Manchester City’s Kolo Touré, a devout Muslim, fasted throughout the beginning month of the Premier League in 2011.
“It doesn’t affect me physically,” Touré admits. “It makes me stronger. You can do it when you believe so strongly in something. A normal human can be without water for much longer than one day.”
Touré highlights a crucial point here. Muslims can garner great strength from prayer and fasting during Ramadhan. The central focus of the holy month is reaffirming and strengthening one’s individual bond with God. The positive effects of this process need not be left at the stadium gates. Just as a lack of water or sugars may disadvantage an athlete, so they might benefit from the heightened focus and energy brought about by spiritual cleansing.