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Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Health and Athletic Performance

The act of fasting is mandatory for every able-bodied Muslim individual to show their faith in Islam. Fasting Muslim athletes who train and compete during Ramadan face challenges to perform at their optimum level with the restriction of food and fluid from sunrise to sundown, as well as alterations to sleep patterns. Some studies reported […]

  • Hamdi Chtourou
  • OMICS Group
  • 2013
Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Health and Athletic Performance
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Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Health and Athletic Performance
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    The act of fasting is mandatory for every able-bodied Muslim individual to show their faith in Islam. Fasting Muslim athletes who train and compete during Ramadan face challenges to perform at their optimum level with the restriction of food and fluid from sunrise to sundown, as well as alterations to sleep patterns. Some studies reported that the exercise performances of the athletes were adversely affected by Ramadan fasting. This review recommends the application of the FITT (i.e., frequency, intensity, time and type) principles of exercise in the modifications to training, nutrition and hydration while considering the rest and recovery factor as well as the psychological and cognitive status of the fasting Muslim athletes during Ramadan. Ideal twice-a-day training session models, which incorporate the different physical and behavioral aspects, are proposed for the athletes in this review in order to minimize the negative impact of Ramadan on their performances. This review will act as a useful guide for coaches and fasting athletes to carefully and strategically plan their training program to generate the most optimal level of competitive and training performance during Ramadan. The paper will briefly identify these strategies and suggest several practical recommendations on how Muslim athletes may try to overcome and/or circumvent the challenges of Ramadan fasting whilst training and competing at the same time. The recommendations provided in this paper aim to assist coaches and athletes to plan and organize their preparations for optimal competitive and training performance during Ramadan.

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    • Hamdi Chtourou
    • OMICS Group
    • 2013
    • USA
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