(MENAFN - The Peninsula) QNA
Doha: Researchers from Aspetar, the orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital in Qatar, had a special interest in studying the effects of fasting on athletic performance. Indeed, the topic has been covered extensively by researchers worldwide. However, when it comes to research on youngsters and fasting, there are few research papers that address the effects of fasting on young athletes' performance.
The first in this domain was published by Aspetar's researcher, Abdulaziz Farooq.
In his research, based on 18 young children aged 9 to 15 observing holy Ramadan, a peer-reviewed paper was produced in 2015, Farooq highlighted that there is little evidence to suggest that fasting negatively impacts physical health. However, he points out that fasting can actually improve young athletes' memory and planning skills as evidenced by research, whilst concentration and attention levels decrease towards the end of the day.
Farooq explains: 'Children are different from adults, given their body is still growing and so they need more nutrients. They are required to go to school in the morning and attend classes as well as training sessions, where they have to maintain higher levels of concentration.
One of the most important findings of Aspetar's researchers is that hydration and sleep are crucial in maintaining high-performance levels for adults and this applies to young athletes and children.
'Habitual sleeping duration and hydration are crucial. While sleeping helps you recover both mentally and physically, hydration and healthy nutrition are equally important to boost energy, Farooq said. The researcher outlined his recommendations for young athletes who are fasting, as well as some considerations for their families and coaches to bear in mind with regards to exercise.