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.”


Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…


Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.


African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.


Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…


Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.


Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.


Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.


Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.