Comprehensive Performance Nutrition for Special Operations Forces

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    Daigle KA, Logan CM, Kotwal RS 15(4). 40 - 53 (Journal Article)

    Special Operations Forces (SOF) training, combat, and contingency operations are unique and demanding. Performance nutrition within the Department of Defense has emphasized that nutrition is relative to factors related to the desired outcome, which includes successful performance of mentally and physically demanding operations and missions of tactical and strategic importance, as well as nonoperational assignments. Discussed are operational, nonoperational, and patient categories that require different nutrition strategies to facilitate category-specific performance outcomes. Also presented are 10 major guidelines for a SOF comprehensive performance nutrition program, practical nutrition recommendations for Special Operators and medical providers, as well as resources for dietary supplement evaluation. Foundational health concepts, medical treatment, and task-specific performance factors should be considered when developing and systematically implementing a comprehensive SOF performance nutrition program. When tailored to organizational requirements, SOF unit- and culture-specific nutrition education and services can optimize individual Special Operator performance, overall unit readiness, and ultimately, mission success.

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