Metabolism Boosters: Foods, Drinks and Exercises that Boost Metabolism (Evidence Based)

Metabolism Boosters: Foods, Drinks and Exercise that Boost Metabolism

Boosting your metabolism is one factor that can help you lose weight faster and maintain a healthy weight. Your metabolism is closely connected with the amount of energy you need for your body to function. Metabolism boosting foods are usually high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, and are rich in vitamins and minerals.

In order to increase your metabolism, it is also important to drink plenty of fluids and get enough exercise. Metabolism-boosting drinks include water, green tea, and coffee. Many people also say that building lean muscle mass is one of the best ways to affect the speed of your metabolism.

If you want to boost your metabolism to lose weight, it is important to remember that your metabolism is a complex chemical process.

In this article, you will find out how food, drinks, and exercise combine to affect your metabolism. You will also learn about the best foods to consume in a high metabolism diet.

What Is Metabolism?

Metabolism is also referred to as your metabolic rate. Metabolism is a biochemical process whereby your body converts energy it requires from what you eat and drink.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic explain that factors affecting your metabolic rate include your age, gender, and body size. If you want to speed up your metabolism to lose weight, then it is also important to be physically active. This helps to burn more calories than you consume to help shed extra pounds of body weight. (1)

Your muscle mass also affects the speed of your metabolism. Doctors from the National Health Service say that fat slows down your metabolic rate. However, increasing muscle mass can affect your metabolism and increase its speed. (2)

Even though you can add to your diet foods that act as metabolism boosters, physical activity and not consuming too many calories are the most important factors in losing weight. (1)

Another factor that affects your metabolism is a process called thermogenesis. This is the number of calories burned to digest and absorb food. Researchers say that high-protein foods are metabolism boosters because they can increase your metabolic rate. Although the effect may not be large, boosting your metabolism through diet can be an important factor in combating long-term obesity. (3)

What Are Metabolism Boosters?

Metabolism boosters can be foods, drinks, or lifestyle choices that have a positive impact on your metabolic rate.

Some types of foods that help kick-start a sluggish metabolism are lean meat, eggs, or legumes. These protein-rich foods help to increase thermogenesis and also increase feelings of satiety. Spicing up your food by adding cayenne pepper can also be beneficial for your metabolism.

Being physically active and exercising regularly also helps to maintain a healthy metabolism. For example, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), lifting weights, and getting enough sleep can all help to maximize your metabolism. There is also growing scientific evidence that stress can put the brakes on your metabolism and really slow it down.

Getting enough fluid is essential for life and is necessary for your metabolism to work efficiently. Even just plain water can increase thermogenesis and give your metabolism a boost. What’s more, drinking water, green tea, and coffee (in moderate amounts) are also good for losing weight and helping to burn belly fat.

Metabolism-Boosting Foods

Let’s look in more detail at some of the best foods that can really speed up your metabolism.

Protein-Rich Foods Can Increase Your Metabolism

To help boost your metabolism, you should eat foods that contain a lot of protein.

There are a number of ways that protein-rich foods positively affect your metabolism. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that protein can boost your metabolic rate by up to 30%. Weight loss can be achieved by restricting carbohydrate intake at the same time. (4)

Other researchers have found that a high protein diet can increase energy expenditure, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and boost your metabolism while sleeping. (5)

One study showed that men can increase their metabolic rate by enjoying a high-protein breakfast. This can positively affect metabolic processes and affect the “hunger hormone” ghrelin. (6)

There is also some scientific research on specific foods that help to raise metabolism.

Consume eggs regularly to boost your metabolism

A large egg contains just over 6 g of protein which is about 13% of your recommended daily needs. (7)

Researchers found in 2017 that consuming whole eggs after exercising affected the metabolic processes in men. The study revealed that eggs help repair muscle tissue damage after a strenuous workout. (8)

Learn why adding eggs to your diet is a healthy way to get plenty of protein and also help you lose weight quicker. There is also plenty of research that, contrary to popular belief, consuming 1 or 2 eggs a day doesn’t increase your cholesterol levels. (9)

Lean meat is good protein that increases metabolism

Researchers in the United States found that lean meat is a good source of dietary protein and can help manage metabolic rate while losing weight. Consuming healthy protein such as lean meat, chicken, or tuna also increases thermogenesis to boost metabolism. (10)

Oily Fish is Good for Boosting the Metabolism

If you want to give your metabolism a healthy boost without using supplements, then consuming salmon, tuna, mackerel, or sardines is a good choice.

