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Fasting During Practice

It's August, a time when high school and college athletes endure long practices or two-a-days to gear up for the fall season.

One of the storylines that has always intrigued me is how Muslim athletes cope with the pressures of practice and the requirements of Ramadan.

For 30 days, Muslims observe a dawn-to-dusk fast, abstaining from food and water during this holy period. Ramadan ends with the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr, which was this past Saturday.


How do athletes manage? Here's a roundup of stories from this year:

  1. NPR -- An Athlete's Ramadan Dilemma: To Fast or Not?
  2. NBC News -- Fasting for 17 hours each day: How Muslim Olympians cope during Ramadan
  3. The Huffington Post -- The Hunger Games: Muslim Athletes Observe Ramadan at London Olympics
  4. Fox Sports Kansas City -- Ramadan a challenge for Muslim athletes
  5. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- Summer Ramadan adds to sacrifice for Muslims
  6. Richmond Times-Dispatch -- U.Va.'s Aboushi observing Ramadan during football camp
  7. The Toronto Star -- NFLer says secret to fasting during Ramadan is “pickle juice''

And here's an interesting story from The New York Times in 2011 about a Michigan school -- the student body is 90 percent Muslim -- that practices in the middle of the night so players can eat and hydrate: All-Nighters for a Football Team During Ramadan