Water, which makes up around 70% of our bodies, is the most important fluid that replenishes our thirst and energy, especially during the month of Ramadan. Studies have shown that reduced intake of water affects our bodies on a cellular level and causes problems in their proper functioning because dehydration has many adverse side effects such as constipation, headaches, dizziness, tiredness and dry skin.

In the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drinks from dawn till sunset. Fasting hours across the globe range from 11 to 22 hours, leaving those observing fast with no energy. Most of us focus on eating as much as we can at the time of Iftar and pay very little attention to drinking water. While hunger pangs can bother throughout the day, depriving the body of water has its adverse effects.

Not only is water important for weight loss and maintenance, it also helps to get rid of harmful toxins and reduce the feeling of hunger. Due to these and various other reasons, it is imperative that we keep ourselves properly hydrated throughout the day.

Here a few pointers to help you out:

Increase water intake

Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. If you are exercising or are outdoors in hot weather, you’ll sweat more and lose more fluids. So, ensure you increase your water intake to make up for this excessive loss.

Avoid salty food

Reduce the amount of salt in your food, as foods containing high volumes of sodium trigger thirst throughout the fasting hours of the day.

Add fruits and vegetables to your meals

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of salty foods because they are rich in water and fiber. They stay in the intestines for long, retaining water and hence suppress your thirst.

Avoid drinking large quantities in one go

Refrain from drinking large quantities of water all at once or a lot during a meal. Instead, have small sips during the meal and drink water in between your meals between sehr and iftar.

Avoid juices and sugary fluids

Do not drink juices to break your fast as it contains high amounts of sugar leading to weight gain. Instead, try and stick with just water.

Add dates to your Iftar menu

Break the fast with dates. Not only is this a tradition because that’s how the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) broke his fast; dates also help with hydration since they are a natural source of glucose, which encourages your cells to store fluid and fuel for energy.