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The Food Utilization and Energy Lab (FUEL) team’s mission is to conduct research to support operational readiness by elucidating the impact of nutritional decisions on warfighter performance, health, and readiness. The FUEL team accomplishes this by evaluating nutrition- related interventions targeted at keys areas of concern in the warfighter, including body composition management, stress fracture risk reduction, inflammation and oxidative stress attenuation, chronic disease prevention, and strategies to reduce caloric and nutrient deficits.


The FUEL team supports warfighter readiness through:

• Energy and nutrient intake assessment and associations with health and performance
• Performance nutrition biomarker assessment
• Evaluation of new nutrition and health tracking technologies
• Nutrition and associations with injury and illness prevention
• Nutrition supplementation and performance
• Nutrition policy and practices


To conduct innovative nutrition research that optimizes the health, performance, and operational readiness of warfighters.


With expertise in nutrition, dietetics, sports dietetics, exercise physiology, cardiovascular physiology, and statistical methods, the FUEL team specializes in the following research areas/capabilities:

• Acute and chronic energy balance assessment (energy imbalances, energy and nutrient intake, body composition, energy expenditure, hormonal imbalances, gut–brain dysregulation, eating disorders, relative energy deficiency in sport [RED-S], and musculoskeletal health)
• Nutrition assessment biomarkers related to health and performance (e.g., lipids, vitamin D, blood pressure, metabolomics/proteomics, stress hormones)
• Health-related behavior tracking technologies
• Unique nutrition/nutrient supplementation assessment related to performance in different environments (e.g., shipboard, cold stress)
• Energy and nutrient intake evaluation software
• Clinical and sports nutrition assessment and counseling

Current Research

FUEL one pager text

• Benefits of deploying dietitian on ship on health outcomes and operational readiness
• Use of performance-based application to improve readiness in Future Sailors
• Evaluation of alignment of current Navy body composition analysis (BCA) methods by sex and as indicator of health and performance
• Arctic Edge: Energy balance/nutritional status in cold weather training
• Effect of a polyphenol blend on cognitive and physiological performance in warfighters during cold-water immersion
• Nutrition evaluation and recommendations for optimal warfighter performance in the Navy
• Special Operations Forces (SOF) Anthropometric Study
• Energy and nutrient needs assessment and performance implications in DoD divers from basic training through diving school
• Nutrition optimization to prevent musculoskeletal injuries (MSKIs) and enhance physical readiness in warfighters
• Evaluation of the palatability and acceptability of pemmican, and impact on physiological stress response in warfighters

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