Mineral Requirements for Military Personnel: Levels Needed for Cognitive and Physical Performance During Garrison Training


The Committee on Mineral Requirements for Cognitive and Physical Performance for Military Personnel produced recommendations for mineral intake levels during military garrison training. These levels are different from the levels required by the general population because soldiers engaged in extensive training while in potentially stressful situations; the difference in intake levels for certain minerals mainly take into account losses through sweating that come with the increased physical activity that training entails.

Data to support new requirements for minerals for military personnel is scarce and research is needed under the unique scenarios of garrison training. In addition, research with civilians suggests that certain minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc might either prevent decrements in or enhance cognitive or physical performance at intakes higher than currently recommended; confirmatory or new research data are needed before these potential benefits are factored in as criteria to increase mineral intake levels.