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Asian J Sports Med. 2011 Sep;2(3):161-6.

Effect of ramadan fasting on body composition and physical performance in female athletes.

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  • 1Sports Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Ramadan fasting on body composition, calorie intake and physical performance in young female athletes undertaking training sessions during Ramadan.


Twelve voluntary female athletes (15-27 years old) were assigned to the research. A prospective study was conducted to investigate the athletes on four different occasions: one week before Ramadan (T1), the second (T2) and fourth (T3) weeks of Ramadan, and two weeks after the end of Ramadan (T4). Food intake, body composition and physical performance (agility, balance and explosive leg power) were investigated on each occasion. Further, Physical performance was assessed by agility, vertical jump and balance tests.


There was a significant main effect for time for body composition indices. A significant decrease was observed in weight (P=0.01) and body mass index (BMI) (P=0.01) in T2 compared with T1, further decrease in weight (P<0.001) and BMI (P<0.001) was observed in T3 compared to T1. Calorie intake decreased significantly in T3 compared with T1 (P=0.008), and increased significantly in T4 compared with T3 (P=0.04). There was a significant main effect for time for agility performance (P=0.03), but no significant main effect for time was observed for vertical jumping (P=0.1) and balance performance (P=0.3).


This study has found that Ramadan fasting could affect the body composition, but not physical performance in female athletes during Ramadan.


Body Composition; Female Athletes; Performance; Ramadan Fasting

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