La tunisie Medicale - 2019 ; Vol 97 ( n°010 ) : 1087-1094
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Summary

Purpose: In recent decades, the interest for the effects of Ramadan fasting (RF) on health and athletic performance has substantially increased.
Moreover, it is widely accepted that body composition is a crucial measure in sport settings to evaluate training programs and optimize nutrition for
athletes. This systematic review was conducted to assess the effects of RF on body composition in athletes.
Data sources: An electronic database search was performed on the Web of Science and PubMed/MEDLINE databases from inception to March
2019 using a combination of relevant keywords.
Study eligibility criteria: RF-related measurements of any body composition indicators in athletes were considered. Only studies published in
English language were included.
Study appraisal: The quality and validity of the included studies were assessed using “QualSyst”.
Result: Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria for this review, which involved a total of 183 participants (12 female and 171 male athletes) of
different sport disciplines. Collectively, the analyzed studies indicate that body mass index, body fat, and body fat percentage were generally lower
during Ramadan compared to before Ramadan, while lean mass and total body water were unchanged during Ramadan.
Conclusion: Despite the importance of body composition control in sport and exercise settings, there are still many aspects of body composition
that should be more thoroughly assessed in athletes during the month of Ramadan. More research, especially well-conducted randomized controlled
trials, is needed to evaluate the magnitude of body composition changes in athletes during the holy month.

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