Influence of Sahour Meal on Exercise Performance and Physiological Responses in Well-Trained Muslim Runners during Ramadan

Document Type: Research Paper


1 National Sports Institute of Malaysia, Bukit Jalil 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 Department of Physiology, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Universiti Sains Malaysia

3 Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Kepala Batas, Penang, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia


Introduction: The objective of this study was to examine the influence of sahour meal on exercise performance, and physiological responses to a 10Km Time-Trial (10KTT) at two different times of the day during Ramadan. Method: Three well-trained Muslim runners participated (age, 25±0.8years; maximal oxygen uptake, 54.87±3.45; body weight, 52.4±1.99 kg; height, 162.7±3.55 cm).  Subjects ran a 10KTT on four occasions: 8.00am (Am), and 5.00pm (Pm), separated by one day rest two weeks before Ramadan (BRam) and during the second week of Ramadan (DRam). BRam, subjects consumed their usual diet. DRam, subjects consumed a standardized sahour meal containing 15.6±0.6kcal/kgBW; 2.3±0.1gCHO/kgBW; 0.6±0.0g Protein/kgBW; 0.5±0.0gFat/kgBW. During each 10KTT, the subject ran at 85%VO2max for the first two Km, and then at a self-selected speed then onwards. Blood samples were collected before the run, and at 2, and the end of 10 Km. Time to complete 10KTT were recorded. Urine specific gravity was measured before each run. Results: There was no difference in hydration status for the Am and Pm runs BRam and DRam. Running performance DRamAM, was better compared to the DRamPm. There were also no changes in blood glucose BRam and DRam. Serum Testosterone was highest at the end of 10KTT DRamPm when compared to the DRamAm, and was generally higher than BRam. Serum Cortisol showed no differences between the trials. All runners did not experience dehydration, lack of energy nor drop in performance DRam. Conclusion: The results from this study suggest that when athletes are provided with a balanced sahour meal, during Ramadan, they can maintain their performance.


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