Can you enhance performance using sports supplements for Special Forces training, Navy SEAL, Rangers, Marine Recon and Air Force PJ’s?
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Military personnel, SWAT and Special Operations forces (SOF) – Navy SEALs, Marine Recon, Army Special Forces, Rangers and Air Force Para-Rescue – are constantly on the look out for new ways to stay mentally and physically fit.
Soldiers are required to cope with uncompromising conditions that can challenge both their mental acuity and physical prowess.
Unfortunately, non-combat related injuries are a normal part of military life. Consequently, trainees, soldiers and veteran operators alike are asked to cope with high level of stress.
It doesn’t matter if BUD/S training has your joints inflamed and you can barely crawl or you are facing high-energy impulse noises in an unfamiliar mountainous terrain, one way or the other you must engage.
I spent almost 11 months battling my way through BUD/S.
The first thing that I did was go over to the PX and purchased a big tub of protein powder and one a day vitamins to supplement my diet.
I also went out and bought a monster jar of fish oil to help my muscles and joints repair and recover.
It is the best money I spent to help my body get ready for the annihilation of SEAL training.
Military personnel and SOF are well aware of the harsh consequences of oxidative stress and how it can affect a soldier’s reaction time during combat.
Research indicates certain nutritional supplements can help offset the common byproducts associated with military training and tactical missions.
This compelling nutritional data underlines the efficacy of particular supplements, which are scientifically known to support a soldier’s micronutrient requirements.
Since so much of what goes into a mission occurs during training, I wanted to bring a military study to your attention.
Can Post-exercise Protein Drinks Prevent Health Problems?
Intrigued by this question, researchers wanted to gauge the efficacy of protein supplementation on Marine recruits going through basic training.
According to this particular study (Flakoll P. et al. “Post exercise protein supplementation improves health and muscle soreness during basic military training in Marine recruits.” J Appl Physiol. 2004 Mar; 96(3):951-6. Epub 2003 Dec 2.), marine recruits from six platoons were randomly assigned to either a placebo, control group or protein supplement.
The findings showed the recruits that took the protein supplement experienced reduced muscle soreness compared to the placebo and control group, as well as:
•28% fewer bacterial/viral infections
•33% fewer medical visits
•37% fewer muscle/joint problems
•83% fewer medical visits due to heat exhaustion
In retrospect, researchers stated, “Post-exercise protein supplementation may not only enhance muscle protein deposition but it also has significant potential to positively impact health, muscle soreness, and tissue hydration during prolonged intense exercise training, suggesting a potential therapeutic approach for the prevention of health problems in severely stressed exercising populations.”
Question: Can you take vitamins in Navy SEAL BUDS training camp?
Answer: Yes; multi-vitamins are ok and will not get you in trouble. I used a one a day vitamin in training.
During BUD/S training your body gets really stressed out and it is very hard to recover on a few hours of sleep and constant running, swimming and diving. By Second Phase (dive phase)
I tried to get extra protein by drinking an extra glass from the chow hall and grabbing a bagel to go (extra carbs). But you can only eat so much at one sitting and your body is chewing up calories by the thousands.
I have been taking a multi daily for years and trust these same vitamins today with my training and my family.
A Telling Survey: US Navy SEALs and Supplements
SEALs train harder and longer than most military personnel. Which means, their recovery period has to be shorter. SEALs depend on a balanced nutritional program along with clinically effective supplements to give them the edge they require.
In order to gain an accurate estimate of how many SEALs use nutritional supplements, the Naval Health Research Center conducted a poll. The findings revealed roughly 78% of SEALs depend on a variety of nutritional supplements to help them perform at their peak capacity (“Use of Supplements by Navy SEALs” Medical Science in Sports Exercise. Vol.30, Number 5 (S) 1998).
Surveys like this are not uncommon in the military.
Take, for example, the findings from this dietary supplement survey* given to over 2,000 men entering the U.S. Army Special Forces and Ranger Training Schools.
•35% reported daily use
•64% reported current use
•85% reported past or present use
*Arsenault J, Kennedy J. Dietary supplement use in U.S. Army Special Operations candidates. Mil Med. 1999.Jul; 164(7): 495-501
What Can You Conclude?
Military personnel and SOF push their minds and bodies to the limit. Without the proper nutrients and rest, these operators could “crash” at the wrong time, endangering their life and those around them.
To make sure this does not happen, SEALs and other SOF rely on scientifically proven nutritional supplements made of the highest quality ingredients.
If you take part in any hard-core training sessions and have yet to design your own supplement strategy, I highly encourage you to do so. In conclusion, sports supplements are beneficial and needed for Special Forces training. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
Here are a few questions from our readers.
Question: what kind of supplements does navy seals take? When I was in the Teams I tried to eat well and took a multi-vitamin.
Answer: Occasionally I would slurp down an extra protein drink after a hard workout. I was in my early 20’s so I didnt go home to the kitchen and cook my own meals.
Question: I know you’ve had this question probably 1000 times and I read forums on sealswcc.com but can you take supplements to buds if so what kind and is using supplements good or bad for getting prepared for buds and stopping before boot camp, it’s just a never ending question that I can never really find an answer to but what is your advise and do you use any supplements?
Answer: I took a multi-vitamin in training. I would not take any other supplements in training because I would want to leave no doubt that I was clean and not full of banned chemicals.