Exercising while Fasting, Halal Isotonic Drinks Are the Solution for Ifthar

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Ramadhan is not an obstacle for a Muslim to exercise. Even though they are fasting, some people continue exercising in the afternoon, to or before iftar.

A body that sweats due to exercise needs minerals in ionic form to maintain the body’s fluid balance so that organ performance is not disturbed, such as dehydration. More than plain water is needed to overcome it. Consumption of isotonic drinks containing electrolytes can be one solution.

A sports drink is a soft drink to improve fitness because it can maintain or replace fluids and salt in the body and provide energy during activities. The drink contains sugar, citric acid, and minerals with an electrolyte composition (positive and negative ions) similar to body fluids.

The body contains various minerals with different functions. Some of them: a) Sodium plays a role in maintaining the body’s acid-base balance; b) Chloride plays a role in maintaining pH, blood acidity, and digestive processes; c) Potassium plays a role in maintaining body fluid volume and cell function; d) Magnesium plays a role in healthy bones; and e) Calcium plays a role in maintaining healthy teeth, bones, nerves and muscles.

These minerals are then called electrolytes. After strenuous activity or exercise, electrolytes will come out with body fluids through sweat or urine. These electrolyte levels must be maintained in the body to remain normal so that body functions can run properly. If electrolyte levels are not maintained usually, then the body’s organs are at risk of being disrupted, which can cause illnesses such as vomiting, diarrhoea, or excessive sweating.

Even though it has many benefits, as good Muslims, we still need to pay attention to the halal and haram of isotonic drinks. The ingredients for making isotonic drinks are similar to bottled drinks, including water, sugar, flavours, and cloudifiers (fogging or clouding agents). What distinguishes it is the addition of salt/mineral compounds. Then, which ingredients are critical for halal?

First, sugar. In isotonic drinks, sugar is a determinant of taste and a supplier of energy carbohydrates for the body. If you use vegetable ingredients, there is no need to doubt the halal status. The critical point lies in bleaching because it uses activated charcoal or ion exchange resins. Regarding materials, activated charcoal can come from coconut shells, sawdust, coal, or animal bones. However, if the activated charcoal comes from animals, it must be ensured that it comes from halal animals slaughtered according to sharia. Generally, animal bones often used as activated charcoals are pigs and cows. As for ion exchange resins, gelatin can be used, so this needs to be clarified.

Second, flavour (flavour) and cloudier (misting agent). Both can use ingredients derived from fat from animals or vegetables. Fat from animals is quite critical because it can be sourced from animals that are not halal.

Third, the addition of salt or mineral compounds, such as sodium citrate (Na-citrate) and calcium lactate (Ca-lactate), is the result of the reaction of chemical compounds with microbial products (citric acid and lactic acid). Likewise, ascorbic acid is a microbial product. According to Audit Quality Board Halal LPPOM MUI, Dr. Ir. Mulyorini R. Hilwan, M.Si., the critical point for microbial products is whether the microbes used are pure or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). If it comes from GMOs, it must be ensured that it does not come from human or pig genetics.

“The microbes used must also be ensured that they are free of pig contamination. The media for growing microbes is one of the critical things. The critical point of microbiological media lies in the nitrogen source for microbial growth nutrients, which may come from meat extracts or meat-hydrolyzed peptones. This meat that needs to be traced comes from halal animals that were slaughtered according to Islamic law,” said Mulyorini.

Fourth, preservatives such as benzoate, lactic acid and ascorbic acid must be halal. Benzoate is classified as a chemical substance, so it is halal, but the levels must be guaranteed to meet food safety requirements. Meanwhile, lactic acid and ascorbic acid come from fermentation, so it must be ensured that the bacteria used for the fermentation are pork-free and that the media used is impurities-free.

In Indonesia, many isotonic drinks are halal-certified. You can check the halal isotonic drinks via the website or the HalalMUI application, which can be downloaded on Google Playstore. (ZUL)

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