Nutrition for Muslims during Ramadan

Nutrition for Muslims during Ramadan

Ask Scooby
(resurrected from AskScooby Forum from excellent posting made by user feryanti)  


First of I would like to say thank you Scooby for all your work and supporting a healthy community. 

Second, I am apologize oif this topic isn’t in the right category, but it seemed like this is the best category to me. 

Ok now, I’ve personally noticed many people who follow Scooby’s plans or advices are from an Islamic culture.  Some are friends and some are strangers.  So I would like to give back by giving some tips on how to go through this Holly month of Ramadan ( to whom who are wondering: Ramadan: is a month that comes once a year on the lunar calender and Muslims take this month as a month of peace and fasting.  And as far as fasting goes some Muslims worry about feeding their body with the right nutrition and food to “a tleast” maintain muscle mass or health progress. )

All I could tell you is no worries.  If there is a time of the year where you can actually be healthy, it is in this month.  I would like to give out some tips that work for “me”.  

First of, I would seriously liek to note out, that in this month many families tend to make a fatty meals for “iftar” (the time where the fasting is broken when the sun sets) or some over do it in the food.  Most of that hunger most of us feel is actually from the lack of water in our bodies.  once the time to eat sets. . .  all you got to do is drink a bit of water and you will find your hunger starts easing out.  Now for some, there is the issue where they can’t fit a proper work out plan to their lifestyle in this month.  

Here is a few things that I do an meals I go for.  ( please note this is a plan I follow from what I’ve learnt form scooby and adding some few stuff of my own to keep my progress)

Option 1: 

Working out 2 hours before “food” time.  yeah I know you don’t have to tell me. . .  its tough as hell specially after going through daily chores, but thats what I prefer best since it really helps in toning my body and losing wait while maintaining muscle mass.  ( not much muscle to be honest lol )

2 hours before Iftar I hit the cardio exercises. 

20-30 minutes on the cycling machine 
20-40 minutes treadmill 

then I go for either follow the weekly bodybuilding plan I set my self to for like an hour at most then hit the showers
I also tend to end my workout with 2 ab workouts I know some say the daily ab workouts is unnecessary but it works wonders for me and I personally do it for the burn. . .  best feeling in the world I tell ya!

then I hit the showers and wait for the meal time. . .  ok now here is the tricky part and it all depends on your “Will”.  

if you follow scooby’s nutrition then this is a peace of cake since you should have built a resistance against food and organized your self. 

(just a note: we eat to live and not live to eat) just wanted to point that out. . .    Grin

As for meals. . .  if you did follow this plan. .  then you must be feeling thirsty as hell by now. . .  the trick to building resistance to thirst is simple. . .  DRINK WATER BEFORE HAND!! lol. . .  I mean like seriously. .  rather than over doing it with food in your stomachs just drink more water before the sun rises for the next day. 

after the workout once the meals start. . .  break your fast preferably with “dates”.  Coz recently a study has revealed that dates can eliminate the bacteria that builds up while you fast.  

Then jug up the water but take it EASY . . .  I personally drink half a liter of water then eat 2-3 more dates.   and go pray or whatever you prefer ( some prefer to start diging in) but I personally like to finish my prayer to let my stomach get used to the water and food that just came in.  Then I start digging in.  

For the meal. . .  I usually make some chicken breast peaces and vegetable soup ( they come in different style be creative as a cook lol) then I eat like small stuff like an egg or more dates.  ( NO SWEETS PLEASE! sweets in this month is very common. . .  but it is your destruction. . .  maybe have them in your cheat day. . .  

as for people who can’t cook. . .  well ready made soup I think should be available all over the world or just go for any nutritious meals from scooby’s site  Cheesy thanks scooby for that Smiley
and if your will is really strong you can go for whey protein supplements. . .  as for people who have mass muscle. .  hit a pill or 2 or whatever pills amount you take from amino acids . .  thats if your really paranoid. . .  I personally like to enjoy a meal and go for protein food resources ( chicken breast, tuna etc. . .  check scooby’s site)

and most importantly please have some fruit and salad at night. . .  it will help restore critical vitamins . . .  Smiley just avoid the sugary ones Smiley  NOTE: DRINK ALOT OF WATER! it will ease down your hunger and give you energy for the next day. 

Working out on an empty stomach is critical to me. .  coz aperantly that kinda works for me in burning of any fats in my body that need burning. .  but thats how my body works. .  u just gotta find what works for you. . . 

now Option 2

I gave this idea to a friend last year and he follows it since it works for him best

When meal time comes. . .  he goes for some water ike half a liter. .  and Orange juice or berry juice for the extra boost of energy ( that what works for him )

then he skips the eating and goes to the gym ( in your case might be a home gym ) and hits the cardio machines and his building plan. .  simple as that. . .  then he comes back and eats his meal. . .  sometimes he takes amino acid pills before he goes to the gym ( half an hour before) he takes 6 pills. . . . 

