As you may or may not know Ramadan is a time of year where Muslims fast and they consume nothing (no food or water) from dawn to sunset. So I thought I’d put together TOP 10 TIPS AND TRICKS for you ‘guys and gals’ that struggle for a routine or unsure of what to do when it comes to training and eating during Ramadan.
Top Ten Tricks for Training and eating during Ramadan:
1. Try to get your workout in 1-2 hours after you have broken your fast as this allows your body to digest the food you have consumed after going so many hours with consuming nothing.
2. Consume a ‘light’ meal when you break your fast with adequate protein, fats and carbohydrates as your body will digest this in a good amount of time then you can train.
3. Ensure you are hydrated – consume at least 1 litre of water before you train as your body will have been severely deprived and dehydrated from the amount of time you have consumed nothing.
4. Keep your workouts short (30-45minutes) in order to be able to get back home and EAT!
5. Reduce the amount of exercises and sets you typically do as your going to be struggling to get in your normal amount of calories you typically do to recover so you need to cut back on exercises and sets so your body has less stress to recover from.
6. DO NOT train while you are fasting as you can’t even consume water so this would be a very bad idea and can cause you to faint. Studies have shown training when your body is in starvation and dehydration can decrease strength and muscle mass significantly and that’s not what we want.
7. Try and stick with calorie dense foods as you want to be able to recover from working out and as your already limited with a restricted time window you won’t be able to fit in a lot of meals so you want to be able to choose calorie dense foods that will keep you full.
8. Aim to consume a minimum of 2.5 litres from when you break your fast because you want to be able to stay hydrated for when you train but also for the next day where again you won’t be consuming anything again.
9. Stick to weight training and avoid any excessive cardio as you want to be able to preserve as much muscle you have and your already restricted with not being able to eat the normal amount you typically would.
10. Supplements? – Supplements can be very helpful during Ramadan due to the restricted time frame you have to eat and train. I would recommend my top 3 during Ramadan. 1 – BCAA’S during training as this will help preserve muscle. 2 – Multivitamin/Fish Oil supplement which will allow you to get the required daily amount of vitamins the body needs which you will be struggling to get from food during Ramadan. 3- Whey protein is a big help when you need to hit your protein goal and as you can consume it in liquid form it is very convenient and saves you a lot of time than cooking.
Zarak’s Daily Ramadan Routine
I will typically train 3-4 times a week focussing on full body workouts with compound exercises. My training session would be kept short 30-45mins focussing on main Compound lifts such as Squat, Bench press, Shoulder Press, Bent over Rows and Pull ups.
Breakfast: I will typically consume 500ml of water with Dates and Watermelon to break my fast. I would then consume a meal consisting of chicken breast with 2 wholemeal slices of bread and avocado.
90MINS later – TRAIN! (Sipping on 2 Litres of water infused with BCAA’S during training)
Immediately Postworkout – Whey protein and Honey – Protein for the muscles to feed off and the honey to replenish them glycogen stores.
1 hour after post workout shake – This is where I consume the majority of my calories as its my final meal so I make it a massive meal where I will consume chicken/fish/beef for my protein and I will have that with a big plate of rice/pasta. Then I will treat myself to a desert and this can be anything from pancakes, chocolates, ice cream and/ or milkshake.