Background: Dietary Reference Intakes are used to guide the energy intake of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) field rations provided to military personnel deployed for training or operations. However, the high energy expenditures likely to occur under harsh environmental/metabolically challenging deployment conditions may not be adequately considered. This study examined the Ad libitum energy and nutrient intakes of CAF personnel (n = 18) consuming field rations in a resting thermoneutral environment and during a day of standardized strenuous infantry activities at varying environmental temperatures. Methods: Dietary intake was assessed using a measured food intake/food waste method during the experimental treatment and for 6 h after treatment. Four treatments were administered in a randomized counterbalanced design: exercise (as standardized infantry activities) in the heat (30 °C), exercise in the cold (- 10 °C), exercise in temperate thermoneutral (21 °C) air temperatures and a resting (sedentary) trial (21 °C). Results: The average Ad libitum consumption of field rations was 70% of the provided total energy (2776 ± 99 kcal/8 h) during all treatments. Even with an acute challenge of increased energy expenditure and temperature stress in the simulated field conditions, participants' energy intakes (1985 ± 747 kcal/8 h) under hot, cold and temperate treatments did not differ from energy intake during the sedentary condition (1920 ± 640 kcal/8 h). Participants' energy intakes (1009 ± 527 kcal/6 h) did not increase during the 6 h posttreatment period when the stresses of the strenuous physical activities and the harsh environmental temperatures had subsided. Conclusion: These results should be considered when planning the provision of field rations for CAF personnel expected to be engaged in strenuous physical activities with prolonged exposure to temperature extremes.
Ahmed, M., Mandic, I., Lou, W., Goodman, L., Jacobs, I., & L’Abbé, M. R. (2019). Comparison of dietary intakes of Canadian Armed Forces personnel consuming field rations in acute hot, cold, and temperate conditions with standardized infantry activities. Military Medical Research, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40779-019-0216-7