Would you like the physical strength, hand-eye coordination and unmatched cognitive sharpness of a military fighter pilot? A recent study proves a protein-heavy nutrient-rich shake can get you where you want to be. Mental and physical strength is paramount in unprecedented times so let’s see what supplements and foods we can incorporate into a “super shake” to keep us sharp and agile for the long haul.
Research out of the University of Illinois highlights the unmistakable correlation between daily incorporation of both protein-heavy nutrient-rich diets and exercise. The United States Air Force teamed up with Abbott Laboratories for the following study found in more detail here.
Abbott Laboratory’s case study
Over a 12 week span, 148 participants in this study were split into a control and experimental group. The experimental group was given a shake containing vital nutrients such as lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, phospholipids, vitamin D, and beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl butyrate (HMB).
The control group was given a placebo shake containing none of the necessary vitamins that improve cognitive or physical well-being.
Both groups drank these shakes 30 minutes prior to rigorous cardiovascular heavy exercise to see the physical benefits reaped from this fortified pre-workout drink.
However, both groups were asked to exercise daily, 5 times out of the week to be exact. An author of this study highlights the importance of this specific diet and exercise regime for fighter pilots next.
“Adaptive military operations are a hallmark of modern warfare and depend on the capacity for flexible, resilient behavior. Airmen face extreme physical and mental demands that require the capacity to overcome the negative physical and psychological effects of operating in challenging field environments characterized by ‘volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous’ events.”
What did the study yield after this 12-week military boot camp for the participants?
There were several incredible results worth noting. One of them being folks who participated in the study that received this super shake and took part in rigorous cardio had reaction times 6 percent faster than those in the control group.
Here’s what else happened according to this study:
- Memory improved by 11 percent
- Resting heart rate went from 71 beats per minute to 65 beats per minute (8 percent lower than those who took the placebo shake)
- Helped build lean muscle after working out
“We are excited by the results because they provide critical insights into how simple dietary changes can make a big difference in helping people be as efficient and productive as possible in today’s world.”
How can I make this shake at home?
There are plenty of foods you can pick up at the grocery store that naturally contain the nutrients needed for this turbocharged health and wellness shake. I will list the foods for you to include on your next grocery list.
Foods rich in protein:
- Black beans
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Steel-cut oatmeal
- Chicken and fatty fish
Foods rich in lutein:
- Egg yolks
- Dark leafy greens
- Bright fruits and vegetables like green peas, squash, zucchini, kiwi, oranges, corn, carrots and asparagus
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids:
- Peanut butter
Foods rich in phospholipids:
Foods rich in vitamin D:
- Red meat
- Oily fish
- Portabella mushrooms
Unfortunately, beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl butyrate isn’t found in many foods but it can be purchased as a supplement to aid in muscle and skeletal gains after working out. This supplement could also aid people who’ve suffered from muscle atrophy due to chronic illnesses like COVID-19, cancer or HIV/AIDS that keep them bedridden or hospital-bound. This is also helpful information for professional athletes attempting to heal torn muscles or ligaments so they can bounce back faster from sitting out the big game on the bench after a serious sports injury.
Conclusions from the study
It’s no surprise the cognitive and physical benefits we can gain from incorporating proper diet and exercise every week. Keep your diet rich and varied with protein-packed nutrient-rich foods and if shakes aren’t your thing the Mediterranean diet contains many mind and body sharpening benefits according to research from the study.
“Accumulating evidence suggests that nutrients found in the Mediterranean diet promote brain and cognitive health. The Mediterranean diet includes olive oil as a source of monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols, fish and salmon that deliver phospholipids, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, lutein and vitamin D, and fruits and vegetables that provide antioxidants and vitamins B, C and E, carotenoids including lutein and folate.”
Make sure to check with your doctor before embarking on any new rigorous change to your daily exercise or diet routine.