LSU’s Pennington Biomedical secures $16.4 million in funding to research how optimized nutrition can help soldiers maintain their physical and mental performance.  Researcher Dr. Jennifer Rood says previous studies showed how weight loss from military activity affects the mind and body, but a testosterone injection made an impact.

“Both groups lost the same amount of fat, but the group with the testosterone, they didn’t lose their muscle mass and some even gained their muscle mass,” said Rood.

Rood says the new study will result in participants living in a setting comparable to being in the military and researchers will throw in an extra factor not previously accounted for.

“Maybe we didn’t stress them enough, we exercised them a lot, we underfed them, but there was a third part that we didn’t have in the first study, and that was sleep deprivation,” said Rood.

Rood says participants in the study will be paid $7,500 for twenty days.

“For twenty days, they’re going to be exercised, sleep-deprived, and fed MRE’s just like they would in the field.  The exercise is going to be more military relevant,” said Rood.