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Specific Nutrients

Further research is needed:

  • to define more precisely the carbohydrate intake required to maintain body glycogen stores and to replenish stores depleted by exercise in the cold and at high altitudes.
  • to establish whether a specific proportion of calories from fat, carbohydrate, or protein has a clear-cut advantage in maintaining thermoregulation in cold environments.
  • to determine the optimum intake of micronutrients for improving performance in the cold. Such studies must control for nutrient status prior to and at the time of testing, the training level of subjects, and intensity and duration of any exercise to be tested.
  • to determine sodium requirements during heavy exercise in intensely cold conditions and the possible advantages of restricting sodium during the first few days at altitude.
  • to determine the possible beneficial effects of anorexia at altitude.
  • to determine whether supplemental doses of vitamin E have any protective effects on humans exposed to oxidative stress.
  • to determine if supplements of vitamin C, iron, zinc, copper, and/or other nutrients could improve performance during the stresses of extreme cold and high altitudes.
Performance and Medical Conditions

Further research is needed:

  • to explore the merits of some potentially useful pharmacological compounds such as theophylline, caffeine, and ephedrine, as well as the potential value of prestress tyrosine administration.
  • to evaluate possible pharmacological, physiological, and nutritional methods, either in the field or in altitude chambers, to predict, prevent, and/or treat AMS.
  • to consider the pathophysiological problems of salt and water balance and the intercompartmental shifts in body fluids at altitude. Physiological mechanisms requiring additional study include cardiovascular, renal, endocrine, metabolic, and biochemical responses.
  • to resolve conflicting data on possible effects of cold exposure on muscle strength and endurance.
  • to examine the relationship between the aging process and acclimatization. Research in this area would not only be beneficial to the military but the general American population.


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