Effects of winter military training on energy balance, whole-body protein balance, muscle damage, soreness, and physical performance

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Dec;39(12):1395-401. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0212.

Abstract

Physiological consequences of winter military operations are not well described. This study examined Norwegian soldiers (n = 21 males) participating in a physically demanding winter training program to evaluate whether short-term military training alters energy and whole-body protein balance, muscle damage, soreness, and performance. Energy expenditure (D2(18)O) and intake were measured daily, and postabsorptive whole-body protein turnover ([(15)N]-glycine), muscle damage, soreness, and performance (vertical jump) were assessed at baseline, following a 4-day, military task training phase (MTT) and after a 3-day, 54-km ski march (SKI). Energy intake (kcal·day(-1)) increased (P < 0.01) from (mean ± SD (95% confidence interval)) 3098 ± 236 (2985, 3212) during MTT to 3461 ± 586 (3178, 3743) during SKI, while protein (g·kg(-1)·day(-1)) intake remained constant (MTT, 1.59 ± 0.33 (1.51, 1.66); and SKI, 1.71 ± 0.55 (1.58, 1.85)). Energy expenditure increased (P < 0.05) during SKI (6851 ± 562 (6580, 7122)) compared with MTT (5480 ± 389 (5293, 5668)) and exceeded energy intake. Protein flux, synthesis, and breakdown were all increased (P < 0.05) 24%, 18%, and 27%, respectively, during SKI compared with baseline and MTT. Whole-body protein balance was lower (P < 0.05) during SKI (-1.41 ± 1.11 (-1.98, -0.84) g·kg(-1)·10 h) than MTT and baseline. Muscle damage and soreness increased and performance decreased progressively (P < 0.05). The physiological consequences observed during short-term winter military training provide the basis for future studies to evaluate nutritional strategies that attenuate protein loss and sustain performance during severe energy deficits.

Keywords: apport nutritionnel recommandé; azote; dietary protein; nitrogen; protéines alimentaires; recommended dietary allowance; stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Proteins*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Muscular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Myalgia / metabolism
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Seasons
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Dietary Proteins