Determining Nutritional Requirements of Indian Soldiers: An Outcome of Translational Research

  • Som Nath Singh


Soldiers are deployed in different climatic conditions such as hot deserts, hot humid jungles, snowbound high-altitude areas, underwater (submariners), etc. Adequate nutritional support is a prime requirement for maintaining highest level of physical fitness under different climatic conditions and operational situations. The energy expenditures of soldiers during training and different operations are much higher than civilian population. The average energy expenditure of different units of Indian Army under normal and specialized trainings is 2,900–4,500 kcal. Under extreme environmental conditions, the thirst and appetite responses also get affected which will have an impact on food and water intake. Decreased food intake due to high-altitude anorexia causes negative energy balance leading to loss of body mass in lowlanders visiting high altitudes. High-carbohydrate diets are beneficial under hypoxic environment of high altitudes during early days of acclimatization. Maintenance of adequate hydration and electrolyte level is very important for hot environments. The planning of ration for combat operations is a challenging task, as balance between nutrient requirement for optimum health and palatability needs to be ensured. Translational research has played a great role in formulating dietary recommendations and ration scales of armed forces and at the same time, various ready-to-eat products emerged as the innovative products of military nutrition research.


Total Energy Expenditure Basal Metabolic Rate Protein Energy Malnutrition Doubly Label Water Actual Field Condition 
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Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nutrition DivisionDefence Institute of Physiology and Allied SciencesTimarpur, New DelhiIndia

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