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J Sports Sci. 2012;30 Suppl 1:S103-8. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2012.687114. Epub 2012 May 21.

Strategies for maintaining fitness and performance during Ramadan.

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1
Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland. donald_kirkendall@yahoo.com

Abstract

The Muslim athlete, whether living in a Muslim majority country or in a non-Muslim country, face unique challenges to faithfully follow one of the pillars of their faith - Ramadan - while attempting to maintain their participation in sports training and competition. There are conflicting reports on the effects of Ramadan on fitness and physical performance in general and in football in particular. In general, the impact of a brief daytime fast has minor effects on health or factors of physical fitness. Add physical training and now a new set of barriers to both performance and the observance of Ramadan begin to interact. Practising athletes have worked out strategies to cope with the rigors of Ramadan; strategies that have both physical (training modifications, dietary habits, rest and recovery) and emotional (patience, emotional preparations) domains. Carefully blending strategies like these can help the football player be true to their faith and follow the tenants of Ramadan hopefully, with a minimum of impact on their physical performance. In this context, science can help coaches improve their training plans and educate players with respect to the challenges presented by Ramadan to all levels of sports participation.

PMID:
22606971
DOI:
10.1080/02640414.2012.687114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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