Open Access Open Badges Research article

Effect of fed- versus fasted state resistance training during Ramadan on body composition and selected metabolic parameters in bodybuilders

Khaled Trabelsi1*, Stephen R Stannard2, Zohra Ghlissi1, Ronald J Maughan3, Choumous Kallel4, Kamel Jamoussi5, Khaled M Zeghal1 and Ahmed Hakim1

Author Affiliations

1 University of Sfax, Laboratory of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Sfax, 3029, Tunisia

2 School of Sport and Exercise, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

3 School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK

4 Laboratory of Hematology, CHU Habib Bourguiba, Sfax, Tunisia

5 Department of Biochemistry of the Hedi Chaker University Hospital, Sfax, 3029, Tunisia

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013, 10:23  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-23

Published: 25 April 2013



Muslim bodybuilders often continue training during Ramadan. However, the effect of resistance training in a fasted versus a fed state during Ramadan on body composition and metabolic parameters in bodybuilders is not well known. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of resistance training in a fasted versus a fed state during Ramadan on body composition and metabolic parameters in bodybuilders.


Sixteen men were allocated to two groups: Eight practicing resistance training in the late afternoon in a fasted state (FAST), and eight training in the late evening in an acutely fed state (FED) during Ramadan. All visited the laboratory in the morning two days before the start of Ramadan (Bef-R) and on the 29th day of Ramadan (End-R) for anthropometric measurement, completion of a dietary questionnaire, and provision of fasting blood and urine samples.


Body mass and body fat percentage remained unchanged in FAST and FED during the whole period of the investigation. Both FAST and FED experienced an increase in the following parameters from Bef-R to End-R: urine specific gravity (1%; p = 0.028, p = 0.004 respectively), serum concentrations of urea (4%, p = 0.006; 7%, p = 0.004 respectively), creatinine (5%, p = 0.015; 6%, p = 0.04 respectively), uric acid (17%; p < 0.001, p = 0.04 respectively), sodium (1%; p = 0.029, p = 0.019 respectively), chloride (2%; p = 0.039, p = 0.004 respectively), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (11%, p = 0.04; 10%, p = 0.04 respectively).


Hypertrophic training in a fasted or in a fed state during Ramadan does not affect body mass and body composition of bodybuilders. Additionally, Ramadan fasting induced changes in urinary and some biochemical parameters, but these changes were not different according to when the training occurred.

Resistance training; Dehydration; Renal function; Body fat percentage; Islamic fasting