Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 97–104 | Cite as

Does Ramadan fasting affect the diurnal variations in metabolic responses and total antioxidant capacity during exercise in young soccer players?

  • Omar HammoudaEmail author
  • Hamdi Chtourou
  • Asma Aloui
  • Mohamed Arbi Mejri
  • Henda Chahed
  • Abdelhedi Miled
  • Karim Chamari
  • Anis Chaouachi
  • Nizar Souissi
Original Article


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Ramadan fasting and time-of-day on biochemical responses to an intermittent exercise [Yo–Yo test level 1, (YYIRT)]. Twenty male soccer players (17.52 ± 0.2 years, 177.4 ± 2.9 cm) completed the YYIRT at 0700 and 1700 hours on three occasions: 1 week before Ramadan (BR), the second week of Ramadan (SWRR2), and the fourth week of Ramadan (ERR4). The total distance covered during the YYIRT (TD) was recorded. Moreover, blood samples were obtained before and after the YYIRT for biochemical measurements. TD was higher BR than during Ramadan in the evening (P < 0.05), but not in the morning. However, there was no significant difference between BR and Ramadan in the morning. While post-exercise values of blood lactate (Lac), glucose (GLC), and markers of muscle injury were greater higher in the evening, resting total antioxidant status (TAS) and uric acid (UA) levels were higher in the morning as compared with the evening BR. These diurnal variations were hidden during Ramadan due to a significant decrease in Lac (P < 0.01), GLC (P < 0.05) and cellular damage (P < 0.05) and an increase in TAS and UA (P < 0.05) values in the evening. No significant difference in biochemical responses was observed in the morning during SWRR2 and ERR4 as compared with BR. In summary, the present study indicates that YYIRT performance was affected by Ramadan fasting only in the evening in young soccer players. The modified diurnal pattern of biochemical responses could explain this performance decrement.


Fasting Sport performance Transaminases Chronobiology Soccer Antioxidant 



This study was supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Tunisia. We are grateful to all the players who have so willingly participated in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors O. Hammouda, H. Chtourou, A. Aloui, M.A. Mejri, H. Chahed, A. Miled, K. Chamari, A. Chaouachi and N. Souissi declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omar Hammouda
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hamdi Chtourou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Asma Aloui
    • 1
  • Mohamed Arbi Mejri
    • 1
  • Henda Chahed
    • 3
  • Abdelhedi Miled
    • 3
  • Karim Chamari
    • 5
  • Anis Chaouachi
    • 1
  • Nizar Souissi
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Research Laboratory “Sport Performance Optimization”National Center of Medicine and Sciences in Sport (CNMSS)TunisTunisia
  2. 2.High Institute of Sport and Physical Education of SfaxSfax UniversitySfaxTunisia
  3. 3.Laboratoire de BiochimieCHU Farhat HachedSousseTunisia
  4. 4.High Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Ksar-SaïdManouba UniversityManoubaTunisia
  5. 5.Research and Education CenterAspetar, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine HospitalDohaQatar

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