Drinking herbal tea after iftar (the evening break-fast meal) is recommended to avoid dehydration on long, hot Ramadan days. Professor Gülay Koçoğlu of the Cumhuriyet University Faculty of Medicine's Public Health Department told Anadolu Agency that nutrition is of the utmost importance as fasting takes on longer periods in Ramadan this year. Koçoğlu said that it is necessary to receive sufficient amounts of liquid before fasting. She said it is normally required to consume 2 or 2.5 liters of liquid every day and this amount should be increased during Ramadan. "At least between 10 to 12 cups of water should be consumed. Beverages with caffeine like tea or coffee increases dehydration through urinary excretion. Fasting people are recommended to consume soups, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, milk, ayran, mineral water, cold stewed fruits and herbal teas like chamomile, sage, fennel and melissa tea." Koçoğlu also said the number of meal times is important, adding that being hungry for long hours slows down the metabolism, turning foods into fat in the body. "In Ramadan, sahur and iftar are the two important meal times. Aside from them, it is recommended to have two small meals. Main courses should contain any of these foods: rice, pasta, fruit and vegetables, bread, floury products, legumes, oilseeds, desserts with milk, along with four main food products including milk, yoghurt, cheese, meat and eggs. Koçoğlu advised not to miss sahur (the meal eaten before fasting) to keep the body and brain active until iftar and to consume food especially rich in protein. She said such balanced diets avoid the loss of muscles and do not slow down metabolism.