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USAFSAM team to collaborate, test supplement for special tactics Airmen

  • Published
  • By Gina Marie Giardina
  • 711th Human Performance Wing

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – An exercise physiology research team at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine here is collaborating with the MusclePharm Sports Science Institute to test a powder supplement specially formulated for special tactics Airmen.

Through a cooperative research and development agreement initiated in late 2015, USAFSAM and MusclePharm are sharing resources to develop and produce this supplement, which contains essential electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and proteins.

The effort began when the USAFSAM team, led by Dr. Reginald O’Hara, was contacted by a combat controller during a Natick Thermal testing in 2014, who requested the development of a single powder supplement that could be tailored to the specific needs of Airmen during operational training and missions.


“The product that we’ll be testing is an all-inclusive powder supplement that contains all essential nutrients,” said O’Hara. “It is high calorie and contains essential electrolytes that can be easily transported in the Airman's rucksack.”


“The pre-packaged powder can easily be placed in the CamelBak® hydration system during actual training operations and missions,” continued O’Hara. “It also contains a bacterial stat to prevent bacteria from accumulating inside the hydration bladder during sustained operations missions.”


The powder supplement is specifically formulated to enhance a person’s energy, performance, and cognition during sustained operations missions in extreme conditions. The formulas are designed to provide nutrients needed by joint tactical air controllers, special operations Airmen, and other warfighters who must operate in austere, physically demanding environments.


These Airmen are exposed to very austere environments – conditions that increase the likelihood of dehydration, which severely impact their performance, stated O’Hara. This supplement can be used during operational training to prevent such dehydration and sustain performance. The drink has 430 kcals and 40 grams of hydrolyzed quality proteins.


While the supplement is heavy on the calories and proteins, it offers special tactics Airmen less hassle when it comes to their nutritional needs in the field.


“This single-package supplement will also eliminate the need for warfighters to carry and mix multiple supplement packages,” said O’Hara.


Under the CRADA, MusclePharm will provide the powder supplement to USAFSAM’s exercise physiology research team for testing purposes.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to support the men and women who risk their lives every day to protect our freedoms,” said Musclepharm CEO, Ryan Drexler in a recent news release. “We are focused on science, innovation and efficacy, and truly providing the best product possible to the public. This partnership allows us to demonstrate that strategy as we will have real-world product application and feedback to ensure that we are meeting the explicit needs of Air Force special tactics Airmen when in extreme conditions.”


MusclePharm® is a scientifically-driven, performance lifestyle company that develops, manufactures, markets and distributes branded nutritional supplements. The Company offers a range of powders, capsules, tablets and gels. Its portfolio of recognized brands includes MusclePharm® Sport Series, Black Label and Core Series, and FitMiss™, which are available in more than 120 countries and over 50,000 retail outlets worldwide.


USAFSAM, part of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing, is the premier institute for research, education, and worldwide operational consultation in Aerospace and Operational Medicine. USAFSAM has been a leader in the field of aerospace medicine and human performance from the beginnings of aviation through the onset of the space age and into the present, and is the oldest continually operating institution of its kind. The 711 HPW leads the development, integration and delivery of Airman-centric research, education, and consultation enabling the Air Force to achieve responsive and effective global vigilance, global reach, and global power now and in the future.