How to get more energy (without coffee)

According to a survey by belVita Breakfast Biscuits, across all major markets, New York City is the least energized city in America

In nature, winter is a time to rest and gather resources to spur spring’s new growth. But even when we really need rest, our world doesn’t give pause for that. So, we reach for that extra cup of coffee to keep going. While there’s nothing wrong with a cup of joe to lift mood and kick-start activity, in time all that java can do more harm than good. Too much caffeine — including  from coffees, teas and sodas — can cause dehydration, insomnia, irritability and other mood disorders. Here are three tips to combat energy slumps naturally.

Take a nap
If you’re lucky enough to take a midday break, by all means, take it. “It might sound odd, but napping increases productivity,” says Gene Stone, author of “Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health.” “A 20-minute nap can boost energy levels, especially if you don’t sleep well. We need seven to eight hours of sleep in a 24-hour cycle, but it doesn’t have to be all at once.”

Take a walk
Dave Larson, MSPT (Master of Science in Physical Therapy), co-owner of Boston-based Joint Ventures Physical Therapy and Fitness, says, “A brisk walk increases your heart rate and cardiac output, which results in more oxygenated blood going to your muscles. This improves the muscles’ efficiency. The current research is clear: A regular exercise program [improves] your energy levels.” A quick walk can get you going.

Take mini meals
Step away from the Snickers, which might tide you over for a bit but will send you crashing soon after. “Treat snacking as a miniature meal,” says Adam Korzun, high-performance dietitian for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. “Often we let ourselves get too hungry and end up searching for the first thing in sight, which most often is a bad choice. Miniature meals every three to four hours should contain carbohydrates, protein and good fats. A balance of protein and carbs helps your body more efficiently use fat for energy.”

Is the occasional 5-hour Energy ever OK?

It’s all over the TV ads as an energy-booster, but is 5-hour Energy effective, or even safe? Dr. Luis Gruberg, MD, of Stony Brook School of Medicine, weighs in:

 “5-hour Energy contains mainly small amounts of vitamins and 207 milligrams of caffeine — that’s 15 percent more than the 180 milligrams of caffeine found in an 8-ounce cup of Starbucks Bold. Red Bull contains only 80 milligrams per can. The energy boost comes from the caffeine and not from the small amount of vitamins or amino acids that are advertised. … Claims about energy drinks have been that they fight fatigue, stimulate the mind and diminish pain. However, [none of] these claims [have been proven] in proper scientific studies.”


Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…


The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.


Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…


Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.


'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.


New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!


James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…


True Detective


Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.


Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…


Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.


3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.


Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…


Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…


How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.


A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.