Ramadan and the World Cup

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins today and will affect athletes and sporting fans around the globe until the fast is broken with the feast of Eid al-Fitr on July 28.

The World Cup may be like a religion, and is currently affecting the lives of many…..but throughout the next month Ramadan will have possibly the bigger impact on over a billion people on the planet.

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Hassan Yabda, one of the players on the Algerian national team.

How, for instance, will the fast affect Algerian athletes who play their World Cup knock out match against Germany in two days?  How will it affect, for that matter, the millions of the faithful, Algerian fans who will be watching?

We revisit a blog post from last year, and an excellent study published in our pages on this very issue:  Does Ramadan Affect the Risk of Injury in Professional Football?

How topical:  The World Cup, the very pinnacle of professional soccer–it’s happening!  Ramadan–it has begun!

Good luck to the teams playing in the knock-out stages of the World Cup, and Ramadan Mubarak!

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine Blog

Crescent_Moon_(2558144570) The Crescent Moon rising at sunset, marking the start of the month of Ramadan

The month of Ramadan begins tomorrow, July 9, and lasts until August 7.  As many of this blog’s readers will know, observant Muslims will fast from dawn until sunset:  no food, no liquids…..no sports drinks or power bars.  The questions of ‘carb loading’ or ‘gluten free’, (‘should i drink some chocolate milk after my workout?‘) can all be put on the table until the evening.  The diet is one of pure abstinence, morning until night.

Muslim athletes are not unique in observing a fast: Catholic Christians will consume much less than usual if observing the prescribed tenets of Lent on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and Jewish athletes will go a full 25 hours consuming nothing on Yom Kippur:  friends have told me they will be loath to brush their teeth or even shower, lest…

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About sportingjim
I work at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio USA, where I am a specialist in pediatric sports medicine. My academic appointment as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics is through Ohio State University. I am a public health advocate for kids' health and safety. I am also the Emerging Media Editor for the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

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