Campaigning throughout the day in the scorching sun can take a toll on the health of many candidates. To beat the heat, many candidates have changed their eating pattern — mostly sticking to liquid or a vegetarian diet.
“Our hectic schedule and the heat makes remaining upbeat a challenge. So I am avoiding fried and heavy food, and my diet now comprises juices, coconut water, salads, sandwiches and dry fruits,” said Amin Patel, Congress candidate from Mumbadevi constituency.
Senior BJP leader Vinod Tawade, who is contesting from Borivli, has also modified his diet. “Generally, many candidates prefer vegetarian food during campaigning. I consume more of buttermilk and coconut water,” he said.
With a few days left before the state goes to polls, all contestants are pushing themselves to cover as many areas as possible.
Exercise also plays an important role in their daily routine. Prasad Lad, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate from Sion-Koliwada constituency, said he lost 25kg in seven months to ensure that he was fit enough to campaign for the elections.
“Till March, I weighed around 95kg. I was confident that I would contests the Assembly polls, which would need a lot of running around and meeting people. To ensure high fitness level, I worked hard to reduce my weight,” said Lad.
His opponent and Shiv Sena candidate Mangesh Satamkar sticks to a liquid diet, so that he stays agile and can work longer hours. “In this heat, it is necessary to stay hydrated. I carry lemon or fruit juice with me to rallies,” he said.
According to dieticians and nutritionist, candidates must ensure a balanced and nutritious diet during campaigning in such hot and humid conditions. This will also help them manage the mental and physical stress they are undergoing during campaign.
“Apart from liquids, they [the candidates] should have small meals every 2-4 hours. They should carry salad, wholesome fresh fruit and even dry fruits such as apricot and dates during the campaigning. The dry fruits will give them instant energy,” said Dr Mehar Panjwani, a dietician.