Option 3

which is the normal. .  which is after eating and everything you can go to the gym. .  but personally I haven’t seen this working for anyone except like 2 people. . .  but they are bachelors. . .  no family around. . .  and plus it gets really difficult to workout  on a full stomach and you don’t feel like you accomplished much.  ( I tried it twice )

I just wanna point out that I tried these plans last year. . .  and thought I’d say it this year in advance Smiley 

I apologize f I made this wrong or some might have been offended ( yea it happens don’t ask me how ) this is just my opinion and some tips to help you. . . 

Thank you for reading. .  
I just wanna say again. .  thank you scoooby and keep up the good work . .  your the best you helped me change my life around

Take care everyone and may this month be a blessing to all to Muslims and non Muslims. . .  

peace be with you all Smiley


Thank you for posting this. There was a few people who asked about this and I was going to ask them to share here if they could find any better tips than we recommended.

However, I don’t agree with your cardio idea whilst fasting. It’s not about being hard, it’s mostly because you can not drink water. It can really cause health problems. It’s beyond “working on empty stomach” when you can’t even drink water. Sorry but most of the time people know that they do something wrong when they say “It works for me, but different things work for different people.” I believe it’s a cop out. If something is wrong, it is wrong. We have differences but we are all humans, not THAT different from each other.

Eat the same, you’ll lose the same weight, no matter when you do cardio. And the chance of losing muscle is higher when you do cardio on empty stomach, I disagree with that too. Again, when you can’t either eat or drink water, I don’t believe it’s a good idea to do cardio.

That’s just the cardio part. And you say you even do bodybuilding on empty stomach after cardio, that’s even worse. You need carbs before bodybuilding session, not just for better performance but for also increasing your anabolic hormones. Without them, weight lifting won’t really work much.

Personally, what I’d suggest would be something similar to the second option. When it’s meal time, eat something that is high in carbs and protein but a light meal. An omelette, a cup of salad and a cup of berries (or dates as you said) would be a good choice. Then wait for an hour, feel your metabolism boosted without feeling your stomach bloated, and go to the gym. Do weight lifting first, and cardio next.

Remember, if your calorie intake in total is less than what you burn, you’ll lose fat regardless of when you do cardio. No need to work on empty stomach.

I know you didn’t ask any question at all but I wanted to criticize, as there will be people who will use these guides. Again, thanks for posting that Wink Good luck with fasting.



Thank you dodothebird for the input.  I know my plan isn’t perfect, but it is what I have for now I got other ways as well.  for me I go for an empty stomach plan when am planning to lose weight in certain amount of time.  Its not a wise choice but I have no choice coz my work doesn’t give me much free time.  But I at least get in health and fix my attitude to make me survive for another year with good mental power.  At first when I started working out, I started for the looks ( wrong reason if you ask me) but after getting into it. . .  the confidence I started getting and I started being happy even when I get hit by a problem.  Not to mention the burn I get is a feeling like no other.  Finally. . .  I started doing more sports and hobbies thanks to these plans my endurance levels have raised up rapidly.  

Seeing on what you said, I really see sense.  I will make some adjusments to my plan, but in the end it all depends on free time.  Thats what you get for working in Media lol.  I will try and get some plans setup and write something more organized.  Plus I think we need more resources on Nutrition coz its the core for your goals to succeed if you ask me :).  

There is one thing I forgot to mention about dates.  Nutrition info: and why dates are important in nutrition. 

Nutritional Value of Dates
Given below is the amount of nutrients in 100 gm of dates: 

    * Sodium – 2 mg
    * Total Carbohydrates – 75 gm
    * Dietary Fiber – 8 gm
    * Sugars – 63 gm 
    * Protein – 2 gm 
    * Vitamin – A 10 IU
    * Vitamin C – 0. 4 mg
    * Vitamin E – 0. 05 mg
    * Vitamin K – 2. 7 mcg
    * Thiamin – 0. 052 mg
    * Riboflavin – 0. 066 mg
    * Niacin – 1. 274 mg
    * Vitamin B6 – 0. 165 mg
    * Vitamin B12 – 0 mcg
    * Folate – 19 mcg
    * Pantothenic Acid – 0. 589 mcg
    * Calcium – 39 mg
    * Iron – 1. 02 mg
    * Magnesium – 43 mg
    * Phosphorus – 62 mg
    * Potassium – 656 mg
    * Sodium – 2 mg
    * Zinc – 0. 29 mg
    * Copper – 0. 206 mg
    * Manganese – 0. 262 mg
    * Selenium – 3 mcg
    * Total Fat – 0. 39 mg
    * Saturated Fat – 0. 032 mg
    * Monounsaturated Fat – 0. 036 mg
    * Polyunsaturated Fat – 0. 019 mg 

Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Dates 

    * Since dates get digested very easily, they are used for supplying quick energy and repairing waste. 
    * Milk, when boiled with dates, become a very nutritious and invigorating drink for children and adults, especially during convalescence. 
    * The nicotinic content in dates makes them an excellent cure for intestinal disturbances. 
    * Regular consumption of dates has been found to check the growth of pathological organisms and help in the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestines. 
    * Being a laxative food, dates have been found to be beneficial for those suffering from constipation. 
    * For alcoholic intoxication, drinking water, in which fresh dates have been rubbed or soaked, is said to be quite effective. 
    * Studies have shown that consumption of dates, soaked overnight and crushed, is good for those who have a weak heart. 
    * It has been seen that dates serve as a tonic for improving sex stamina as well as sterility due to functional disorders. 
    * Researches have revealed that dates are effective in preventing abdominal cancer. 
    * Dates have a tonic effect and thus, hold value as medicines. 

