The Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Physical Field-Expedient Measures in Army Cadets

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Faculty of Physical and Cultural Education Hellenic Army Academy

Abstract

Introduction: Given the limited number of studies on Ramadan fasting and military performance, we conducted this study to identify the effect of Ramadan fasting on physical fitness performances in army cadets. Methods: Twenty healthy males were randomly selected from a larger sample group. The subjects were divided into fasting (n=10) and non-fasting (n=10) groups. They performed various military physical fitness tests (pull ups, sit ups, swimming obstacle course, push ups, obstacle course, and one mile run) in three separate periods (1st: baseline, 2nd: pre-Ramadan fasting, and 3rd: post-Ramadan fasting). All the cadets also completed three-day food records prior to each exercise testing. Results: Repeated measures ANOVA showed non-significant differences between the groups for pull ups, sit ups, swimming obstacle course, and push ups (P>0.05). However, towards the end of the testing (when performing the obstacle course and the one-mile run) the fasting group showed significantly lower performance (P0.05) was noted in various nutritional parameters across the three food recording periods. Conclusion: Ramadan fasting does not affect overall military fitness performance; however, it seems that fasting cadets cannot handle repeated maximal exercise testing efficiently possibly due to inadequate recovery between tests

Keywords


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