PKNS FC midfielder Faris Ramli tells us how he adjusts his preparation during the month of Ramadan
How difficult is the month of Ramadan for you as a professional footballer?
To be honest, being able to fast is very sacred to me. However, it is not that difficult because I am used to playing football during the month of Ramadan. I was with Home United in Singapore last season and fasting while playing football is something that is not new to me. I am looking forward to seeing how the month of Ramadan would be like in Malaysian football.
How do you cope with the physical demands of playing a game on an empty stomach, is there any additional supplement you use, can you give us your daily diet plan?
In my opinion, there is not really a diet that I follow because you must get your preparation right. I have to say that I enjoy eating dates during game days because it contains a lot of vitamins and nutritious elements. On top of that, I also feel very energized after eating dates.
What do you eat when not fasting?
When I was younger, I used to have cereal for my early pre-dawn breakfast ("sahur") because it is easy to prepare and healthy for athletes. I still do have cereal at times, especially on game days as it gives me the energy to last for 90 minutes. If I do not have my early pre-dawn breakfast, I would definitely be able to feel the effects during the game.
How does your body react when your normal eating habits are suspended for Ramadan?
As I mentioned earlier, I am used to playing football during the month of Ramadan. The only thing that is different is that I get tired faster, but I try to stay as fit and healthy as I can. The coaching staff would be able to tell the difference if you do not take care of yourself.
Do you believe there any benefits to fasting?
Yes, I do believe in fasting because I was raised to do so from an early age. It is extremely sacred and beneficial as we do it to give up the bad habits and become a better Muslim.
What do you eat during break fast (berbuka puasa)?
I do enjoy breaking my fast and having some cooked chicken ('Ayam Masak Cili Padi').