For the next 30 days, our friends who will be observing Ramadan, will face quite a challenge in adhering to 30 days of fasting between sun up and sun down.
Craig Burton, and myself have come up with exercise and nutritional guidelines, to keep you supported during Ramadan.
I hope you will achieve the purification of the soul upon commemorating the month of Ramadan.Wishing you a blessed and happy Ramadan!
Should we or shouldn’t we exercise ….. well that will depend on you. You will need to asses your energy levels and most important listen to what your body is telling you. Some days you will have a great deal of energy and other days will be low energy days. Make the adjustment to how your body is feeling. The biggest thing to remember is that we need to change our mindset – now is not the time to make gains, but to minimize muscle atrophy and de conditioning.
We have an amazing opportunity , to still adhere to our action plan. It’s just going to take a little shift in our perspective. All it takes is a little 5mm change.
When to Train?
I am a huge proponent of sleep. Optimal sleep trumps training. Recovery and the ability to absorb your training load is the number priority in any training plan. Time the training sessions just before you will break the daily fast before Iftar.
Adjust your training duration, volume , and most important the intensity. We don’t need to be spending hours in the gym – opt for shorter sessions 35-40 min.
Here are two strength training sessions that you can do on alternate days. Make sure to allow 48 hours between the strength sessions. It’s very important that we maintain current levels of strength and lean muscle tissue.
On days when you are not doing any strength training, aim for 30 min of conversation pace (able to talk without any difficulty) cardiovascular training and stretching.
Here are some nutritional guidelines offered by Craig
Keys to successful Ramadan:
- Keep sugar low
- Stay clear of inflammatory grains like wheat
- Eat plenty of fats to make hormones that deal with stress of fasting like cortisol (coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, eggs, olives, butter)
- Get enough protein to not lose muscle mass and stay full
- Eat lots of vegetables for anti-inflammatory action and fiber
Morning Meal before sunrise – Suhoor
Eggs are great choices (just don’t eat every day or you may get intolerant to them) – omelet’s with veggies and avocado, boiled eggs and fruit, scrambled eggs and tomato with butter.
Pancakes are good too:
Ingredients: 3 eggs, 1 small banana, 1 scoop brown rice protein, 2 tbs. almond meal, 2 tbs freshly ground flax/chia seeds, dash of water.
Nut and seeds – good protein and fats (keep you full and satisfied throughout day).
Ingredients: Soak sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds along with almonds overnight and slightly roast in pan with coconut oil. Mix in a bowl and add some organic berries and nut milk or natural yoghurt.
If possible after breakfast, go back to bed for a few more hours sleep.
Fast: During the day
Prior to breaking fast do your workout.
- Protein smoothie with 30 grams of grass fed whey, L-Glutamine and greens supplement (moringa, spirulina, barley grass), berries – can add natural yoghurt or almond milk.
Eg. Nut milk smoothie
Ingredients: 6 Almonds (soaked in a cup of water overnight), ½ cup frozen organic berries, 30 grams Protein powder, 100 ml water, Pinch of natural vanilla bean.
- Other helpful supplements to add are Stress adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola or Ashaganda.
Second Meal -Iftar
- Vegetables (raw, lightly steamed or roasted) at least 3 cups with at least 1 tablespoon of butter, coconut butter/oil melted on or olive oil
- 1 medium sized portion (1 cup) of starchy carb (sweet potato, brown rice, pumpkin, potato, taro, quinoa)
- 1 serving of protein (wild, free range , organic, grass fed) seafood, chicken, beef, lamb, wild meats
- Soups from bone broths also excellent additions
Eg. Mussels in coconut milk sauce
Ingredients: Mussels (ideally from New Zealand), Quick stirfry garlic, onions, mushrooms, peppers and 1 tbs. coconut oil. Add coconut milk, thai curry paste. Cook then add mussels for 5 minutes. Ideally eat with extra steamed vegetables and brown rice.
- Small glass water, consume 500-800mg magnesium – help deal with stress and sleep
Optimal hydration guide
Ideal Water consumption is based on calculating your weight, height, age, climate, exercise intensity and duration. Due to the restrictions of time available to drink (unless not sleeping) I recommend adjusting the following:
Minimum of 2 liters per day to be consumed if exercising and living in a warm climate this will be over 3 liters.
- Before breakfast drink over 1 liter if possible. Then take a digestive enzyme with breakfast.
- Drink another liter after workout with shake then sip water during meal and take 1 digestive enzyme.
- During the night you may top up water if needed – naturally getting up to go to the toilet often is not ideal but dehydration is worse.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or trouble shooting.
Craig Burton: Certified Sports Nutritionist
Craig has over 20 years experience working in the health and fitness industry. His unique approach to transforming client’s health, body composition and wellbeing includes naturally addressing: hormonal imbalances, digestive system dysfunction, toxicity, vitamin and mineral deficiencies through an individually optimized diet, lifestyle, and supplement plan.
Craig is experienced in using a wide range of functional medicine tests and tools to asses a client’s health status that will assist him in designing a uniquely tailored nutrition and lifestyle plan.
Some of Craig’s Qualifications:
- Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN)
- C.H.E.K NLC Level 1 and 2 (Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach)
- B.A. Applied Science, Sports Science
- National Academy of Sports Medicine – Performance Enhancement Specialist