General Guidelines & Hydration

Nutrition for Special Groups 3(3+0)

Lesson 34 : Nutrition for Defense Personnel

General Guidelines & Hydration

General Guidelines

A balanced diet should be 50 to 55 percent carbohydrates, 10 to 15 percent protein and less than 30 percent fat. A healthy diet should be rich in plant foods, whole grains, dairy products and lean proteins and lower in saturated and trans fats, added sugar, sodium, cholesterol and refined grain products. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends balancing food (calorie intake) with physical activity (calorie expenditure). Overconsumption of calories and inactivity contribute to weight gain, obesity and chronic diseases, while unintentional weight loss may be a sign of a calorie deficit.


The Army recommends that its personnel drink 50 percent to 75 percent of their body weight in ounces. For example, an active, 150-pound soldier should drink about 112 oz. of fluid per day (150 x 0.75 = 112.5). Individuals who live in dry climates or do strenuous activities should add an additional 16 oz. of fluid per day. Water is the best hydration fluid, but soldiers who are continuously active for more than 1.5 hours might benefit from sports beverages.

Last modified: Wednesday, 9 May 2012, 6:50 AM