Challenges of the Saudi Arabian Pro League: Heat, Humidity, Ramadan, and Sugar

The Saudi Arabian Pro League has become a magnet for football stars in recent times, with many high-profile players making their way to the league this summer. While the league undoubtedly possesses its own quality, it also presents unique challenges for both players and staff.

At the recent “Thinking Football” conference, Portuguese doctor Sergio Gomes, currently working with Al Ittihad, shed light on some of the distinctive issues faced by players and sports professionals in Saudi Arabia.

One significant challenge is the extreme heat and high humidity, which can make high-intensity exercise difficult and ultimately slow down the tempo of the league. Managing these environmental conditions will require new strategies in terms of training and nutrition.

Another challenge is the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown. This period can pose difficulties for elite sports professionals who need to maintain their physical performance and energy levels.

Interestingly, despite the challenges of Ramadan, Al Ittihad’s star signing Karim Benzema has consistently performed exceptionally during this period.

However, the most notable challenge identified by Dr. Gomes is related to sugar. In Saudi Arabia, it is customary for individuals to consume desserts that could satisfy an entire team. Managing sugar intake and dietary habits will be a key focus for sports science professionals in the league.

While the Saudi Arabian Pro League offers exciting opportunities for players and fans alike, addressing these unique challenges will require innovative approaches to ensure the well-being and performance of athletes in the league.

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