A heat advisory is in effect today (August 12) for the city of Mankato, where the Minnesota Vikings’ training camp is located, about 80 miles south of Minneapolis and the Mall of America Field, home of the Purple People Eaters.
Temperatures had soared to 83 degrees when the Vikes took the field at 10:00 a.m. Central Time on the campus of Minnesota State University. Factoring in the humidity, it felt more like 95 degrees, according to weather.com.
August 12 officially closes the book on the Vikes’ training camp, but it marks the beginning of a new journey for safety Husain Abdullah. That’s because Wednesday, August 11, was the first day of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.
Muslims observe Ramadan by fasting during the daylight hours, from dawn to sunset, during this most holy month on the Islamic calendar. For Abdullah, a devout Muslim, this means no food or water during a crucial time when his body needs to be replenishing fluid and restoring energy.
To prepare for his spiritual fasting, Abdullah asked Vikings nutrition consultant Carrie Peterson to create a plan that caters to his nutritional needs, which include taking in a total of 3,800 calories per day. Peterson says, “Husain probably needs at least 1,500 more [calories per day] than the average guy just because of what he’s doing. And we only have two meals to do that in.”
Within a four-hour window in the evening, Abdullah consumes approximately 2,800 calories for dinner. After hitting the hay around 10:30 p.m., he wakes up at 2:00 a.m. to consume a protein shake and a sports drink. Pre-dawn breakfast consists of eggs, turkey bacon or an omelet to provide energy and build muscle.
Two-a-day practice sessions are ending, but Abdullah’s two-a-day meal plan will continue for another 30 days.