KUALA LUMPUR: National athletes are still carrying on with their training routines despite the fasting month.
Sepak takraw player Farhan Adam, 28, said fasting was not an excuse to skip training as he was a national athlete.
"My friends and I would carry on with training as usual except that we shorten it to four or five hours a day.
"We would train for about an hour before buka puasa (breaking of fast) and at night after performing tarawih prayers, from 11pm to 2am," said Farhan, who trains five times a week.
He would ensure that he did not miss sahur (pre-dawn meal) so as to have the energy to undergo physical training. This is in addition to adequate rest.
Fencer Natasha Ezzra Abu Bakar, meanwhile, was no stranger to training during Ramadan as she had done so since she was 14.
The 26-year-old has been training at the National Sports Council in Bukit Jalil every Ramadan since, but things are a little different this year.
"For the first time ever, I had the opportunity to undergo training in Ramadan in South Korea and was simply thrilled with the experience," she told Bernama when contacted.
Natasha also competed in her first international tournament of the year in Hong Kong at the 2017 Asian Fencing Championships from June 17-22.
She said that it was important to prepare mentally and physically prior to going so as to adjust to the different weather and environment.
The Dietetics and Food Services Department Head of Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) Ridzoni Sulaiman said that athletes training during the fasting month should be selective in their sahur and buka puasa meals as their body used up more energy than a non-athlete.
He recommended high-fibre foods like vegetables and fruits, foods with low glycaemic index (GI) like wholegrain bread, oats and rice with meat and vegetable.
Ridzoni also highly recommend dates due to its low GI and high nutrients.
"Athletes should enter the fasting month prepared with the knowledge on the right time to train, what to eat during sahur and buka puasa or after training at night and the amount of water to drink to avoid dehydration, among others. This is so that they can perform as well as they did during other months," he said. -- Bernama