Aims: The aim of this study was to explore possible changes in body composition, blood glucose regulation, plasma growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), and insulin concentrations of trained athletes in response to the intermittent fasting and dehydration of Ramadan observance. Methods: Nine trained male rugby players (age 19 ± 2 years, height 1.78 ± 0.74 m) were tested 3 times: before Ramadan (C), at the end of the first week (R1), and during the fourth week (R2). They performed a progressive cycle ergometer test at each visit. The work rate was increased in 6-min stages corresponding to 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60% of Ẇ max. Substrate oxidation was evaluated by indirect calorimetry. On each occasion, substrate and plasma hormone concentrations were measured at rest and at the end of the exercise. Results: Ramadan fasting induced a significant decrease in body mass and body fat (R2 vs. C, p < 0.001). Plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, GH, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 did not change significantly between C and R2, either at rest or following exercise. Conclusion: Ramadan fasting induces positive changes in body composition without disturbing glucose regulation or activity of the GH/IGF-1 system.

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