1. The day before the fast begins, take frequent drinks of water.
2. Eat a balanced meal before the fast. Proteins and fats are absorbed more slowly than sugars and provide the necessary energy, but you should balance your meal with 55% complex carbohydrates, 15% proteins and 30% fats.
3. Your last meal should include complex carbohydrates like pasta, rice, potatoes and whole-grain bread. When complex carbohydrates are stored in the liver, water is retained so the body suffers less dehydration during a fast.
4. Do not overeat before you fast.
5. Avoid salty or sweet foods or beverages before the fast, because they may make you thirsty.
As for the best way to break the fast? Drink a non-carbonated beverage and eat a slice of bread or dry cake. After an hour, enjoy a full meal.
Source: Dr. Elliot Berry, head of clinical nutrition at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.