The researchers investigated the effects of a twelve-week training program on 148 air force members in active service. The exercise regimen combined strength training and high-intensity aerobic interval fitness training. The participants were also randomly assigned to one of two nutrition groups.
The right nutrients combined with adequate exercise lead to much greater benefits than exercise alone, according to a study involving researchers from the University of Illinois. The study was published in the English language journal “Scientific Reports”.
The positive effect of physical activity can be increased even more if it is accompanied by the intake of the right nutrients. Appropriate food supplements could therefore be quite useful.
The right nutrients strengthen body and mind
One group received a nutritional drink twice a day, which contained protein, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, lutein, phospholipids, vitamin D, B vitamins and other micronutrients as well as the compound HMB. The control group took only placebo drinks every day.
Both groups improved physical and cognitive function, with additional benefits in people who consumed the nutritious drink regularly.
The training intervention alone improved strength, endurance, mobility and stability. Participants experienced increases in several measurements of cognitive function. They had better episodic memory at the end of the twelve weeks and processed information more efficiently. They also scored better on tests that required solving problems that participants had never encountered before. This ability is called fluid intelligence.
Training program for 148 participants
In addition to the above mentioned benefits, the physical training also reduced the body fat percentage of the participants and increased their oxygen uptake efficiency.
If the participants also took the dietary supplement, they benefited from all the above mentioned advantages, but also experienced some additional benefits. For example, they were better able to store new information in their working memory and they were also faster in fluid intelligence tests compared to control group participants.
The participants who consumed the nutritious drink achieved greater improvements in their ability to store and process information. In addition, their reaction time improved more in fluid intelligence tests than in the control group, the experts summarize.
The results of the study support the development of novel multimodal interventions that include both aerobic fitness training and nutritional supplementation, the research group concluded. (as)
WashingtonNewsday Health and Wellness.