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U.S. Military Members Share Their Favorite Ways to Get Focus and Energy

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February 1, 2024

Creating a healthy, balanced life looks different for everybody. Military members have an exceptional demand on their health — both physically and mentally — so we spoke to some of them to find out exactly what they do to keep their focus and energy levels high.

Staying connected with your support system

“Staying connected with friends and family even though it’s long-distance helps to keep me sane,” says one Army nurse who reports that she travels for work at a training hospital.

Whether it’s making time for phone calls back home or connecting with friends in her new area, creating a strong network of people around her is vital to feeling supported while traveling.

Research bears this out. A meta-analysis in Frontiers of Psychology showed that a strong emotional support system offers protective benefits to our health and can even help us live longer. These benefits range from buffering against poor mental health by decreasing our risk for depression and anxiety to boosting our immune system and preventing physical illness.

Experts agree that loneliness is very harmful to our mental health. A 2013 review in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine concluded that loneliness is associated with impairments in our attention, brain function, mood, and health behaviors. Thus, having a strong social network of people around you may offer benefits to both our mental and physical well-being.

Caffeine

An Air Force pilot explains that sometimes caffeine can help you to push through. “Long days may come with a midday or afternoon pick me up,” he notes.

Caffeine can improve acute focus and may have some cognitive benefits in both the short and long-term. Caffeine has been shown to improve reaction time and memory even when we become less alert. Coffee and tea are typically go-to caffeinated beverages, but energy drinks such as Monster Zero Ultra also can provide a boost for the day, with 150 milligrams of caffeine, plus energizing B vitamins like niacin, B12, B6, and pantothenic acid. Plus, this energy drink comes in a variety of flavors, has zero sugar, and leaves you with all-day energy without the inevitable sugar crash later.

Read more: Here are 5 Myths About Caffeine — Debunked.

Use time off to recharge

One Texas-based Army member explains how she uses her downtime to recharge.

“Going to the gym, socializing with friends, and meal prepping are some of the main goals during my off time and they also make me feel happy,” she says.

Taking care of yourself during your downtime may also help protect you from burnout later. One study on burnout in the U.S. military showed a connection between feeling burned out and lack of self-care behaviors.

Nutrition is another factor that can help you recover and recharge. In drinks like Monster Zero Ultra, taurine is one ingredient that has been linked with improved athletic performance, including coordination, strength, and endurance. Even outside the gym, taurine is known for its overall support of heart, brain, and nerve function.

Sleep

Nearly every military member we spoke with emphasized the importance of sleep. Without enough quality rest, it’s hard to feel focused and energized. In fact, sleep deprivation has been shown to significantly decrease cognitive function, memory, and alertness.

Shoot for at least seven hours per night to feel your best.

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