Ramadan is here! For Muslims, this month involves going without food and water from dawn to dusk as well as practising more charity in the hope of getting closer to God. The spiritual benefits aside, how exactly does fasting affect your physical body? We have some answers:
- While fasting, the body starts to tap energy from its energy stores, once the easily accessible calories from the last meal is used up. After about 5-6 hours your body may reach what is called the state of ketosis during which your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates
- By the time you get accustomed to the fasting schedule, the digestive system is able to rest. Your body uses this to focus on healing cells & white blood cells become more active
- If the weather is hot, you might experience some mild dehydration, which may cause headaches, tiredness and difficulty in concentration. This is not necessarily unsafe because the liquids you take when you break your fast should easily supplement those lost during the day.
It is important to remember that fasting may actually help your body get better. When you do break your fast, it is better to eat slowly and to begin with lots of liquid and low-fat meals for richer nourishment.
Drinking water as well as choosing hydrating foods like vegetables, yoghurt, soups and stews, is important to help begin the following day of fasting very much hydrated.
Do well to take care of your body during this holy month. Ramadan Kareem!