chickpeas) that will make you feel full for a longer period.
IFTAR TO REPLENISH YOUR ENERGY STORES – WHAT TO EAT TO COMPENSATE FOR LIQUIDS AND NUTRIENTS?
- Break your fast with a few dates, a glass of fresh juice and a bowl of soup. Dates, juices and soups are good sources of carbohydrates and help bring your low blood glucose to normal levels. Liquids (water, juice, soup) also help maintain the fluid and electrolyte balance in the body and replenish whatever was lost during the day.
- For more energy and vitality make sure this meal is balanced by including complex carbohydrate sources, protein from meat or legumes, vegetables as well as fruits.
- Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and water between Iftar and Suhour to prevent dehydration
- Limit your intake of fried foods and foods high in fats and sugar
- Avoid foods high in salt such as pickles, salty crackers and nuts, and canned foods
- Try not to drink too much tea especially at Suhour as it can increase fluids lost through urination
- Don’t overeat at the Suhour meal
Light exercise between 3 pm and Maghreb time can help you burn body fat which allows you to lose or maintain your weight.