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Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is observing the holy month of Ramadan, and broke his fast mid-way through a basketball game by eating a banana.
During Ramadan, Muslims across the world go without food or water from dawn to dusk, and in 2022 it falls from April 1 to May 1.
Late in the first quarter of the Nets' NBA Playoff match against Boston Celtics on April 20, just after sundown, Irving left the court and came back eating a banana, breaking a 14-hour fast, IB Times reported.—Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 20, 2022
Whole foods, like bananas, are high-carb fruits that provide lots of energy, which makes it a good choice for sustained energy during intense exercise, experts say.
Focusing on whole foods like bananas during Ramadan will help keep your energy levels more stable, experts previously told Insider.
Personal trainer Faisal Abdalla recommends complex, fibrous, slow-release carbohydrates such as wholegrain rice, quinoa, beans, lentils, or sweet potatoes because they will release energy slowly and stabilize your blood sugar.
Avoid processed, fried, and salty foods. "These will dehydrate you and make the fast feel so much longer," Juliana Campos, former fitness coach to the Abu Dhabi royal family, explained to Insider.
Abdalla said that such foods "make the next day a real struggle, especially if you're training or losing fluids through sweat in warmer weather."
It's traditional to break your fast each evening with a date, which are a good source of energy and potassium, much like bananas.
"Dates are recommended because they're packed with potassium which helps your muscles and nerves function, and they keep you regular which can be an issue in the first few days of fasting," Abdalla said.
When it comes to working out while fasting, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, though intermittent fasting expert Dr. John Berardi told Buzzfeed News he recommends pausing intense exercise until 7-10 days into your fast, when your body will be more used to storing energy for use throughout the day.
If you are going to work out, sports nutritionists generally recommend doing so after you can eat something, preferably a carb-source.
"Food gives us energy which of course is important for a workout," dietitian Shana Spence previously told Insider. "I'm a fan of carbohydrates pre-exercise, so something like one slice of toast, preferably whole grain but any of your choosing, spread with some nut butter for protein."
Eating carbs is particularly important before a high intensity workout, Dr. Mike Molloy, a nutrition coach who works with Olympians and CrossFit athletes, told Insider.
If there are no carbs in your system, your performance will hit a ceiling, your capacity will be limited, and there's only so hard your body can work. "You're setting a regulator on how hard you can really push. Your body's going to just stall," Molloy said.
After your workout, experts recommend having a healthy, filled meal with complex carbs such as fruit and yogurt, and protein.