Proper Hydration in Ramadan
You’ve probably seen this done or done this yourself: get up for a rush at suhoor, quickly down 3-4 cups of water to avoid feeling thirsty during the rest of the day. It might make sense intuitively, but this is a bad idea.
We aren’t camels, nor do we have a location to store water. Instead, proper hydration needs to focus on understanding where water comes in our body.
The blood is made up of many solutes dissolved in water, including electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium in addition to sugar. Hydrating with just water is inefficient, especially in such a short time period. Instead we want to maximize absorption of water through specific channels in our gut.
Instead, the ideal way to hydrate is with a combination of:
The body has a glucose/sodium (Na+) transporter that it uses to shuttle water into the body, and we can take advantage of the to increase the total volume of water in the blood. This will lead to less headaches and lightheadedness later in the fasting day.
I like to take pre-made electrolyte packets at suhoor, form brands such as:
You just pour them in water and consume at suhoor. It has made a HUGE difference in my energy levels during the day in Ramadan.
You can make your own at home if access/cost is an issue. Combining the drink with dates (for the sugar content) will lead to optimal hydration potential.
How to make your own electrolyte drink at home:
¼-½ teapoon of salt
Squeeze of lemon/lime
8-16oz of water
Try it out and let me know how it goes. This, along with the caffeine optimization(coming soon) have made it so during the fast I can work/worship without feeling like I’m going to pass out.
Disclaimer: Talk to your doctor before increasing salt intake, particularly if you have high blood pressure or take medications for it. This is not medical advice