Project: The effect of survival ration feeding on adult male metabolism during cold exposure

If a person was awaiting rescue in a polar region, it would be important for them to be able to stay warm until help arrives. One of the ways that a human can stay warm in cold conditions is through shivering, which generates heat. If a person did not have enough energy to sustain shivering until help arrives, then their chances of survival could decrease. This project aims to better understand the contributions and effects of the substrates from standard nutrition rations on shivering during exposure to the cold. To fulfill this objective, human adult male test subjects are fed standard nutrition rations while exposed to a cold environment for a continuous 6-hour period. We are interested in determining if shivering intensity (and therefore greater heat production) increases following the consumption of a ration. Future work will determine if the macronutrient composition of the ration (fat, carbohydrate, and protein) can affect shivering intensity. If survival rations can be improved so that they allow people to shiver more intensely, and for longer periods of time, then their chances of surviving until rescue arrives will improve.


Project team:

Contact us

Allison Kennedy, Research Officer,
Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre, NRC
Telephone: 709-631-8569

Dr. Jonathan Power, Senior Research Officer,
Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre
Telephone: 709-772-8430

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