Whether it’s for religious reasons like Ramadan, or intermittent fasting for health purposes, there are things to consider before you work out in a fasted state.

You’ll need to make some changes in your training routine to accommodate lower energy levels and redistributed caloric intake. To make the most out of your body’s lower energy levels, you simply need to know how to tweak your workouts to meet your body’s needs.

Coordinate workouts with meal times

Your workouts should be based entirely upon what and when you’ll be eating. Some people choose to work out before breaking fast so their body burns excess glycogen stores. Others want to work out directly after breaking fast because they find it hard to exercise on an empty stomach.

Either way, working out directly before or after mealtime is essential for those looking to build or maintain muscle mass during a fast. This will allow your body to access glycogen stores to fuel your workout, instead of using the proteins in your muscle as fuel.

Carbs aren’t the enemy

Your body stores carbohydrates as glycogen to be used as fuel during physical activity, so don’t shy away from healthy carbohydrates when breaking fast. If you don’t have enough glycogen stored up to fuel your training, you’ll begin to feel sluggish, weak and your body may even start burning muscle mass.

Eat your vegetables

Resist the temptation to binge on junk food right after you break fast and opt for nutrient dense, properly proportioned meals that meet your dietary needs. Carbs are essential at this time as you need a variety of nutrients to keep your body operating at full capacity. Quality foods like fruits and veggies will fuel your body for a prolonged period while maintaining the proper function of your organs and tissues.

Macros and micros matter

Coordinate your macros and micros with the type of workout you want to complete. For example, cardio and high-intensity workouts should be done on a day where you consume fewer carbohydrates, while strength training requires more carbs. If you’re planning on lifting weights, your body needs more protein after the workout to aid in muscle and tissue regeneration.

Stay hydrated

Fasting doesn’t mean that you should cut out water, especially if you’re exercising. A great option for staying hydrated while working out in a fasted state is substituting regular water with coconut water. Coconut water is filled with electrolytes and has much fewer calories and sugar than a regular sports drink.

Take it easy

If you want to get a workout in, but you have less energy than usual, stick to lower intensity workouts such as yoga, hiking or walking. Your body won’t be at full capacity, so be sure to take longer rest periods between reps, and lighten the load when you’re feeling a little weaker.

Listen to your body

If you’re feeling faint, dizzy or weak, you’re probably dehydrated or experiencing low blood sugar. These symptoms should not be ignored. They are your body’s way of communicating its limitations, and you need to be respectful and responsive to any and all of these signs.