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The physiological or psychological stresses that employees bring to their workplace affect not only their own performance but that of their co-workers and others. These stresses are often compounded by those of the job itself. Medical personnel, firefighters, police, and military personnel in combat settings—among others—experience highly unpredictable timing and types of stressors.

This book reviews and comments on the performance-enhancing potential of specific food components. It reflects the views of military and non-military scientists from such fields as neuroscience, nutrition, physiology, various medical specialties, and performance psychology on the most up-to-date research available on physical and mental performance enhancement in stressful conditions. Although placed within the context of military tasks, the volume will have wide-reaching implications for individuals in any job setting.

Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine. 1994. Food Components to Enhance Performance: An Evaluation of Potential Performance-Enhancing Food Components for Operational Rations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

560 pages |  6 x 9 |  Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-05088-3
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xvi
I. Committee Summary and Recommendations 1-2
1. Introduction and Background 3-46
2. Conclusions and Recommendations 47-62
II. Background and Introduction to the Topic 63-64
3. Nutritional Enhancement of Soldier Performance at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, 1985-1992 65-76
4. Optimizing the Design of Combat Rations 77-92
5. Biochemical Strategies for Ration Design: Concerns of Bioavailability 93-110
III. Military Issues 111-112
6. Evaluation of Physical Performance 113-126
7. The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Performance During Continuous Combat Operations 127-136
8. The Role of Context in Behavioral Effects of Foods 137-158
IV. Stress and Nutrient Interactions: Metabolic Consequences 159-160
9. Stress and Monoamine Neurons in the Brain 161-176
10. Endocrine and Immune System Response to Stress 177-208
11. The Metabolic Responses to Stress and Physical Activity 209-220
V. Potential Performance-Enhancing Food Components 221-222
12. Food Components That May Optimize Physical Preformance: An Overview 223-238
13. Effects of Nutrients on Neurotransmitter Release 239-262
14. Performance-Enhancing Effects of Protein and Amino 263-276
15. Tyrosine and Stress: Human and Animal Studies 277-300
16. Tyrosine and Glucose Modulation of Cognitive Deficits Resulting from Cold Stress 301-320
17. Carbohydrates, Protein, and Performance 321-350
18. Structured Lipids: An Overview and Comments on Performance Enhancement Potential 351-380
19. Choline: Human Requirements and Effects on Human Performance 381-406
20. Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans 407-432
21. The Role of Carnitine in Enhancing Physical Performance 433-452
VI. Safety and Regulatory Aspects of Potential Ration Enhancement 453-454
22. Safety Concerns Regarding Supplemental Amino Acids: Results of a Study 455-460
23. Regulatoin of Amino Acids and Other Dietary Components Associated with Enhanced Physical Performance 461-474
Appendixes 475-476
Appendix A: Scenarios that Illustrate Potential Usefulness of Food Components to Enhance Performance 477-480
Appendix B: Military Recommended Dietary Allowances 481-500
Appendix C: A Selected Bibliography on an Evaluation of Potential Performance-Enhancing food Components for Operational Rations 501-514
Appendix D: Biographical Sketches 515-528
Index 529-544

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