Energy intake, weight, and body composition of Canadian soldiers participating in an Arctic training
Military training in extreme environments increases weight loss risk, which could affect soldiers’ performance. This study aimed to assess daily energy intake and requirements of Canadian Armed Forces soldiers consuming combat rations over an 8-week Arctic training and document impact on weight and body composition. Fourteen soldiers participated (males; 31.3±5.5 years). Body weight and composition were measured at different training time-points. Energy intake was measured using food diaries. Energy requirements were estimated using a predictive equation developed for the military. Fourteen soldiers participated. Weight loss was measured (3.9±3.0 kg) for 12 participants from beginning to mid-training after a week consuming combat rations. Energy intake on rations was lower than estimated daily energy requirements and resulted in energy deficits (49.8±19.2%). No body composition changes were measured. More research is needed to explore ways to make rations better adapted to reduce energy deficit and maintain soldiers’ body weight in extremely cold environments.