Exploring the Effects of Energy Constraints on Performance, Body Composition, Endocrinological/Hematological Biomarkers, and Immune System among Athletes: An Overview of the Fasting State

Hadi Nobari*, Saber Saedmocheshi, Eugenia Murawska-Ciałowicz, Filipe Manuel Clemente, Katsuhiko Suzuki, Ana Filipa Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The Ramadan fasting period (RFP) means abstaining from consuming food and/or beverages during certain hours of the day—from sunrise to sunset. Engaging in exercise and sports during the RFP leads to the lipolysis of adipose tissue and an increase in the breakdown of peripheral fat, leading to an increase in fat consumption. The effects of the RFP on functional, hematological, and metabolic parameters needs further study as existing studies have reported contradictory results. The differences in the results of various studies are due to the geographical characteristics of Muslim athletes, their specific diets, and their genetics, which explain these variations. In recent years, the attention of medical and sports researchers on the effects of the RFP and energy restrictions on bodily functions and athletic performance has increased significantly. Therefore, this brief article examines the effects of the RFP on the immune system, body composition, hematology, and the functionality of athletes during and after the RFP. We found that most sporting activities were performed during any time of the day without being affected by Ramadan fasting. Athletes were able to participate in their physical activities during fasting periods and saw few effects on their performance. Sleep and nutritional factors should be adjusted so that athletic performance is not impaired.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3197
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug

Keywords

  • balanced hormones
  • calorie restriction
  • dehydration
  • diet
  • exercise
  • health promotion
  • hypoglycemia
  • intermittent fasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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