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Optimised Nutrition to Support Health and Performance in Military Operations

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Human Factors and Medicine

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Food, human performance, microbiota, military nutrition, military operations, supplements


II. Participation in military operation is stressful and demanding and could affect general soldiers’ short and long term health. Health can be greatly influenced with adequate and balanced nutrition and further, targeted nutrition can contribute to diminishing negative effects and even onset of stress, influence performance and promote health. Balanced nutrition and nutritional supplements could help to overcome negative influences. Recent discoveries show that even negative mental states could be positively influenced by supplementation with specific strains of micobiota. Although importance of nutrition for soldiers is not new and very well known, there is a STANAG for military rations, which resulted on previous RTG 154 report, but there are no NATO standards for fresh food feeding in operations nor recommendations for possible use of nutritional supplements in military operations. Feeding is much more than satisfying physiological needs. It can indirectly influence not just above mentioned physical and mental functions, but also morale. Organisation of food logistics does usually not allow considering diverse national nutritional habits which can lead to lesser food acceptance and consequently sub optimal nutrient intake, lesser satisfaction which all affects military capability.


a) Identify the scope of the problem, knowledge gaps, and propose the way to mitigate them (including energy needs, macro and micronutrient needs, supplementation, hydration, microbiota, food acceptance and nutritional habbits); b) Produce a report with a work plan for follow on activity with terms of reference, expected deliverables, and exploitation plan.


a) Energy needs vs levels and types of activity; b) Macro and micronutrient needs and adequacy; c) Hydration practicies d) Supplementation practices and ergogenic aid e) Use of microbiota to support physical and cognitive performance f) Food acceptance and nutritional habbits

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