It’s hard to imagine anything more exhausting, or brutal on your body, than a presidential campaign. Not only are you devoting a full 18 months or so of your life to being under incredible scrutiny, with your every move being carefully followed and analyzed, but you’re on the road almost the entire time. Most of us are exhausted from a simple commute to and from work; imagine what it’s like being ferried around the country on buses and planes for a year and a half.
But, that’s part of the gig. If you can’t handle campaigning, you probably can’t handle the pressures of the presidency. So, it’s necessary to find ways to make it work. And even as most of the candidates themselves are older (Ted Cruz is the youngest, at 45), remaining upbeat and energized at all times is a vital piece of the puzzle.
The question for the presidential candidates is this: How do you do it?
We know there are all kinds of things you can do to stay energized. Eating the right foods at the right times, exercising, or even relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation can help you stay alert as your energy starts to wane. But keeping productivity up is a challenge that everyone faces, and it’s a challenge that’s magnified tenfold for candidates on the trail.
So, how do each of the individual candidates keep their energy levels spiked?
1. Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders is pretty spry for a 74-year-old. How he manages to stay on message, keep his base and supporters excited, and keep up with a brutal debate and town hall schedule is nothing short of extraordinary. While we don’t know an awful lot about what kind of sleep or exercise schedule he keeps, we do know a bit about his diet — which probably helps him keep energy levels up throughout the long days on the trail. Reports say that Sanders sticks to a Paleo diet, and likes to chop wood to get his blood moving.
It doesn’t get much more “Vermont” than that.
2. Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton has shown that she can stay alert and sharp for long periods of time before, having sat through dozens of hours of hearings without so much as a yawn. It’s her stamina on the campaign trail that has earned her respect — maintaining her poise and balance even after hours in the spotlight. She has shared one secret for staying awake: digging her fingernails into her hands. A bit unorthodox, but it apparently works.
She also has a personal trainer and does yoga, claiming that the practice helps keep her energized.
3. Ted Cruz
Is Cruz powered by the Holy Spirit? He may be — but we’ll stick to the verifiable stuff for now. Cruz presides over a large and fervent base of Evangelical supporters, whose support has carried him into what looks to be a head-to-head run-off with Donald Trump for the Republican nomination. To keep his energy levels and productivity up, Cruz takes phone calls while walking, and also wears a fitness tracker to ensure he’s getting enough movement in during the day.
4. John Kasich
Nothing seemed to energize John Kasich more than winning the primary battle in his home state of Ohio. While he’s largely taken a back-seat to most of the other candidates during the race, Kasich is somehow still in the thick of it — and is more energized now than at any point in the campaign. We don’t have a lot of intel as to what Kasich does to keep himself going on the trail, but we do know he enjoys outdoors activities and working out. Evidently, that’s enough to keep him mentally and physically sharp.
5. Donald Trump
Donald Trump brags about how little he sleeps. His rallies are swirling vortexes of energy — both negative and positive. And he never seems to be at a loss for words, or even remotely docile. It’s all of that energy that have people going crazy about him, and that has led him to become the presumptive nominee for the Republicans. But how does he do it?
Word is, he stays away from alcohol, cigarettes, and coffee. And he gets some exercise. But if there’s one way he unwinds, it’s by playing golf. There doesn’t appear to be a real secret to Trump’s energy; it’s just one of the advantages he brings to the campaign trail.
Follow Sam on Twitter @Sliceofginger