Optimale Ernährung und Training während des Ramadans

Optimal nutrition and exercise during Ramadan

A question that I am currently being asked very frequently is: What does optimal nutrition and training during Ramadan look like?

What is Ramadan?

The word Ramadan is Arabic and is derived from the root ramida or arramad, meaning "scorching heat and dryness" (especially of the soil). Ramadan is the month of fasting for Muslims and the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. According to Islamic belief, the Koran was sent down there. As one of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan has an important meaning for Muslims.

In addition to the spiritual part, the "internal fasting", the "external fasting" in Islam discussed in this article consists of the Muslim not eating or drinking anything from the beginning of dawn until sunset, i.e. generally no food takes and abstains from having sex with the spouse. Only after sunset

Ramadan 2017 begins on May 27th and ends on June 24th, 2017. The month of Ramadan advances by 10 or 11 days per year each year and gradually progresses through all the seasons. Thus, in the course of his life, a Muslim will experience both winter fasting with shorter days and longer summer fasting days where fasting becomes more difficult. If a fixed season were fixed for fasting, it would mean permanent advantage for some of the followers of Islam in different parts of the world and permanent disadvantage for others.

Muslims “travelling” are also allowed to make exceptions due to their particular physical strain (in the past people mostly traveled on foot). For athletes, this route is permitted at least for away games. Egypt even have a legal opinion (fatwa) prepared. This came to the conclusion that the team "is on a national mission" and the players therefore exceptionally do not have to observe Ramadan.

For those who are celebrating Ramadan, here are some tips on how diet and exercise can be optimally adapted to this project:

– Adjust training volume. The solution is not not not to train, but to do fewer total reps/volumes. For strength training, for example, 5×5 would be a good training system to maintain strength without becoming too physically weak.

– Amino acids & electrolytes to break the fast. Dehydration is a big problem if you don't drink. Even mild dehydration will result in reduced performance. Therefore, it makes sense to take in electrolytes and water first in order to rebalance the fluid balance. In addition, the amino acids take on other more important tasks. You can get the YPSI AminoElectrolyte Complex here.

– Fast digesting food. Easily digestible meals are ideal for breaking a fast. Optimally, fat and carbohydrates should not be combined and high-fiber foods should be avoided to enable faster digestion.

– Eat, exercise, eat, sleep. This should be the sequence for a practicing Muslim after sunset on training days.

– Not getting up extra for breakfast. As people often go to bed late during Ramadan and the only chance to eat before sunset that same day is to eat before sunrise, having breakfast at this time would disrupt sleep. Instead of interrupting your sleep, I recommend skipping breakfast here.

– The training goal is maintenance. Not progression. No top performance can be achieved under the given circumstances. The goal is therefore to maintain personal performance over Ramadan. Then it can be progressively increased again.

- Drink, drink, drink. 1 liter of water per 25 kg of body weight is a good daily goal. Add 1 liter during training. Since fluid intake occurs only after sunset, more must be drunk in less time.

– Liquid, solid, liquid, solid meal on break days. Then sleep. Maximum nutrient absorption and hydration are the goal in order to be optimally prepared for the next day. Eight hours of sleep should also be the goal during fasting, if possible. An amino-electrolyte drink or a protein shake with frozen raspberries is ideal as a liquid meal.

Basically, fasting is a beneficial measure to give the stomach and intestines a break and tap into stubborn fat stores. Optimally, however, the body is regularly supplied with protein (in liquid form). Anyone who fasts during Ramadan should therefore maximize their fluid and protein intake after sunset and follow the tips above in order to avoid any loss of performance and negative effects on body composition and then be able to make constant progress again.

Good luck with optimal nutrition and training during Ramadan!

Image: The Moscow Cathedral Mosque.

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