Will it be fine to workout during Ramadan? Can we follow a healthy diet plan during Ramadan without the lack of energy for workouts? Here are the answers to all your Ramadan diet & workout related queries!
The holy month of Ramadan has begun and so has the dilemma surrounding myths related to workout and diet during Ramadan. As we all know that Ramadan is a complete fast where you get to eat only twice, dusk and dawn, and you are not even allowed to drink water during the fasting period. With such a difficult fasting ritual, will it be possible to manage workout with Ramadan diet so that you don’t lose on the muscles you have built with so much hard work?
Well, working out can actually be hard during Ramadan, especially during this year as the holy month has fallen at the time when summers are at peak. When Ramadan falls during summer the fasting period becomes longer with shorter feeds, also, because you cannot drink water, weight lifting will become harder for you. During summer Ramadan, night becomes shorter, which may also lead to sleep deprivation. But, there are certain ways in which you can easily maintain a balance between Ramadan and bodybuilding.
Common Mistakes Made in Exercise and Diet For Ramadan
During Ramadan the most common mistake that people make is the lack of planning in their schedule, and when they fail to plan they eventually end up compromising on their muscle mass. It is always advisable to devise a plan for your diet, training, sleep and work so that you can incorporate Ramadan workout in your schedule. Other common mistakes that you can avoid making during Ramadan include:
Not Training: If you stop weight lifting during Ramadan you will not lose much muscle and strength, but if you stop training completely and will stick to your calorie laden Ramadan diet then you end up gaining a lot of fat and may also lose your muscle & strength.
Not Eating Healthy: Many people complain of gaining fat during Ramadan, which is mainly caused of the calorie laden food people eat during the holy month. Portion control and focusing more on healthy options can help in keeping fat gain at bay.
Not Eating Enough: As you starve all day your body becomes deprived of energy, which comes from food. If you do not eat enough during the feed period you will lack energy required for strength training. Try and make the most of your feeding window but in a healthy way.
Not Sleeping Enough: As we mentioned earlier, night becomes shorter during summer Ramadan, which may lead to sleep deprivation and kill your motivation to hit the gym. Consider taking small naps during the afternoon period.
Common Fasting Myths
Like everything, even fasting during Ramadan with its own share of myths related to health and nutrition, here are some of the common myths that people believe in blindly:
Fasting Slows Down Metabolism: This is the most common myth that people believe in but the reality is entirely different. Several studies have shown that fasting has no role to play in decreased metabolism, same ways having frequent plays don’t have anything to do with increase in metabolism.
Lowers Energy: If you are eating well during your feeding window then you will have enough energy to indulge in your day to day activities. Also, you will see your productivity increasing as you are not wasting your time on food during your fasting period.
Workout During Ramadan
Training while you are fasting can work only if you eat well during your feeding window, however, thirst can spoil the show for some as its too warm to resist that. The best way to overcome this problem is to cut down your workout time and remove all the fat burners you must be including in your pre-workout for a while, as they make you sweat a lot while you workout. Also, follow the tips shared below to know how to train during Ramadan effectively.
Train Fasted: Training at least 2 hours before breaking your fast can help you eat several post workout meals so that your body can recover.
Change Your Training Plan: If you have been following 5X5 plan for all the exercises then replace them with 3X5. However, the routine for deadlifts should be reduced to 1X5 and strong-lifts should remain 5X5 that too only thrice a week.
Avoid Doing Assistance Exercises: Do not indulge yourself in exercise that require assistance, instead focus on squats, deadlifts, overhead press, inverted rows and bench press only during the Ramadan.
Sample Ramadan Nutrition and Workout Plan
|Post Iftaar (7:30PM)||3 to 4 Compound Exercises Max. 1 Hour|
|9:30 PM (Post workout meal)||One bowl whole wheat pasta in tomato sauce for protein and carbs, 1 scoop whey protein in water|
|10:30PM (Dinner)||Tuna, brown rice and pineapple|
|11:30PM (Pre-Bed Meal)||Cottage cheese, berries, ground flax seeds|
|4:00AM (Breakfast)||Eggs, veggies, meat (Back to bed after 1st prayer)|
|5:00 PM||One hour nap (pre-workout)|
Ramadan during summers is definitely challenging for people who are following it as the feeding period will remain low. But if you make a proper use of that period by taking frequent healthy meals, then you can progress in your bodybuilding goals regardless of whether you are fasting or not. Remember, its all in your head, reality can be slightly different from what you perceive.