Efficacy of eat-on-move ration for sustaining physical activity, reaction time, and mood

Scott J. Montain, Carol J. Baker-fulco, Philip J. Niro, Andrew R. Reinert, John S. Cuddy, Brent C. Ruby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Repeated carbohydrate feedings and caffeine have been shown to increase self-paced physical activity. Whether a field ration pack that promotes snacking of these items would enhance physical activity remains unclear. Purpose: Evaluate the effectiveness of a ration pack consisting of eat-on-move items to promote snacking, as well as caffeine items, as a nutritional strategy to improve performance. Methods: Twenty-eight wildland firefighters consumed both an eat-on-move ration (first strike ration (FSR): 13.2 MJ, 420 g CHO, 665 mg caffeine daily) and entrée-based ration (meals, ready-to-eat (MRE): 11.9 MJ, 373 g CHO, 100 mg caffeine daily) for 2 d separated by 1 d. Diet order was counterbalanced. Outcome measurements included self-paced physical activity determined by actimetry, reaction time, number of eating occasions using dietary recall, and dietary intake from food wrapper collection. Results: Total eating episodes were higher with FSR compared with MRE (P = 0.013; mean ± SD: 8.2 ± 1.3 vs 7.6 ± 1.1 episodes·2 d -14), as were 2-d energy intake (22.0 ± 2.4 vs 18.4 ± 2.5 MJ; P < 0.01), carbohydrate intake (698 ± 76 vs 546 ± 82 mg; P < 0.01), self-reported caffeine intake (347 ± 262 vs 55 ± 65 mg; P < 0.01), and average end-shift salivary caffeine (1.6 ± 1.9 vs 0.7 ± 1.0 μg·mL -1; P < 0.01). Total activity counts were higher (P = 0.046) when consuming FSR (507,833 ± 129,130 counts per shift) compared with MRE (443,095 ± 142,208 counts per shift). This was accomplished by spending a greater percentage of work shift with activity counts >1000 counts·min -1 (21 ± 8% vs 18 ± 6%; P = 0.01) and less percent of work shift <50 counts±min -1 (33 ± 10% vs 38 ± 10%; P = 0.01). Conclusions: Delivery of energy and caffeine in a manner that promotes snacking behavior is advantageous for increasing self-selected physical activity during arduous labor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1970-1976
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume40
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Keywords

  • Actimetry
  • Caffeine
  • Diet
  • Meal frequency
  • Performance
  • Snacking

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