Sunday, May 21, 2017
Ramadan is fast approaching and for professional sportspersons of Muslim faith, daily fasting from dawn to dusk during the Holy Month can pose an added challenge when it comes to their diet and training routine. SFME’s Scott Grayston sat down to discuss the issue with UAE football veteran Abdulla Salem who has played for some of the biggest clubs in the country such as Al Ahli and Al Wahda and is still, at 34, going strong, plying his trade for Sharjah FC. The experienced defender shared his insights on coping with training during Ramadan.
Abdulla Salem: By spending some time with my kids inside the house. I focus on bringing the family together and getting some rest at home.
Abdulla Salem: Sometimes. And it is always fun when we do catch up for Iftar together.
Abdulla Salem: One of the fundamentals of being an athlete is being disciplined which helps me significantly during Ramadan.
Abdulla Salem: I do not go out to restaurants and overeat at night.
Abdulla Salem: To leave a 10-minute break for your stomach to start working before starting on the main meal and to eat normal portion sizes at Iftar.
Abdulla Salem: I ensure I take in nutritious food which provides a good source of lean protein, such as grilled fish or chicken, low-glycemic carbohydrates, such as brown rice or boiled sweet potatoes, and vegetables, raw or cooked, with a little oil.
Abdulla Salem: Nothing in particular. I just ensure I always eat in moderation.
Abdulla Salem: Suhur, the pre-dawn meal, is essential, as this will give me the energy I need for my daily activities while fasting.
Abdulla Salem: By drinking water between my meals and drinking small quantities throughout the Ramadan nights. In addition to water, I drink fresh fruit or vegetable juices rather than sweetened ones.
Abdulla Salem: To consume normal portions of nutritious food including bread, milk, fish, meat, vegetables, and fruits.
Abdulla Salem: I perform light exercise to burn off excess calories after fasting to maintain my energy level.
Abdulla Salem: When I feel sluggish, I shut my eyes for 15-20 minutes to re-energise my system.