Eat for Energy

To get the optimum nutrition and hydration from your meals this Ramadan, you need to say yes to:


Drink at least 8-12 cups of water to rehydrate you and help you prepare for the fast. Avoid sugary drinks – they’re not as effective as water in rehydrating you – they are just ‘empty’ calories that you could do without. Ideally, give up caffeinated drinks completely for Ramadan as they are diuretic which stimulates faster water loss – you need to keep as hydrated as possible.

Fluid-rich foods

Certain foods can help to rehydrate. Soup is a good one, and it is a good choice for the body after long periods of fasting. But some fruits and vegetables have a high-water content too, such as cucumber, grapes and watermelon.

Low salt foods

Too much sodium will make you thirsty and will also lead to bloating, which will make you uncomfortable. The situation is made worse by the fact that often salty food is fried – which can exacerbate your bloating and make you feel tired too.

Low sugar foods

There is a limited time to break the fast and filling up on refined carbohydrates (i.e. sugar and white flour), and fatty food (e.g. cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets like Indian mithai) will not provide the fuel needed for the fast. In fact, it can have the opposite effect: after the initial ‘kick’ from eating fast-burning food, you can be left feeling even hungrier, and of course, these types of food are bad in the long term and can lead to piling on the pounds.

Smaller, more wholesome, meals

Eating smaller meals that pack a punch will give you more energy for the fast. Eating complex carbohydrates, such as fruit and vegetables, beans, chickpeas and lentils, provide a long-lasting source of energy throughout the day. Eating a large, unhealthy meal on an empty stomach may leave you feeling tired and sluggish. Perhaps looking at tradition and break the fast with a glass of milk and a few dates, might be a good suggestion.

Eating more slowly

Of course, the temptation is to devour food when you haven’t eaten for a long period. However, eating slowly gives your body the time it needs to digest food properly. It will also help you to avoid indigestion – which is the last thing you need after a long day of fasting.

Good foods to eat

Still confused about good foods to eat – and those to limit or avoid altogether? Here is a list that might help:

Meat and Protein

  • Fish
  • Grilled or boiled skinless chicken or turkey
  • Lean lamb
  • Moderate amounts of prawns
  • Legumes such as beans, lentils, and peas
  • Eggs


  • Fried or fatty meats
  • Processed meat

Milk and Dairy

  • Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
  • Low fat yoghurt
  • Low fat cheese


  • Whole milk
  • Ice cream and cream
  • Full cream yoghurt and cheese
  • Creamy and cheese sauces

Fruit and vegetables

  • All fresh vegetables, boiled, baked, steamed or cooked with a little oil
  • Seasoned vegetables or vegetables with lemon juice or a little oil
  • Fresh fruits and natural fruit juice (in moderation)


  • Fried vegetables
  • Vegetables with added butter
  • Fruit juices

Bread and grains

  • Wholemeal bread and cereal (such as oats)
  • Legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas and beans
  • Plain spaghetti or rice (without ghee or high fat sauce)
  • Grains with no added fat
  • Baked or boiled potatoes


  • Pastries and cakes that contain large amounts of fat (doughnuts, croissants, etc.)
  • Fried rice
  • Crisps
  • Chips


  • Unsaturated fats such as avocado, unsalted nuts, salmon, olives and olive oil.


  • Saturated fats such as butter, cream, ghee, full fat milk and cheese, fatty cuts of beef and lamb and processed meats.
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