Hope that helps clarify the image. 

Well lets see where this topic goes, I se we are going to end up learning many things from each other.



Some additional thoughts on Ramadan.  I’m not a Muslim so the closest I have come to know what Ramadan would be like is the 12hr fast that one has to do before a blood test.  One thing I can tell you is that my #1 urge at the end of the fast is to stuff my face with as much food as possible, as fast as possible – a very bad reaction.  When deprived of food, its very easy to overcompensate and consume far too many calories and end of gaining fat because the bodies feedback mechanism that tells you when you have eaten enough food takes half an hour or so to work but in that 30min you can do a lot of caloric damage.  Gaining (or even maintaining) muscle during Ramadan is tough enough, the last thing you want is to gain fat as well.  An excellent suggestion you make in option 2 is to have your first meal be a small, well balanced healthy meal with maybe 1/5 of your caloric needs and lots of water.  This small meal will take the edge off the hunger and give the necessary energy for a workout but it will certainly not fully satisfy.  Then I would go and workout, then eat the main meal and having had the earlier pre-meal the chance of overeating is reduced.  Again, with the main meal be mindful of the fact that it is very easy to over consume in situations like this so be careful not to overeat.

One thing I am a bit fuzzy on is if water is acceptable to drink during the day, it appears that it is not.  If that is the case, one of the most important things before sunrise would be to tank up on water and make sure you are fully hydrated and your urine is completely clear before sunrise.  I think I would go so far as to use some added salt to help the body retain the water, nothing extreme, maybe 2X the USRDA (4g salt total) if you have no heart conditions.


Hello, salam ,shalom everyone,

First thanks to scooby who helped many of us and thanks to all contributors here !
Here my little experience about ramadan bodybuilding and cardio !
As many of you know, ramadan is about fasting ,fasting with your body(no drink no eat between sunrise and sunset) what is our concern here and fasting(or maybe fighting :p) with your soul(no rage,peaceful,kind,gentle…positive attitude regarding mankind)
So the question is how can i succeed in doing a good ramadan and doing a good bodybuild.
Here is what works for me and maybe not for everyone.
Before the sunset:
I dont think working before sunset is a good idea,your body is low in water,low in nutrient.Some will argue that your body will burn fat,it will but think of the amount of damage to your body,its not worth it,maybe injuries are not visible yet but they are here,the small amount of water left is used to maintain main organs in a good way,work without water will damage them and you’ll see it later,dont take from them this little critical amount of water.
Always think to put your body in the best situation for work and before sunset it’s not a good situation for your body, simply because you are starving…and the danger is increased if you have a physical work during the day or simply if you had a day full of physical activities.
The sunset:
dates(not that much) and water,plenty of water,we all knew(fasters of course) this amazing sensation when water comes back in our body when it comes down the throat Cheesy !
Even the brain reacts with happiness hormones.
Then relax, pray ,get some rest like 15-30 min,thirsty should have gone and you should not be so hungry.You can now have your meal, a classic meal based on your building plan,take it slowly and relax.  
The trap with the sunset cut is to jump on food and eat too much and also too fast.Try this tip , dont prepare your meal before sunset but after ,during the 15-30 min rest(considering its easy and fast to prepare).
I know the body is telling us EAT EAT EAT,with the rest you are telling him ,hey body relax, you gonna eat, dont stress you are not going to die.Dont follow him,keep the control(remember ramadan is also keep control over all kind of terrestrial temptations),cut with dates,drink water,pray, go to kitchen prepare your meal or have some rest if it already prepared,eat it slowly in a relax way.
There is usually 1 hour and half or sometimes 2 hours between the two prayers,so dont hurry.

2 options: 

1: You build before night prayer and do your cardio after taraweeh prayer(its an added long prayer to the night one during ramadan,around 1 hour)
2: You build and do cardio after night and taraweeh prayer.

I do the option 2 simply because i dont want to be too tired during the night and taraweeh prayer and also it gives me some rest after the meal.Remember the aim is to do a good bodybuilding and a good ramadan.
Then i take a lightmeal and i go to sleep.I wake up before sunrise i take a meal and drink drink drink water,tank water for the day .Especially if you have a physical work(its not my case),please really care,you gonna loose lot of water during the day i recommend you like scooby, to add some salt!

Last tip; If you are feeling too tired during the day, reduce the intensity of your cardio,you will not get fat, it will be balanced by the activity and the lack of food of the fasted day.

Sorry for my english,ramadan kareem to muslims and good bodybuiding to all !

Un esprit sain dans un corps sain  Roll Eyes