In the spiritual month of Ramadan your schedule could be different due to the fasting and increased offering of Solat. You would want to get the most useful tips to maintain your fitness during this holy month. Other than improving your spiritual health, our physical fitness should not be neglected.
Many claims that during fasting they get healthier because they would lose some weights after one month worth of fasting; and that does not mean you can skip your training. Train wisely during this month can definitely help maintain your fitness level rather than sliding backward away from your fitness goal due to your one-month hiatus.
When should you be training?
There are multiple timings suitable for training, choose the one you can do it consistently.
1. Iftar (approx. 7.30-45pm)
One of the suitable times to train is after your post-breaking fast meal .
You will be more energetic to train during this time because you have just refuelled your body with food and fluid.
2. After Solat Isyak (approx. 8.30pm onwards) or after Solat Tarawikh
If you prefer to ingest your food without rushing to start your training, you can choose to do your workout after this prayer time as it gives yourself more time to digest the food and also calmer after you have done your prayer.
You will feel more energetic if you have the right food to fuel your training. However, some people may feel sleepy after a long day of fasting as well as work stress.
It is good to offer more prayers during this month as it is believed that Thawab would multiple. Hence, if you plan to finish all the prayers before training could be a good choice too unless you are those individuals who find it hard to fall asleep after training, you might want to avoid training too late in the night due to the endorphins secretion.
3. Before Sahur (about 430am)
Training early in the morning requires discipline and motivation especially as early as 430am before Sahur (at approx 540am). If you are a morning person, training at this hour help energise your day when you have a proper refuel before going into fasting again after your Solat Subuh.
4. Just before Iftar (about 6-7pm)
This is for the strong willed individuals who prefer to get the training done and edge pass the Iftar so that once they are done training they can start feasting. We have our Muslim clients who like to train at this hour because they need to get back home and have dinner with their family (after all it is a holy month, it is nothing better than getting together with your loved ones).
If you are used to training in fasted condition, try training at about 7pm by commencing the warm up and get into the main workout at about 715pm, and by 730pm you can already have your intraworkout (BCAA) supplements along with some water to push through the last phase of your training.
It is NOT RECOMMENDED to train between 6AM to 6PM (during the fasting time) because you will get severely dehydrated and also potentially going into catabolism (muscle breakdown).
What should you eat to fuel your workout? (Google search for more choice of food)
1. Ingest simple carbs & complex carbs (1g/kg of bodyweight). If you are 60kg, have 60g of carbs before you workout. Suitable for those who are training in Time 1 & 4 mentioned above. Simple carbs give you energy quickly and you need them to fuel your workout! Complex carbs release energy slower and can help you feel satiated longer compared to simple carbs
1 Potato should give you approx 55g of carbs or 3 slices of whole-wheat bread or 2 cups of rice (about 2 fist size) or get any biscuits/snacks and eat according to the portion to that sums up to 60g of carbs.
2. 25g protein or 6g EAA before your workout. Suitable to all timing mentioned above.
Getting sufficient amino acids helps with muscular protein synthesis, recovery and also prevent muscle breakdown to some extent (especially those who trains empty stomach in Time 4).
Besides, ingesting more protein (1g-2g/kg bodyweight) can help to curb with hunger as it helps you to feel satiated/fuller for a longer period of time.
1 scoop of whey protein usually gives 20-25g of protein (specifically ZWhey has 32g protein& 18g of carbs) or 1 ounce of chicken breasts (1 palm size) gives about 25g of protein or 2 eggs give you 6g of EAA (have 2 eggs and get your workout started)