Edited and reviewed by Dr. Nawaz Ahmed, Director of Research, SP Nutraceuticals Inc. Burlington, ON, Canada
If you’ve ever had a meal that made you feel slow, sluggish or bloated, then it may make sense to you that the opposite can also be true — some foods have a positive effect on how your body runs.
But eating any kind of solid meal may make you feel slowed down, not to mention the preparation time required for good food. If you want to speed up your metabolism, a beverage is the perfect way to do it — quick, easy, and only adding as many calories to your diet as you wish.
In this article, we’ll cover 8 drinks that can speed up your metabolism.
Green and Black Tea
Most people know that the caffeine in tea can stimulate the nervous system — which means not only feeling more awake and thus moving around more, but also having a higher heart rate, body temperature, and lipolysis rate (how fast you burn fat). Most of the time, these are all good things (see the section below on coffee for when it’s not).
But tea has many lesser known chemicals that also help wake up your metabolism. Both green and black tea have:
- Antioxidants called catechins, which help burn fat
- Polyphenols, which reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity
- Tannins, which improve digestion
- Flavonoids, a wide group of molecules with general health effects
Green tea, specifically, also includes theanine, which has a complementary effect to caffeine.
The effect of coffee can be very similar to tea — but be careful! Recent studies have shown that drinking coffee as soon as you wake up can have a negative impact on cortisol and adenosine levels.
Coffee is best enjoyed within a window of time. The beginning of the window should be an hour or two after you wake up. As for the end, it’s no later than 8 hours before you go to bed, because caffeine’s half-life can be 1.5 to 9.5 hours long, depending on the individual. Since poor sleep due to lingering caffeine also has an impact on your metabolism, it’s not worth the risk to have that coffee after dessert.
Tea, of course, also has caffeine, but the levels are significantly lower than coffee, particularly for green tea.
Like tea and coffee, yerba mate has caffeine. But caffeine itself is only part of a wider group called xanthines, which yerba mate has several of, including chemicals like theophylline and theobromine. Most xanthines will tend to speed up the metabolism.
Regular drinkers of yerba mate will also claim that the drink helps control appetite and aid in digestion, among other positive benefits. Yerba mate has not been studied as much as tea, but researchers have pointed to an array of helpful chemicals, including polyphenols similar to those in tea.
You won’t have any trouble remembering the name of the helpful chemical in ginger: it’s gingerol.
The gingerol in ginger not only gives it the characteristic smell, but also a number of health benefits, including appetite suppression, blood sugar regulation, and anti-inflammatory properties. Those benefits are why ginger has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
While the above drinks include a range of calorie-free natural chemicals that help your body to regulate its processes, a protein shake is a dietary supplement. Still, protein can have its own benefits on your metabolism. One of these is simply providing satiation — protein makes you feel full, so that you won’t overeat during your next meal.
Protein also requires more energy from your body to digest than carbohydrates, which directly raises your metabolic rate. Metavo recently launched the Metavo Advanced Weight Support Meal Replacement which comes in Chocolate and Vanilla.
Dr. Paul Spagnuolo spent a decade studying Avocatin-B, a bio-active ingredient found in avocados, and chromium, an essential vitamin present in high levels in avocados. His research revealed that the two molecules help improve glucose tolerance, glucose utilization and insulin sensitivity when consumed as part of a regular diet.
Avocados also include plant sterols, which help maintain healthy cholesterol levels; and, similar to a protein shake, avocado-based drinks can help promote feelings of satiety when consumed as a dietary supplement or meal replacement. Currently, the only source of AvoB™ is in Metabolism Booster Smoothie Mix.
Finally, when you can’t get your hands on any other drink, plain cold water will give your metabolism a slight jump-start — and your stomach will burn calories in the process of heating it up.