The metabolism, though often thought of simply as the basic process of burning calories, is actually a relatively complex chemical process within the body that changes food into energy in order to continue the function of all of our cells and organs.
We use this energy to breathe, to digest, to think, to move, to grow and more.
The speed of your metabolism comes down to several factors like genetics, age, and gender, among others. And while you can’t exactly control your age, sex or genetic inheritance, there are a few things you can do to increase your metabolic rate!
Read on for all the specifics!
How to Effectively Boost Your Metabolism
Your metabolism is a complex process and many factors come into play when it comes to how quickly you convert food into energy for the body.
While there are some, like age and genetics, that you simply can’t control, there are many other ways to increase metabolism, like these listed below.
1. Eat Frequently
After eating a snack or meal, our metabolism gets a boost as it works to digest the food and convert it into energy.
But what helps speed up metabolism? There are many foods that help speed up metabolism, and you can foster this process by having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours in order to keep your metabolism going strong.
In fact, eating more often speed up metabolism, as opposed to three large meals spaced out throughout the day.
Keep in mind though, that food quality still counts. Don’t snack on empty calories just for the sake of it.
2. Stay Hydrated!
Increasing water intake is bound to make it onto any health and fitness list, whether it is for increased gains in the gym, clearer skin, or- in our case - the metabolism.
Our bodies are made up of around 60% water and it is essential to many of our body’s daily functions and yet most of us do not get enough of it.
Does water speed up metabolism? The answer is yes.
When it comes to metabolism specifically, when you are dehydrated your cells and organs don’t function optimally and, in turn, slow your metabolism. Your body needs water to process calories.
Studies have shown that drinking even a half liter of water can increase your resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour afterwards.
Plus, you can up the effects by opting for cold water, as your body will use even more energy (another metabolic increase) to heat up the cold water to body temperature. Double win!
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3. Supercharge Your Workout
If you are wondering how to make your metabolism faster, then you’ll be happy to know that strength training is the most effective choice for building muscle.
But that doesn’t mean you should neglect your cardio workouts , either.
Does exercise increase metabolism? Yes, especially cardiovascular exercise like HIIT workouts can actually boost your metabolism in the few hours post-workout.
High Intensity Interval training is all about pushing yourself. You’ll see the biggest metabolism boost when you go all-out as opposed to moderate cardio training.
Check out this article for all the other great benefits to HIIT training.
4.Get Some Sleep
There are many ways to speed up your metabolism, and a night of recovery sleep is one of them.
Sleep tops the list of ways to improve your metabolism, mostly because it is the easiest and perhaps most enjoyable thing you can do to better your brain and your metabolism all at once.
Sleep is our body’s reset process, it allows our brain to cleanse itself, store memories, and ready itself for the following day. There are quite a few hormones involved in these processes, but ghrelin and leptin are two in particular that play an important role in regulating the metabolism and are affected directly by a lack of sleep .
Decreased levels of these two hormones contribute directly to a slower or even malfunctioning metabolism.
Aim for 7-8 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep per night.
5. Opt for Protein
One of the things that speed up metabolism is definitely increasing your protein intake.
Did you know that your body actually burns more calories digesting protein than it does fat or carbs?
Coupled with the fact that protein helps promote satiety and fullness and helps build lean muscle mass (see above!) you’ll be boosting your metabolism in more ways than one.
This isn’t to say you should scrap fat and carbs entirely, of course, balance is always key. But take the time to make sure you’re eating plenty of protein-rich foods as well.
6. Include Caffeine
Most “metabolism boosting” supplements on the market contain caffeine in some form or another, but you don’t need to go shopping down the supplement aisle to put caffeine to good use. But, does coffee speed up your metabolism?
If you’re a coffee drinker you can reap the metabolism benefits with a cup of black coffee - plus an energy, endurance and concentration boost to boot. If coffee isn’t your thing, try a cup of green tea instead!
You’ll still be getting a dose of caffeine with added antioxidant benefits. The catechins in green tea are thought to rev up the metabolism as well.