To ensure adequate nutrition and continued good health, the University Chaplaincy suggests the following:
- Prior to Ramadan, it is a good idea to seek medical advice about the safety of fasting depending on your individual health. If you have any concerns, talk to your GP.
- Even if you are generally healthy, you will need to plan your schedule and meals to make sure you get the nutrients, hydration and the rest you need.
- Think about how you study and make sure you schedule in breaks.
- Organise your schedule so that you get enough sleep. If you have an exam the next day it might be best not to attend tarawih (night prayers), especially if the exam is in the afternoon.
- Eat suhoor just prior to dawn. It will help you to wake up for the Fajr prayer. The suhoor meal is Sunnah. It is generally recognized as the most important meal of the day. Focus on consuming foods rich in complex carbohydrates and protein, fruit or vegetables and plenty of water. For example: an egg on whole-grain toast, a few crackers with peanut butter, some orange slices, and two glasses of water.
- If the weather is hot, stay in cool areas (indoors or in shade) and limit your physical activity. Rest if possible.
- Avoid over-eating when breaking the fast at sunset. Follow the Sunnah: break your fast with dates and either milk, water or fruit juice. After the maghrib prayer, continue with a light starter such as soup and crackers. After a long period of fasting, you need to bring your fluids and blood sugar level up gradually.
- During the early evening (after maghrib) have a healthy and balanced dinner. Do not overeat and be sure to drink sufficient fluid.
- During the evening hours, it is best to avoid tea, coffee and fizzy drinks.
- Fresh fruit and nuts make a good dessert.
- Aim to drink approximately eight glasses of water by bedtime.
- Light exercise, such as walking for 15-20 minutes, is best done in the evening hours.
- Avoid fried and spicy foods as they may cause heartburn or indigestion.
- Speak to your local pharmacy about an appropriate multi-vitamin.
Be kind to yourself during this time, and make sure you take care of your mental and physical wellbeing. You can contact our 24/7 free confidential helpline if you would like counselling support. Or if you wish to speak to our volunteer Muslim Chaplain please email firstname.lastname@example.org.