Ramadan is religious and holy month for Muslims around the world, where they cannot eat or drink from sunrise to sundown.
Many athletes however must still compete, train and perform during their fasting which doesn’t sound like the easiest task.
Kingston University boxer Lydia Bellaouane said: “I’ve done it for several years, usually, the first week is the toughest when it comes to training but after that it becomes a lot easier to fast and train.
“It becomes more of a habit and after Ramadan, it’s hard to go back to eating normally before training because I tend to get used to the feeling of working out on an empty stomach.”
Some people like to train in the last few hours of fasting however some prefer late at night. However it is recommended scientifically that you should listen to your body and not push too hard when fasting.
For some training during Ramadan is a getaway from thoughts of hunger and thirst and is used as an escape mechanism.
KU basketballer Hana Abousamra said: “It’s always the month where I’m most active, and I can easily say that as well for all of my friends and surroundings.
“We all make the most of the few hours before Iftar. It’s when everyone is done with their duties and are trying to get their mind off the hunger. This is why if you go to any sports club you’ll find it absolutely packed with people doing all sorts of sports and activities, for me that’s the best time to train during Ramadan.”
Kingston University footballer Haitham Tarrak said: “It feels normal to be honest it makes no difference to me, Maybe I’m used to it, but I don’t think it really affect you, it’s just like a normal day.”
Ramadan is also a month of appreciation. Muslims tend to appreciate family and friends more during this month and training is also a way to do so.
Abousamra added: “As you have tons of people to train with you and socialise, you forget that you’re fasting, and you actually stay away from gaining weight in a month wherethere is immense food gatherings and delicious desserts.”
Ramadan is very important for athletes as it also helps with discipline and control as a well balanced sleep and food regime is extremely beneficial.