Jakarta. A recent virtual conference reminded people to stay hydrated when observing the 13-hour-long fasts during Ramadan.
Data shows that 1 out of 4 adults, as well as 1 out of 5 children and teens in Indonesia do not drink enough water. A survey by the Indonesian Hydration Working Group (IHWG) suggests that 3 out of 5 adults in Indonesia do not meet their fluid needs during Ramadan. They tend to consume sugary drinks.
According to Ari Fahrial Syam, a gastroenterology expert at the University of Indonesia (UI), the 8-glasses-a day rule still remains even when fasting.
“So we need to maximize the suhoor, iftar, and post-iftar times to drink [water]. Do not wait until you feel thirsty because we need to meet our hydration needs,” Ari told the recent “Healthy Hydration during Ramadan Fasting” webinar held by IHWG.
Ari advised people to avoid diuretics like caffeinated drinks as they may make the body pee more frequently. It is also best to eat less of the diarrhea-triggering salty and spicy food.
“It is also not advisable to consume lots of fluids in one take because it may trigger diuresis,” Ari said.
Parents must make sure that their kids are well-hydrated if their young ones are fasting. Pediatric nephrology expert Sudung O Pardede said children undergo lifestyle changes especially in dietary and sleeping patterns when fasting, thus affecting their metabolic processes.
“Fasting is safe for children and it is recommended they start fasting at the age of 7 or 8. This depends on the duration of the fast and adjusts to the children’s needs,” Sudung said.
Several studies suggest the declining fluid intake during Ramadan can disrupt kidney functions because it will absorb more fluids than it excretes. However, in general, the serum osmolality as a hydration status marker has shown normal results according to nephrology and hypertension expert Pringgodigdo Nugroho.
“But do keep in mind that patients with kidney disorders should consult with their doctors. Every patient has different risks depending on the condition and the disease,” Pringgodigdo said.
At the conference, IHWG chairwoman Diana Sunardi also introduced the hydration app Hidrasiku packed with various features such as water reminder, hydration tips, and articles. Diana said that this app could help people drink enough water and prevent dehydration-related diseases.
Likewise, IHWG partner and bottled water company Danone-Aqua also urged people to drink water during Ramadan. The company also encouraged people to pay attention to their drinking water quality.
“Drinking water should be colorless, odorless, tasteless, and does not include hazardous substances. We must also make sure that they come from pure, quality, and protected sources. They must also meet the standards and regulations set by the BPOM [Food and Drug Monitoring Agency] and the government,” Tria Rosemiarti, the hydration science consultant at Danone-Aqua, said.