Four natural ways to support your body and stay energised while fasting for Ramadan 2022
Do you struggle with fatigue while fasting? Discover four natural ways you can support your body during Ramadan this year.
For Muslims all over the world, Ramadan is a time to reconnect with faith and loved ones. It’s an incredibly rewarding time, but many people struggle with the fatigue associated with fasting and the bloating that often occurs after indulging during iftar.
This year, Ramadan falls ten days earlier than Ramadan 2021, meaning the days will be a little shorter than last year. As a result, fasting may be a little easier, but you may still experience some changes in your energy levels and digestion.
Luckily, there are a few things you can try to help revitalise yourself after sundown, so you can enjoy this holy month. Jo Webber, Herbal Education Lead at Pukka Herbs shares her top tips for staying energised and comfortable during Ramadan.
1) Support your energy levels
Lethargy is particularly common during Ramadan, but if you’re dealing with fasting fatigue, then you may want to use your suhoor to prepare your body and raise your energy levels. One easy way to recharge is by drinking a cup of matcha tea in the morning.
While this vibrant green brew does contain caffeine, it contains other plant compounds that can give you an extra energy and brain boost while also calming the body — helping you avoid the jitteriness and caffeine crash you might experience with a coffee.
Ginseng is another beneficial root that can help improve your energy levels. You might find this ingredient in some energy-boosting teas and supplements due to its ability to help our bodies conserve energy and use it more efficiently. This makes ginseng teas and capsules a great option for suhoor, so you can support your energy levels for the day ahead.
2) Drink digestive aids after iftar
After iftar, you may find that you feel a little bloated. This can occur for a variety of reasons, from eating heavy and spicy foods to overeating after fasting. Luckily, there are a few ingredients you could try to help aid digestion and ease the discomfort.
Ginger, chamomile, peppermint and fennel seed are all natural ingredients that can help to give your digestive system a helping hand. Better yet, the relaxing effects of chamomile can help you get a good night’s rest to restore your energy levels.
Why not try a soothing digestive tea containing these herbs after your meal? Dehydration is also common during Ramadan, particularly towards the end of the month when the days are longer. Drinking herbal teas is the perfect way to rehydrate after a day of fasting.
3) Try some light exercise
Whether you’re dealing with feelings of bloating or lethargy, you might benefit from some light exercise. A short walk of 20–30 minutes can help distract your mind, boost your energy levels and aid digestion, without causing exhaustion. Just after suhoor is the perfect time to get in your daily walk, when you’re well-rested and have eaten.
However, if you’re feeling tired during the day, in the evening, or after iftar, a quick walk can be helpful then too. If your family will be heading to the mosque for Taraweeh prayers, why not walk there instead of taking the car?
4) Eat less and eat well
Digestive aids can help ease any uncomfortable symptoms after eating, but you may also want to take steps to avoid bloating and digestive issues in the first place. It’s common to overindulge when you break your fast, but overconsumption can be a big contributor to bloating and lethargy.
While you certainly want to enjoy your food, remember that your stomach is about the size of your cupped hands, so try to take it slow and stop once your body tells you it’s full.
It’s also a good idea to eat a variety of fresh vegetables, slow-digesting wholegrains, such as whole wheat or brown rice, and sufficient protein. Try to minimise deep-fried foods, such as samosas, dumplings and pakoras (consider baked versions instead) and avoid ultra-processed foods, such as shop-bought pastries, cakes and crisps.
During iftar, you have a much shorter window to give your body all the daily nutrients it needs, so planning your meals to ensure you’re getting enough goodness can help towards keeping your digestive system healthy.
It’s common to feel tired during Ramadan
Feelings of tiredness, bloating and dehydration are incredibly common during Ramadan as the body adjusts to the fast. As the days get longer, symptoms may get a little stronger and, while not detrimental to your health, they can interfere with your day-to-day tasks.
Taking care of your body is important at any time of year, but even more so during Ramadan. Focusing on getting the right foods and a wide variety of those foods can help support your body from the inside out, helping to boost your energy levels and digestion.
This is also a time to reconnect with your faith and with your body, so you may even want to keep up certain parts of your routine after Ramadan.
Photo by Rachael Gorjestani