Performance Nutrition

Nutrition and diet are critical to overall health. The science of Performance Nutrition helps you get the most out of your meals. Service members especially are highly trained professionals who must fuel properly to reach peak performance.

Performance Nutrition

  • Consuming the right nutrients at the right time fuels peak performance.
  • Everyone has unique nutrition needs.
  • Before you change your diet or exercise program, talk to a qualified health care provider.

Fuel your body

  • Eat the right balance and variety of foods to get the nutrients you need for performance and health.
    • Vegetables leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes.
    • Fruits like berries, cherries, apples, bananas, citrus, mango, pineapple, and kiwi.
    • Grains and starchy veggies. This includes whole grains such as oats, brown rice, whole grain bread, potatoes, legumes, beans, and peas.
    • Lean proteins like poultry, fish, lean red meat, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
    • Healthy fats like nuts and seeds, olive oil, and avocados.
  • If you’re a warfighter, proper nutrition can make or break your ability to complete your mission.

Fuel your mind

  • Optimal nutrition also helps you boost emotional, cognitive, and psychological performance.
  • Follow these nutrition tips to optimize mental performance:
    • Fuel your body consistently. Eat meals regularly to maintain blood glucose and muscle glycogen levels throughout the day.
    • Drink enough water. Dehydration can reduce alertness. It can also cause fatigue, tension, and difficulty concentrating.
    • Some nutrients, like magnesium and B vitamins, are thought to improve brain health and lower your risk of some neurological disorders.

Supplement Safety

  • Many service members use dietary supplements to promote health, improve performance, add muscle, lose weight, and more.
  • Some supplements present potential health and safety risks.
    • Supplements aren’t regulated for safety and efficacy in the same way as medications.
  • The Department of Defense issued guidance that:
    • Requires all service members and military health providers receive dietary supplement education; and
    • Prohibits the use of supplements containing certain ingredients by service members.
  • Operation Supplement Safety, part of the Uniformed Service University, maintains the list of prohibited supplement ingredients.
    • The OPSS list is searchable by ingredient.
  • Are you a service member taking a supplement? You should talk to your primary care provider about any supplements you’re taking.

Additional Resources for Performance Nutrition – Fuel Your Mind and Body


Last Updated 6/12/2023