Rabat -People during Ramadan are increasingly into building a better shape, as it coincides with the last month of spring, the perfect time to prepare the summer body.
Rabat –People during Ramadan are increasingly into building a better shape, as it coincides with the last month of spring, the perfect time to prepare the summer body.
The idea of not eating for 4-5 hours is already terrifying for bodybuilders. Fasting for more than 16 hours is like torturing them mentally and physically.
Fasting for many hours makes your body dehydrated and out of energy. Food and water are the body’s main sources of energy; without them people feel weak and tired.
Bodybuilding and sports in general require a source of energy like food that contains carbohydrates and natural sugars, such as bananas, oat flakes and sweet potatoes.
Throughout Ramadan it is nearly impossible to build muscle. Bodybuilders must dedicate the month to maintain muscularity or losing fat.
Even after breaking the fast, it is hard to satisfy your body’s need for protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat in the same way as normal days.
Some people believe that eating from sundown until dawn will help them compensate for the long fasting hours. But they are wrong. Medical research says that testosterone, the male hormone responsible for muscle growth, is released in high amounts during sleep. The more you sleep, the more your testosterone increases.
There is a debate between bodybuilders on when to train during Ramadan. Some prefer to train right before f’tour, believing that it is better for muscle growth as they go immediately after to feed their bodies. Others believe that training two to three hours after f’tour is more beneficial.
Morocco World News sought the expertise of a Moroccan national and continental champion bodybuilder, Mustapha Bouden, known as “Mustapha Rasta.” He confirmed that training before breaking the fast may bring terrible results to the body. He rather encourages people to train after f’tour.
“Many people approach me with questions about how and when to train during Ramadan,” said Bouden, adding that “the perfect timing to train is after feeding your body by two hours,” arguing “during Ramadan the body is out of food and water which mean out of energy.”
“People may have a headache while training and may have muscle loss instead,” he said. “In order to grow your muscles, you must feed them properly at least five time a day with meals rich in calories, carbohydrates and protein which is hard to keep up with during Ramadan. If lucky the muscle can be sustained if not lost.”
Fasting and fat loss
On the other hand, the 30 days of fasting can be beneficial for losing fat. Given the number of hours of starving, the body starts fueling itself through the glycogene that is stored in the liver and muscles. Once the glycogene is gone, the body breaks down both muscle and fat to refuel itself.
To enhance fat loss, consider adding some cardio sessions to your training program and eat a f’tour high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
The amount of fat loss will depend on the food eaten and on the amount and type of activities engaged in during the fast.
Thus, to reduce body fat without losing muscle, bodybuilders need a calorie deficit program. By decreasing the amount of calories that your body needs, it will eventually start burning fat.
The best way to lose fat while sustaining the muscle is to adopt a carb cycling program, which is recommended by Jamo Nezzar, a retired professional bodybuilder and internationally renowned personal training expert.
Carb cycling is the consumption of carbohydrates through rotations. It alternates between high, medium and low-carbohydrate days. The amount of carbohydrates eaten depends on your training days.
If it is a four-day training program (divided into two intense sessions, one rest day and then two moderate sessions, saving the weekend for resting), consider consuming high carbohydrates and protein on intense days, lower the carbohydrates or cut them out during rest-days, and moderate carbohydrate intake in the moderate sessions.
Cardio sessions are always necessary, whether a person wants to lose fat or to build muscle, as they helps improve endurance and heart function.
This feature is part of an exclusive series at Morocco World News for Ramadan. Also in the series is: 10 Places to Have a Delightful F’tour during Ramadan, 15 Types of People During Ramadan and How Moroccan Pass Their Time during Ramadan.