Ramadan intermittent fasting induced poorer training practices during the COVID-19 lockdown: A global cross-sectional study with 5529 athletes from 110 countries

Jad Adrian Washif, David B Pyne, Øyvind Sandbakk, Khaled Trabelsi, Abdul Rashid Aziz, Christopher Martyn Beaven, Isabel Krug, Iñigo Mujika, Achraf Ammar, Anis Chaouachi, Imen Moussa-Chamari, Asma Aloui, Hamdi Chtourou, Abdulaziz Farooq, Monoem Haddad, Mohamed Romdhani, Paul Salamh, Montassar Tabben, Del P Wong, Yacine ZerguiniMatthew D DeLang, Lee Taylor, Helmi Ben Saad, Karim Chamari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ramadan intermittent fasting during the COVID-19 lockdown (RIFL) may present unique demands. We investigated training practices (i.e., training load and training times) of athletes, using pre-defined survey criteria/questions, during the ‘first’ COVID-19 lockdown, comparing RIFL to lockdown-alone (LD) in Muslim athletes. Specifically, a within-subject, survey-based study saw athletes (n = 5,529; from 110 countries/territories) training practices (comparing RIFL to LD) explored by comparative variables of: sex; age; continent; athlete classification (e.g., world-class); sport classification (e.g., endurance); athlete status (e.g., professional); and level of training knowledge and beliefs/attitudes (ranked as: good/moderate/poor). During RIFL (compared to LD), athlete perceptions (ranges presented given variety of comparative variables) of their training load decreased (46–62%), were maintained (31–48%) or increased (2–13%). Decreases (≥ 5%, p < 0.05) affected more athletes aged 30–39 years than those 18–29 years (60 vs 55%); more national than international athletes (59 vs 51%); more team sports than precision sports (59 vs 46%); more North American than European athletes (62 vs 53%); more semi-professional than professional athletes (60 vs 54%); more athletes who rated their beliefs/attitudes ‘good’ compared to ‘poor’ and ‘moderate’ (61 vs 54 and 53%, respectively); and more athletes with ‘moderate’ than ‘poor’ knowledge (58 vs 53%). During RIFL, athletes had different strategies for training times, with 13–29% training twice a day (i.e., afternoon and night), 12–26% at night only, and 18–36% in the afternoon only, with ranges depending on the comparative variables. Training loads and activities were altered negatively during RIFL compared to LD. It would be prudent for decision-makers responsible for RIFL athletes to develop programs to support athletes during such challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1115
Number of pages13
JournalBiology of Sport
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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