Hawzah News Agency (Cape town, South Africa) – South Africa’s cricket player Hashim Amla revealed how fasting the holy month of Ramadan helps him streamlining his approach.
“It really helps with my conditioning,” Amla said.
“Fasting is something I always look forward to. It’s the best month of the year for me. Physically yes, you do feel thirsty and hungry. I see it as a great mental exercise. But most importantly, it is a great spiritual exercise as well,” he added.
Amla, a practicing Muslim and one of the senior members of the South African national cricket team, nicknamed the Proteas, said that he is available for his side to provide vital information and his experience.
“It’s something you don’t try and force (giving advice to his teammates). It happens naturally. It’s not something I consciously think about, but I think it happens anyway. There’s a lot of experience in the playing XI and the coaching staff so that osmosis of information and knowledge is going to happen anyway,” he said.
Ramadan & Sport
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Dismissing fears and worries associated with Ramadan with regard to sportsmen, a FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Center (F-MARC) study has established that young male national football players who observed Ramadan fasting in a controlled environment showed no compromise in their physical and physiological performance or reduction in their subjective well-being.
The study is replicated to investigate a wider range of elite level players.
Another study published in May 2012 in the journal of sports science showed that, generally, Ramadan fasting has minor effects on health and physical fitness.
The same conclusion was drawn from another research published in June 2012, in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The researchers stated: “in most of the situations studied to date, Ramadan observance has had only limited adverse consequences for either training or competitive performance”.