Longer, hotter fasts test athletes

When Adam Burpee’s high school football teammates rush to nearby water coolers in the afternoon heat, he watches and waits.

On a normal day, in a normal month of his senior season, the 17-year-old would take the opportunity to hydrate, but with the Muslim holy month of fasting underway, he won’t have any food or drink until after sundown — at least two hours after the end of his practices.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

It’s not easy, he said, especially with August and September temperatures that have often crept up to triple-digit levels. 

“It’s definitely one of the toughest things I’ve ever done,” said Adam, a Glendale resident who plays defensive back for Pasadena Poly.

Muslims abstain from food, drink and sexual activity during daylight hours for the month of Ramadan, which presents annual challenges for athletes.

But because Ramadan follows the lunar calendar and occurs about 11 days earlier each year, the 2009 fasting schedule is longer — and hotter — than it has been in more than three decades, making it especially difficult for practicing Muslims who are also physically active.

Read the rest of the story here.

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