Ramadan Mubarak - nutrition for basketball during the Muslim holy month

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has begun.

Dr Tilly Spurr, a senior lecturer in sports and exercise nutrition at the University of Chichester and Basketball England's talent and performance nutritionist - who worked with the gold and silver medal winning England teams at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games - has written five top tips for staying on top of your nutrition during Ramadan to maintain top performance whilst playing basketball:

  1. It is currently recommended to gradually move meals earlier and later in the days leading up to the fast to allow the body to adapt gradually.
  2. Sleep is vital for performance and recovery, and is associated with better eating habits. Protecting sleep and getting 8-10 hours is advised. Napping during the day is encouraged. 
  3. It's important to meet your energy demands and fuel for the work required. Plan meals carefully to optimise both energy and nutrient intake. Favour unprocessed carbohydrates that will give a more even energy source and include fruit and vegetables. This will also help with hydration. 
  4. Good quality protein sources are recommended to protect muscle mass and support training adaptation. Using an informed sport protein powder or bar can be useful to supplement meals.
  5. Plan your hydration carefully. Stay cool and use cooling strategies to help to conserve water while training. Add a small amount of salt to meals or use electrolytes and drink small amounts regularly to help with retention.