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Human Performance Metrics and Performance Nutrition Intervention in Special Warfare, United States Air Force Preparatory Training Program

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Technical Report,02 Jul 2018,28 Jun 2019

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The addition of a Targeted Nutrition Program TPN consisting of targeted, frequent fluid intake and food consumption in small amounts is thought to help improve hydration status, physical performance, physiological recovery, and energy balance in Special Operation Forces SOF. The primary purpose of this study was to determine if a TPN program improves Special Warfare SW trainee performance and recovery. The TPN was assessed using a non-equivalent group quasi-experimental design. The control and intervention groups consisted of Special Warfare Trainees taking part in training at Lackland Air Force Base San Antonio, TX. The control and intervention group participated during successive summer classes. The treatment consisted of access to additional fueling station items with specialized food and hydration products provided to the intervention group 24 hours a day. Pre-test and post-test performance measures and daily measures were analyzed to look for changes between and within groups. Both the control and intervention group had significant improvements in pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups from pre-testing to post-testing. Both groups also had significant increases in DARI Vulnerability, however even with this increase, the control and intervention groups DARI Vulnerability score stayed within the optimal range. Between the two groups, significant changes were seen in body fat and lean mass. Control subjects lost 3 pounds of lean mass and the intervention subjects gained 3 pounds of lean mass. When analyzed by quantity of fueling items consumed Less than 10 itemsweek vs at least 10 itemsweek the intervention group had significant findings. Both statistically and operationally significant, those subjects who reported consuming at least 10 fueling items per week had almost a 24 second improvement in run time from mid-test to post-test.

Subject Categories:

  • Food, Food Service and Nutrition
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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