Effects of Ramadan Observance on Repeated Cycle Ergometer Sprinting and Associated Inflammatory and Oxidative Stress Responses in Trained Young Men

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty of Medicine of Sousse, Laboratory of Physiology, University of Sousse. Tunisia

2 Faculty of P.E. and Sports Science, University of Athens, Greece

3 Hospital of Farhat Hached, Biochemical Department, Sousse, Tunisia

4 Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Tunis, University of Manouba, Tunisia

5 Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada


Introduction: was to assess the effects of Ramadan observance upon repeated sprints and associated inflammatory and oxidative stress responses. Methods: Ten young trained boxers were tested during a control period (C), at the end of the first week (R-1), and during the fourth week of Ramadan observance (R-4). On each occasion, they performed three vertical jumps, 10 x 6 s repeated sprints on a cycle ergometer, followed by three final vertical jumps 1 min after. Surface electrodes measured the EMG activity of the vastus lateralis during jumps performed before and after sprinting. Oxidative stress (malondialdehyde, total antioxidant and catalase), inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein, Interleukin-6 and homocysteine), muscle damage (CPK and LDH) and blood glucose were measured at rest and after completing the exercise protocol. Results: The overall sprint performance was reduced at R-1 compared to C (-6.3 ± 1.2%, p = 0.025), but had recovered by R-4. Jump height decreased after the repeated sprints (p<0.01), without significant changes in EMG parameters. Oxidative stress indices, inflammatory markers, and muscle damage measured after the protocol exercise were unaffected during fasting. Conclusion: The correction of sprint performance may highlight some adaptive responses to fasting. The unchanged of the selected fatigue biomarkers after the repeated sprint protocol suggest that the dietary restriction related to Ramadan is not severe enough to induce significant changes in the metabolism of our trained athletes.


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