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Fitness & Health

07th May 2019

Training and nutrition tips for runners doing Ramadan

In his Ramadan survival guide for runners, lecturer Ayazullah Safi shares his advice on how to eat and train for running events whilst fasting

Alex Roberts

Ramadan can be a testing time for those practising. The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is made even more difficult when you add workouts in on top

In his Ramadan survival guide for runners, Birmingham City University lecturer Ayazullah Safi shares his advice on how to eat and train for running events whilst fasting.

To overcome some of the challenges fasting runners may face, Safi recommends:

  • Avoiding salt and caffeine: both can leave you feeling thirsty during the day and dehydrated.
  • Swapping processed food and those high in sugar for more nutritious options: aim for a good balance of starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice and bread, along with vegetables, proteins and dairy for natural fats.
  • Drinking lots of water: try to drink a minimum of two litres of water during night-time hours.
  • Keeping exercise gentle: start off with low intensity physical activity every day such as brisk walking.
  • Gradually increasing exercise: 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day is plenty.
Starchy carbs low in sugar and high in micronutrients are best, according to Safi

Safi says: “During the month of Ramadan, most people aren’t aware of the steps they can take to improve their physical and mental health. I often receive questions from people exercising or training for sport events on how to prepare whilst also fasting.

“Throughout the fasting days, we tend to crave things that may not be healthy or necessary, but it is essential we consume the correct nutrients during Ramadan to fuel our bodies and maintain our health.”

Ramadan strength training tips and more

If you’re doing Ramadan but aren’t much of a runner, you may want to consider the advice of a top personal trainer we spoke to last year.

Umar Malik is a bodybuilder and coach at Ultimate Performance who provided JOE readers with an exclusive insight into his Ramadan weight training and nutrition programme.

Want to know more about Ramadan? Check out JOE’s Ramadan 101: Everything you need to know.

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