Our metabolic rate changes on a daily basis based on the rate at which our body uses calories, our genetics, diet, hydration, body composition and physical activity. A higher metabolic rate mean that body will burn calories faster – leading to healthy weight maintenance or even weight loss (if more calories are being burned than taken in). Since our metabolic rate changes on a daily basis, that means what we do on a daily basis can completely affect its rate, and while we typically think of how much activity we’re doing and what we eat as the major affecting factors (correctly so), what and how much we drink absolutely has an effect on our metabolism, as well!
The best option to keep your metabolism revved from what you drink is actually plain-old water, followed closely by green tea and coffee. It’s important to always maintain enough water in your diet because dehydration (even slightly) can slow down your metabolic rate. The benefit of green tea and coffee primarily come from their caffeine, which studies have shown likely have the ability to give your metabolism a little kick: thedailymeal.com tells us “Researchers credit the boost in metabolism to tea’s catechins, but you probably need two cups a day to have any effect,” says nutritionist Kelly Aronica.
For more creative options, we’re going to look which juices and spices you could actually add to your beverages that could give you a little boost! We talked about spices and their health benefits here a few weeks ago, but today’s focus is more on the so-called “warming spices” – spices have a thermogenic effect (increase the body’s temperature, generating heat energy – think sweating when eating spicy foods) on the body as well as enhancing digestion and nutrient absorption. These spices include cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger – and luckily are very easy to incorporate into foods…but take a little creative to incorporate into a delicious beverage. Luckily, The Daily Meal has come up with some fantastic options for us to try!
Add some spice:
Banana Cinnamon Smoothie: remember that a good, hearty (healthy) breakfast is the best way to get your metabolism moving for the day – try this smoothie, for instance. The Daily Meal tells us “The inclusion of cinnamon not only makes the drink taste like a delicious Mexican horchata, it is also a member of the “warming” spices family, so it’s working to rev up your metabolism, too. Not to mention, also, that bananas are packed with B vitamins and magnesium, the latter of which assists the metabolism of energy.
Blend the following and enjoy!
- 1 cup almond milk
- ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 medium-sized bananas
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Apple Pie a la mode Smoothie: this dessert-smoothie boasts metabolism-revving cinnamon, as well as fiber-rich apple sauce, both helping with digestion, as well! Blend the following – and note it serves 2!
- 2 cups nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt
- ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup apple juice, chilled
- 1 cup diced fresh apple, frozen
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Apricot Zinger “Mocktail”: the homemade agave-based simple syrup made with fresh ginger provides has metabolism-boosting compounds capsaicin, piperine, and gingerols. As if that wasn’t enough, the drink also features ground cloves, another “warming” spice. This beverage has a little more involved, but is an absolutely fantastic cocktail to serve at a summer BBQ!
For the ginger simple syrup:
- ½ cup agave syrup
- 1 cup water
- ¼ fresh ginger, chopped
Place all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and strain out the ginger pieces.
For the drink:
- 2 ½ ounces white grape juice
- 3 ounces apricot nectar
- 1 ounce ginger simple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Crushed ice
- Fresh mint, for garnish
Place all of the ingredients except for the garnish in a cocktail shaker and mix well. Add crushed ice to a martini glass and pour the “mocktail” over ice. To serve, garnish with fresh mint.
The best fruit juices:
Watermelon & Lime Juice: Get really creative with your juicer this summer by featuring watermelon: one of the amino acids abundant in it, called arginine, has been found in studies to potentially help promote weight loss.
- 3 cups watermelon, peeled and cubed
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Ice cubes
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tbsp honey
Run the watermelon and ginger through a juice press. Pour the juice into a glass filled with ice and add the lime juice and lemongrass syrup. Stir and serve. (You can also make this juice in a blender; it will be thicker but will still taste delicious!)
Grapefruit Juice: The Daily Meal tells us “Studies have shown grapefruit juice (and grapefruits in general, really) to be effective in boosting one’s metabolism and contributing to weight loss. This is thought to be thanks to the fruit’s apparent ability to reduce high insulin levels, helping one’s body to better metabolize fat. A word of warning, however, to those on medication: the chemical components in the fruit have been found to inhibit the metabolism of certain drugs”, so read your labels or talk to your doctor!
To see the full slideshow with more options on The Daily Meal, click here!