The above is the rule of thumb when working out your fluid intake for an average day.The essential word here is “guideline.” If you’re more active, in a hot climate or on a high protein diet, you will need more water.
To add to this, the Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. (Source) Total beverages includes teas, juices, smoothies, soups and water.
Of course, it is better to avoid alcohol, caffeine and processed sugary drinks.
How much water you need during Ramadan will have to be determined through trial and error. Measure how much water you take before each fast and make a note whether you get headaches or feel lethargic. Excess water consumption will put a strain on your kidneys, and since most people have weak kidney energy to begin with (due to excess salt, high protein, staying up late etc), you don’t want to overwork the kidneys. juices.
The way that I recommend my friends and family to work out their fluid intake before the beginning of the fast is to think about their usual fluid intake between sunrise and sunset. For example, I know I drink about 1.8 liters a day, with 1.4 liters between sunrise and sunset. In order for me to stay hydrated during the fast, I will drink 1.5-1.6litres before the fast. I will split the fluids over a four-hour period (after midnight) if I stay awake for suhoor. My drinking schedule might look like the following –
7pm – Maghrib prayer
11pm – By this time, I will have finished drinking my 1.8 litres for the previous day
12am – 3.30am – Drink the 1.6 litres for the following day.
If I don’t stay up for suhoor, I will drink the majority of the fluids before I sleep. When I wake up for Fajr prayer later, I will then drink the remaining 0.5-0.75 litres of water. My drinking schedule with this method might look like the following –
7pm – Maghrib prayer
9pm – By this time, I will have finished drinking my 1.8 litres for the day
9pm – 12am – Drink the 1.1 litres for the following day
12am – 2.30am – Sleep
2.30am – Drink 0.5 litres before Fajr
INFUSED WATER IDEAS
Here are a few infused water ideas to help you keep drinking that water. To make them, just crush and pour water over the ingredients. Leave to stand for 15 minutes or longer. Then, drink away!
- Watermelon and mint
- Strawberry and mint
- Lemon and mint
- Lemon and blueberry
- Strawberry and basil
You can vary the infused water ingredients to your preference and what’s available you locally and seasonally. I avoid adding cucumber and cranberry to infused waters during Ramadan. These are natural diuretics, and may cause your body to remove more water than necessary.
Finally, take a look at the color of your urine to check when you get dehydrated during your fast. You might hit number 4, but hopefully this will be towards the end of the fast.
Here are a few more recommendations to help ensure you stay hydrated during the day and drink efficiently.
- Drink at least 30 minutes before a meal
- Don’t drink too much with your meal
- Wait 30 minutes until after your meal to drink a lot of water
- Avoid coffee – Coffee is diuretic, which causes your body to give up water at a faster rate than normal. When you’re fasting, leave coffee for the time between Maghrib and Isha, and never after midnight. The same applies to green tea.
- Drink filtered water or bottled water that comes in glass bottles.
- Avoid excessive strenuous activities
- Wear lighter colored clothes to prevent excessive sweating
- Wear natural materials, like unbleached cotton, instead of polyester.
HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR FLUID INTAKE
METHOD ONE – Use an app. There’s many available for free on the app store!
METHOD TWO – Place your total daily water intake in a glass jug and keep track of how much you drink
METHOD THREE – Work out how many glasses you need to drink a day and then use hairbands or bracelets to keep track. For example, if you need to drink 10 glasses of water, place ten hairbands/bracelets on your left hand. Every time you have finished drinking a glass, move one bracelet or hairband over to the right hand.
METHOD FOUR – Use good old-fashioned pen and paper to keep a tally.