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Impact of Ramadan on Physical Performance in Professional Soccer Players
  1. Yacine Zerguini (yacinezerg{at}
  1. Centre d'Evaluation et d'Expertise en Médecine du Sport, Algeria
    1. Donald Kirkendall (donald_kirkendall{at}
    1. FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, Switzerland
      1. Astrid Junge (asjunge{at}
      1. FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, Switzerland
        1. Jiri Dvorak (jiri.dvorak{at}
        1. FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, Switzerland


          OBJECTIVE: Ramadan is a period of daylight abstention from liquid or solid nutrients. As sports continue to be scheduled, an understanding of the effects of Ramadan on Muslim athletes is warranted.

          DESIGN: We studied 2 Algerian professional soccer teams (N=55 males) . Field tests of physical and soccer performance were collected before, at the end, and 2 weeks after Ramadan in 2004. Players were queried on sleep habits and personal perception of training and match performance.

          SETTING: Field setting at club training ground.

          MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Performance on fitness and skill tests.

          RESULTS: Performance declined significantly (p<.05) for speed, agility, dribbling speed, and endurance and most stayed low after the conclusion of Ramadan. Nearly 70% of the players felt that their training and performance was adversely affected during the fast.

          CONCLUSIONS: The phase shift of food intake and disruption of sleep patterns affects actual and perceived physical performance. Islamic athletes need to explore strategies that will maximize performance during Ramadan.

          • Ramadan
          • nutrition
          • performence
          • soccer

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