The advice on supplements during Ramadan differs greatly. Some suggest passing by the protein completely, some say stick to your usual program and others advise taking up a whole new routine. Whatever you choose to do, here is a simple guide to supplements to help you on your way…

There are fewer and fewer bodybuilders these days that do not incorporate supplements into their routine. To honour Ramadan properly, however, we must give up these potent powders during the daylight hours along with all other food and fluid. For this reason, it is necessary to calculate a proper formula between dusk and dawn to adequately nourish the muscles.

Start At Suhoor

At the start of the day, use Suhoor to build up your energy and hydration levels for the day ahead. Begin with a multivitamin supplement. You may also want to bolster this with extra fish oil, vitamin C and/or vitamin D. Your health is paramount during Ramadan especially if you are intending to keep on training so maintaining your vitamin levels is crucial. You may have opted for a pre-dawn workout or you may be waiting until later on in the day to go to the gym; either way a shake that includes BCAAs, Glutamine and Creatine with a simple carbohydrate such as dextrose will help minimise muscle loss, stabilise your metabolism and keep your muscles hydrated until your next meal.

It’s Iftar!

A fast-release Whey shake is the ideal way to break fast and nourish your muscles. Follow this up with your main meal, but try to keep it healthy. Before bed, mix up a Casein shake to feed your muscles as you sleep. Casein contains slow-release proteins that work as you rest and it is recommended by many that you take this supplement during Ramadan even if it is not usually on your program.

What Else?

Some like to take a supplement that reduces their appetite during Ramadan. Many of these supplements contain caffeine to keep your energy levels high and your mind focussed, while others are stimulant free. It is up to you which of these you think would be suitable for your needs and when you would like to take them; but taken in the morning, they could help to reduce your hunger throughout the day.

The biggest challenge surrounding nutrition during Ramadan is keeping your metabolic rate stable. There really is no magic solution, yet well-tailored supplement, training and fuel program could help. Many supplement companies will have special packages during Ramadan to take the stress out of having to design your own. But you must decide whether changing your supplement program for just one month is better than losing a few kilos or enduring a couple of uncomfortable hours of hunger. Many believe that sticking to your normal regime is as good an idea as any other.

Safety First

Most importantly, when it comes to supplementation (and this is not just at Ramadan), before starting a new program or changing your regime, it is wise to speak to some professionals. At the very least seek advice from the expert team members of your local supplement store. If you have any pre-existing medical issues or have experienced problems with supplements before, book an appointment with your doctor. Write down all your questions and queries and take a list of your current protein program and any changes you are thinking of implementing during Ramadan, along with any other medications you take. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Ramadan Mubarak!

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