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Will Brink

“Real world” supplement use by Special Operations Forces

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As I have mentioned before in my articles on the topic, supplement use appears to be very common among Special Operations military, such as Navy SEALs as well as others. In addition to my reading what you would expect me to read, such as various medical/nutritional research, I read quite a bit of military biographies and other related topics. Once in a while you will see “real world” references to supplement use by Special Operations Forces (SOF) in some biographies, especially newer biographies.

I was reminded of that fact again as I was reading “Kill Bin Laden” by Dalton Fury. Dalton Fury (not his real name) was a Commander for one of the worlds premier anti-terrorist SOF groups, commonly referred to as “Delta Force” or just “Delta.” The book is Dalton Fury, Col.(R) personal account of the Hunt for the World’s Most Wanted Man: Bin Laden during their assault on the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan.

After making a killer accent in the Tora Bora mountain range, one Delta trouper was starting to suffer mild altitude sickness and was having a hard time staying awake. To counter that he had a bag full of a supplement called GU Hardrock Energy Gel. Apparently, “it was all he needed to get him back into the fight.”**

So if anyone wonders whether or not supps are used in the field by a good number of SOF, they do, and that’s been confirmed to me multiple times through both the data done by the military and from the soldiers themselves I speak with.

The product mentioned in the book is nothing but some inexpensive carbs, a small amount of amino acids, and a small dose of caffeine, more or less. These gels have become very popular with various endurance athletes. Nothing terribly high tech per se, but it apparently was of value in this situation and the extra weight and space it took up in the Delta troupers pack (and every ounce one has to lug ads up fast) was worth it in this situation.

The OS Bottom Line: As I have been saying for quite a while, supplements can have benefits to SOF and other military units, and should be taken more seriously by “the powers that be” and should be issued to units, vs. making them pay for them out of pocket


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Updated 03-09-2010 at 11:06 AM by Will Brink

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