Islam is a world religion with over a billion adherents who live according to Islamic laws. Ramadan is one of the most important periods of the year for Muslims, and is the name of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During the fasting month, adults Muslims eat and drink nothing between sunrise and sunset. The aim of the fasting is to allow the body and spirit to regenerate in combination with intensified praying. Like other aspects of life, sports too is played and practised during this period. Today we would discuss about football. There is a question that does fasting have a negative effect, a positive effect, or no effect at all? In this regard FIFA has made tremendous efforts to study and find out what effects of restricting nutrition and fluid intake during day light hours actually are. As far back as 2004-2006, F-MARC (the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre) under the leadership of Prof. Jiri Dvorak, carried out two studies in Algeria and Tunisia on the impact of fasting on players’ performance. Football is the most rapidly developing sport in Muslim world, and Ramadan therefore effects amateur and professional players alike.
As per Dr. Yacine Zerguini “ Fasting changes the chronological phase of players’.
Fitness and Fasting for Recreational Athletes.
Exercising in RAMDAN is important and beneficial for recreational athletes but the following tips must be followed.
1. Consult a doctor if you have any health problems.
2. The best time to exercise is one hour before iftar or two to three hours after iftar.
3. Avoid early morning exercise because you will not be able to compensate your body for lost energy and fluids, which can cause fatigue and dehydration.
4. You can perform light exercise before iftar, but high intensity exercise should be preformed after iftar.
Fitness and Fasting for Professional Athletes.
Professional athletes can definitely exercise during the month of Ramdan in a safe and effective way. It is very important to maintain a healthy diet during the month. The quality of sleep is also very important for the body to restore strength and energy. It is best to perform high intensity exercise at night, and muscle strengthening exercises before iftar.
Effects of Ramadan on Sleep.
In recent years, the importance of sleep for optimum performance has increasingly been recognised. Lack of sleep has negative effects on concentration and mood, and thus the performance of professional athlete (footballer).
People fasting during Ramadan tend to get less sleep and it is given less importance. An f-MARC study in Tunisia showed, however, that while people fasting slept less, the quality of their sleep was not impaired. Although tiredness and loss of concentration were observed. These effects could be alleviated by having midday nap(30-45 minutes).
Also you must avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and energy drinks. Avoid using electronic devices t bed time like tv, the computer and the smart phone.
Eating habits must be avoided during the month of Ramadan. Do not large amounts of food during short periods of time. Do not eat large quantities of sweets. Do not drink large amounts of fluids after Iftar at all once. It is necessary to drink fluids in small quantities throughout evening from Iftar to Sahar. Try to delay your Sahar meal to at least 15 minutes before the Fajr Azan, in order to provide your body with the necessary energy and fluids it needs during the day.
Healthy Iftar and Sahar
Iftar should start gradually; it is not advisable to eat large amounts of food in a short period of time. Start your Iftar with dates and water (not cold). Then have some warm soup to reactivate the stomach. Take a 30 minute break before eating the main dish which should be divided into three sections: half vegetables, one-quarter proteins and one quarter complex carbohydrates. You can have a light meal after Isha prayers, which can include fruits and a moderate amount of sweets. Sahar is a very important meal and should be delayed and should include beans which give a feeling of fullness, and yogurt and fruit to provide the body with liquids.
Fasting and Hydration
Drinking fluids is very important during the month of Ramadan in order for the body to maintain a certain level of fluids to carry out its necessary functions. Drink water and fluids in moderate quantities from Iftar time until Sahar.
You should not drink large amounts of iced water because it may lead to indigestion. Consume water rich fruits and vegetables which help keep your body hydrated and retain optimum levels of moisture.
Dr. Shahnawaz Gazi
Physiotherapist & Sports Fitness Consultant.
J&K Bank Football Club. [email protected]