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Title: The effects of intermittent fasting during Ramadan on performance related to football
Author: Wilson, David
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2007
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During the 9th lunar month of each year around 1 billion Muslims adhere to the religious 4- week festival of Ramadan, which is considered as a time for empathy for those less fortunate, a time for restraint, and goodwill. The main focus of the religious intervention of Ramadan is the intermittent fast whereby, each day between dawn and sunset nutritional abstinence is practiced. Empirical evidence from experienced soccer coaches in Qatar has indicated that the 4-week intermittent fast during Ramadan impedes the quality and quantity of training, as well as match play. However, there has been lack of attention directed to the consequences associated with Ramadan and football (soccer) players. Greater understanding of the consequences of Islamic soccer players adhering to lifestyle changes and intermittent fasting would facilitate soccer coaches in a systematic approach to addressing potential negative performance effects associated with Ramadan in future soccer-seasons. In order to address the research problem, a soccer-specific battery of tests was required; as there is no established gold standard battery of soccer-specific field tests preliminary technical and methodological studies were required. In Study-1 a soccer-specific anaerobic capacity field test (Liverpool Anaerobic Speed Test or LAST) was piloted for validity, reliability, and practicality since, the choice for suitable soccer-specific anaerobic capacity tests were inadequate. It was found that two familiarisation sessions are necessary to reduce systematic bias markedly and habituate players with procedures of the LAST. The total measurement error (ratio of Limits of Agreement) of the LAST was 2.5% (± 18 m), and peak blood lactate values produced were 17.6 mmol.l⁻¹, which were greater than the 14.7 mmol.l⁻¹ criteria set for maximal anaerobic effort before the pilot study. The test set-up and administration proved to be practical, facilitating large numbers of subjects to be evaluated relatively quickly ( < 20 min). Therefore, the LAST was included in the soccer-specific battery of field tests, which then provided a comprehensive analysis of the separate components soccer performance. The available facility to conduct this investigation was the soccer-field at Al-Ahli Sports Club Doha, Qatar and therefore, further methodological investigations were necessary; temperatures within Qatar can vary during different times of the season, and at times are quite severe with respect to heat and humidity. The purpose of Study-2 was to examine how robust the discrete soccer-specific field tests were which, would be used during the intervention of Ramadan, using a repeated measures counter-balanced design of indoor and outdoor conditions. It was found that during the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (YYIRT) (Krustrup et al., 2003) outdoor assessment maximal performance was reduced by 19% in contrast to the YYIRT conducted indoors, despite the subjects attaining similar maximal heart rates. Consequently, the YYIRT to volitional exhaustion was excluded from the battery of tests to be used during the intervention of Ramadan; all other soccer-specific field tests were found to be robust for use in the heat. The aim of Study-3 was a qualitative investigation to observe current soccer-practice and related factors surrounding training; this brief included bedtime, wake-up time, sleep duration, environmental conditions, pre-training dehydration, body fluids lost during training, body-core temperature, and relative training intensity. During Ramadan it was found that bedtime and wake-up time were significantly delayed and sleep duration lengthened compared to normal. Post-Ramadan was found to be akin to eastward time travel with advancement in bedtime, wake-up and return to normal sleep duration. Dehydration was significantly greater pre-training during Ramadan in comparison to non- Ramadan training weeks, and body fluid loss during training in both Ramadan and non- Ramadan periods was considerable. Relative training workload was also quantified during this time and highlighted important practical problems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc. ; HT Communities. Classes. Races ; RC1200 Sports Medicine ; GV561 Sports