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Tactical Physiology & Performance

MAP Lab: Tactical Physiology & Performance

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A primary focus of the work done in the MAP Lab is to study the impact of occupational stressors among high stress tactical occupations such as firefighters, law enforcement and military personnel. This line of work is done in collaboration with the ALERRT Center at Texas State University. These occupations are exposed to a variety of stressors (psychological stress, heat, smoke exposure, intense physical exertion, sleep disruption, etc.) that cause significant increases in biochemical and physiological markers of stress, inflammation and oxidative stress. Chronic exposure to these stressors can adversely impact performance and cardiometabolic health.

MAP Lab personnel typically collect physiological/biochemical data to provide insight as to the magnitude of stress induces by numerous occupational factors. This research aims to identify the impact of exercise training, nutritional interventions, and alternative modes of training such as virtual reality based training on markers of stress and performance. 

The MAP Lab recently developed a collaboration with the CHERR Center at Texas State University. Through this collaboration, we are incorporating evidence based findings from our line of research to increase health resilience among firefighters through the state of Texas.

Examples of some recent MAP Lab publications that have been done in this area include:

McAllister, M.J., Gonzalez, D.E., Leonard, M., Martaindale, M.H., Bloomer, R.J., Pence, J., Martin, S.E., (2022). Firefighters with higher cardiorespiratory fitness demonstrate lower markers of cardiovascular disease risk. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, in press.

Gonzalez, D.E., McAllister, M.J., Waldman, H.S., Ferrando, A.A., Joyce, J., Barringer, N.D., Dawes, J.J., Kieffer, A.J., Harvey, T., Kerksick, C.M., Stout, J.R., Ziegenfuss, T.N., Zapp, A., Tartar, J.L., Heileson, J.L., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Kalman, D.S., Campbell, B.I., Antonio, J., & Kreider, R.B. (2022). International society of sports nutrition position stand: Tactical athlete nutrition. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 19(1), 267-315; DOI: 10.1080/15502783.2022.2086017.

McAllister, M.J., Martaindale, M.H., Gonzalez, A.E., Case, M.J. (2022). Virtual reality based active shooter training drill increases salivary and subjective markers of stress. Yale Journal of Biology & Medicine; Science of Stress, 95(1), 105-113. 

McAllister, M.J., Gonzalez, A.E., Waldman, H.S. (2021). Time restricted feeding reduces inflammation and cortisol response to a simulated fire grounds test in professional firefighters. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, in press. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002169

Gonzalez, A.E., Waldman, H.S., Abel, M.G., McCurdy, K.W., McAllister, M.J. (2021). Impact of time restricted feeding on fitness variables in professional resistance trained firefighters. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, in press. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002144

McAllister, M.J. & Martaindale, M.H. (2021). Women demonstrate lower markers of stress and oxidative stress during active shooter training drill. Comprehensive Psychoneuroendocrinology, 6(100046), 1-7. DOI:10.1016/j.cpnec.2021.100046. 

McAllister, M.J., Martaindale, M.H., RenterĂ­a, L.I. (2020). Active shooter training drill increases blood and salivary markers of stress. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Special Issue: Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion: A Physical and Cognitive Ergonomic Approach, 17: 5042; DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17145042.

Waldman, H.S., Smith, J.W., Lamberth, J., Fountain, B.J., Bloomer, R.B., Butawan, M.B., McAllister, M.J. (2020). A 28-day carbohydrate-restricted diet improves markers of cardiovascular disease in professional firefighters. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 34(10): 2785-2792.