Academic draws up top nutrition and exercise tips for runners observing Ramadan


An academic has given his top tips to runners tackling events while observing Ramadan, including loading up on oats and quinoa while avoiding caffeine and processed foods.

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Survival Guide

In his Ramadan survival guide for runners, Birmingham City University assistant lecturer and PhD researcher, Ayazullah Safi, shares his advice on how to eat and train for running events whilst fasting.

To overcome some of the challenges runners who are fasting may face, Safi recommended:

  • Avoiding salt and caffeine - both can leave you feeling thirsty during the day and dehydrated.
  • Swapping processed food and those high in sugar for more nutritious options - aim for a good balance of starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice and bread, along with vegetables, proteins and dairy for natural fats.
  • Drinking lots of water – try to drink a minimum of two litres of water during night-time hours.
  • Keeping exercise gentle - start off with low intensity physical activity every day such as brisk walking.
  • Gradually increasing exercise – 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day is plenty.

Safi explained: “During the month of Ramadan most people aren’t aware of the steps they can take to improve their physical and mental health during the day. I often receive questions from people exercising or training for sport events on how to prepare whilst also fasting.

“For those who are fasting as well as exercising or training for the run, it is especially important to plan your diet and fitness programme carefully, and I hope this guide will help people to do that.”

The full guide is available to read here.


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