3 beverages to drink for better metabolism

How many times have you cursed your metabolism when the number on the scale isn’t as low as you’d like? If you’re anything like me, too many to count.

But one thing we need to remember is metabolism doesn’t just affect our weight. It breaks down our food into its component parts (proteins, lipids, energy, etc.) so that our bodies can use it to keep our cellular processes humming. And it eliminates metabolic byproducts that could harm our health if allowed to build up.

When your metabolism is working well, it can help you lose weight. It also gives you plenty of energy for daily activities and keeps you in good overall health. Poor metabolism does just the opposite. You feel tired and lethargic, and your weight starts to inch higher.

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How you can influence your metabolism

Some of how well your metabolism functions does depend on your age, genetics and body composition. But there are definitely things you can do to help kick it into gear.

For instance, getting exercise boosts metabolism for anywhere from 2 to 24 hours afterward. Strength training in particular helps increase your metabolism by building lean muscle tissue, which is metabolically active. Fat is not metabolically active tissue, so it drains rather than enhances your metabolism.

What and when you eat can also play a role in metabolism. One study found that when mice ate a high-fat breakfast, it turned on their fat metabolism, causing them to burn fat. Those that ate a breakfast high in carbohydrates only burned carbs.

Your drinking habits can also influence your metabolism in the following ways…

Drink like this for better metabolism

1. Play it smart when you drink alcohol.

When I wanted to lose weight, one of the first things I did was cut out alcohol completely. Alcoholic beverages tend to be loaded with empty calories, so I figured it would be a smart way to keep my daily calorie count low.

I also figured drinking alcohol was dragging my metabolism down. But it turns out that’s not exactly true.

As long as you keep your consumption moderate, alcohol won’t really impact your metabolism. That means sticking to no more than two drinks a day if you’re male and no more than one drink a day if you’re female.

2. Drink lots of water.

Turns out upping your water consumption is one of the easiest ways to support your metabolism. Drinking water increases your metabolism by up to 25 percent for nearly an hour afterward. This means drinking a few cups of water every hour will keep your metabolism performing at its peak throughout the day.

I’m a big fan of plain old water. But I know a lot of people who prefer coffee, tea and sweetened beverages to plain water, so they have a tough time hitting their recommended 8 glasses of water a day.

If you fall into that second camp, you can flavor your water with cucumber or a fruit like lemon or lime. Lemon in particular is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and citric acid that can help remove toxins from the body and increase metabolism.

To make a tasty lemon detox water, take two cups of water and mix it with the juice of one lemon and one tablespoon of honey. You can add half a teaspoon of cinnamon for a gut health boost.

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3. Try adding a daily protein drink.

Many dieticians recommend protein for metabolism, as it is digested more slowly than fat or carbohydrates and requires the most energy to be broken down by the body.

Drinking at least one beverage a day that’s prepared with Greek yogurt, cow’s milk or protein powder may help curb your appetite and keep your metabolism high. You could do what I do and replace your usual breakfast with a protein shake, or you could have a protein drink as a mid-afternoon snack.

4. Drink a cup or two of green tea.

Green tea is somewhat of a weight loss powerhouse. It contains antioxidants called catechins that have been proven to increase fat burning and potentially boost metabolism. Also, the caffeine in green tea could help boost your energy and improve your exercise performance.

If you drink a lot of coffee, try replacing at least one cup a day with green tea. For best benefit, try to drink matcha, a type of green tea that contains a high concentration of catechins.

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Carolyn Gretton

By Carolyn Gretton

Carolyn Gretton is a freelance writer based in New Haven, CT who specializes in all aspects of health and wellness and is passionate about discovering the latest health breakthroughs and sharing them with others. She has worked with a wide range of companies in the alternative health space and has written for online and print publications like Dow Jones Newswires and the Philadelphia Inquirer.