Wake up and coffee is the first thing you think about. The smell, the taste and the energy is something you look forward to daily. For most people, coffee is the real wake-up call, and nothing says “good morning”, like a good cup of coffee.
As the Holy month of Ramadan starts, people’s daily routines change to adjust better to fasting and to the different rituals. People break their fast at sunset and may stay up for longer hours to wake up before sunrise for Suhoor and prayers.
With such changes in daily routines, there is no place for coffee in the morning. This may be challenging for the body to adjust, a person may feel less alert and focused in the first half of the day.
Below are 6 tips to boost alertness during Ramadan without the much-needed coffee:
- Suhoor is Key:
Opt for a nutrient-dense meal that is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals and does not have a high sugar content. The balanced and rich nutrients help to slow down the absorption of food and therefore control blood sugar levels better, which is key to enhancing concentration and alertness during the day. A bowl of fortified whole grain breakfast cereals with milk, an optional protein source such as a boiled egg and a fruit is a good example of a nutrient-dense meal. Avoid calorie-dense meals that are high in fat and have minimal nutrients such as burgers and fries, which would make you feel inactive the next day.
- Move More:
Add some physical activity during fasting hours, which could be light exercise to help improve blood circulation. While it may seem exhausting, it helps with energy and alertness levels.
- Make Your Meals Colorful:
It is very important to make up for all the essential nutrients that were missed during fasting hours, such as Iron and B-vitamins. Start by dividing the meal and making it as colorful as possible. Aim to have half of the plate consisting of fruits and vegetables. Divide the other half between lean protein and cereals. While lean protein, such as beef or chicken breast, are good sources of Iron. Cereals, preferably whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread or brown rice and pasta, are a good source of B-vitamins.
- Balance It Out:
Make sure to balance salt, sugar and fat intake by finding their substitutes.
Avoiding extra salt can be easily done by using alternative spices and herbs, which will enhance the taste of food while restricting the salt intake. Replace fried foods with vegetables and use fruits as a natural sweetener instead of sugar. This would help retain retain a greater amount of fluids in the body and decreasing the chances of feeling thirsty while fasting as well as supporting normal body functions to maintain focus during the day.
- Drink Up:
Research has proven that good hydration contributes to better alertness and attentiveness so make sure to drink at least 8-12 glasses of water following Iftar till Suhoor. Not an easy task, so try tracking the water intake by using a measured bottle or by setting an alarm every other hour. Another way to ensure staying hydrated is to add high-water containing fruits and vegetables in meals such as watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes and cucumbers.
- Have a Good Night Sleep:
Make sure to give the body its needed rest with a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep. Inadequate sleep may contribute to lower alertness and concentration the following day.
These tips may not replace the love for a good cup of coffee in the morning but they will definitely help increase your level of focus and concentration. Follow these tips to boost some energy to the body within the day this Ramadan!