Can healthy testosterone keep soldiers in peak condition during battle?
The link between high testosterone and improved physical performance is well understood. So it makes sense that the Defence Department is now experimenting with how healthy levels could benefit our armed forces.
They’re looking to move the male hormone’s impressive effects off the sports field and onto the battle field. Off the rowing machine and into the war machine.
Don’t get us wrong they’re not taking the idea that T gives you a killer body too literally, there’s no question of any super soldiers just yet. Instead the study is focusing on whether keeping T at normal levels can guard against mental or physical fatigue and muscle loss caused by low calorie intake during active situations.
The calorie deficit for soldiers taking part in long, stressful operations can be 50 to 60 percent below what we need to function properly. Let’s face it, war is one situation where not being at your absolute peak is more serious than most. It potentially raises the risk of illness, injury or death.
What will this trial involve?
Trials are being conducted by Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Facility and the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine.
The the Optimizing Performance in Soldiers Study is taking place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
It involves 50 men between the ages of 18 and 39 is divided into 2 phases. During the first phase food intake will be controlled and monitored in the subject’s own home.
For phase 2, the recruits will move into in a research facility and be given the amount of calories they would get while in action. The will be put through stressful physical exercises to recreate the strains of battle. All this is to cause a calorie intake 55% below the energy output.
Half subjects in phase 2 will be given T injections to keep them in normal hormone range. The others get a placebo.
After 28 days both groups will be returned to a normal diet and physical routine. Weight gain and performance monitering will continue.
Stefan Pasiakos, a research physiologist at USARIEM says of the work:
“The idea is to see if you can stop a soldier from breaking down muscle during calorie restriction and whether they will be better able to perform a repeat mission. What we are trying to look at is if we are not keeping up the right hormonal levels, are they going to be worse off in the next mission or next training exercise.”
It’s not just T the armed forces are examine. The Air Force Research Laboratory is working with the Center of Nutrition, Learning and Memory to discover what benefits lutein has on cognition. Lutein, a pigment found in many fruits and vegetables.
Omega-3 is also being studied by the Army as a possible aid for focus in soldiers too.
For many guys who are worried about age related or general low T, this study will be the one to watch. After all if plenty of it can help in a warzone, imagine how it could boost you in everyday life.
Remember the subjects in the study are 18-39. Right from when T peaks all the way through to well past the point where it begins to naturally drop. So results will be relevant to everyone. As soon as we know you’ll know.
It’s worth pointing out too that it’s never too early to start naturally boosting or supporting your body’s testosterone. Have a look round the rest of the site for some slightly less Full Metal Jacket ways to help your male hormone and maintain your prime.