One of the reasons why fatty fish such as salmon have metabolism-boosting properties is due to their content of omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers have found that omega-3 helps to lower body fat mass and also speed up the breakdown of fats. (11)

Another study found that consuming omega-3 supplements can boost the resting and exercising metabolic rate of women. Taking omega-3 for 12 weeks increased women’s metabolism by 14%. The women also experienced an increase in lean muscle mass and a drop in cholesterol levels. (12)

Find out more reasons why adding omega-3 to your diet and consuming more oily fish can boost your health.

Avocados Are Rich in Healthy Fats and Boost Metabolism

Avocados are one of the many foods that help maximize your metabolism and give your body a great nutrient boost.

A survey on the beneficial health effects of avocado found that avocado consumption can help attain and manage healthy body weight. On average, people who regularly consumed avocados had a lower body mass index (BMI), lower cholesterol levels, and less chance of being obese. (13)

Researchers say that avocado is a metabolism booster because it is high in fiber, healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals. Avocados are also low in sugar and are a good source of healthy energy. (14)

For more reasons to add avocados to your list of healthy foods to lose weight, please read my article on the health benefits of avocados.

Peas and Beans are Metabolism-Boosting Foods

Lentils, peas, beans, and chickpeas are high in protein and are among the foods that can help to fix a slow metabolism.

Research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that legumes can help men lose weight and help activate certain metabolic processes in the body. The study found that cutting calories while increasing the amount of legumes also helped lower cholesterol and increase resting energy expenditure. (15)

Legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils also contain a type of fiber called resistant starch. This helps to improve your digestion as well as addressing problems of obesity and being overweight. (16)

Lentils are another type of legume that helps to keep your metabolism operating effectively. Lentils contain essential amino acids including arginine. Researchers have found that the amino acid arginine helps to improve metabolic processes in the body, lower weight, and increase muscle mass. (17, 18)

Fiber-Rich Foods Are Great for Your Metabolism

To help increase your metabolism and lose weight, it is very important to eat foods that are high in fiber.

It is well-known that fiber-rich foods are essential to help keep your digestion in good-working order. However, fibrous foods also help to regulate your metabolic rate.

The journal Nutrients reports that dietary fiber helps the body absorb nutrients during the digestion process. Some reports indicate that fiber-rich foods help to metabolize carbohydrates and reduce lipids (fat) in blood. Fiber can also help to lower the energy content of food which can help boost your weight-loss efforts. (19)

Learn more about fiber supplements that can help to promote good digestive health and prevent constipation.

Spicy Foods Boost Your Metabolism

Adding chili or other hot spices to your meals can help to increase your metabolism for a few hours and aid digestion.

Some researchers have found that mustard can help to boost the thermogenesis effect on food which could slightly boost metabolism. (20)

Other studies have shown that adding chili or cayenne pepper to a meal can increase energy expenditure and core body temperature. People who consumed spicy meals also lost weight because they had less of a tendency to snack on sweet foods. However, it seems that the metabolism-boosting effects of spicy food wear off over time as the body gets desensitized to the hot spice. (21)

Even though the boosting effect of spicy foods on your metabolism is quite small, you can still spice up other metabolism-boosting foods to increase their effectiveness.

Learn more about the benefits of cayenne pepper to help reduce pain, inflammation, and blood pressure.

Green Leafy Vegetables are Metabolism Boosters

Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and kale contain certain compounds that can give a major boost to your metabolism.

Researchers from Oregon State University reported that enzymes called glucosinolates play an important role in the metabolic process. These enzymes develop in the gut during digestion and promote healthy microbiota in the intestines to digest food more efficiently. (22)

Let’s look at a few examples of green leafy foods that are great for getting a faster metabolism.


The Journal of Nutrition reported that broccoli produces metabolic enzymes that can help to keep your liver in good health and protect from complications associated with obesity. (23)


Spinach is a healthy green leafy vegetable high in antioxidants with metabolism boosting potential. Researchers have found that spinach helps improve antioxidant metabolism and help protect against the effects of a high-fat diet. (24)

Nuts and Seeds Help Increase Metabolism

Another good source of protein and fiber that can help prevent you from suffering from a sluggish metabolism is nuts and seeds.

The journal PLoS One reported in 2016 that increasing consumption of nuts helps to rev up metabolism. Another benefit of consuming nuts regularly was a lower risk of cardiovascular disease without causing weight gain. (25)

Other studies have shown that consuming nuts regularly helps to lower inflammation, manage weight better, and control blood glucose levels. (26)

Let’s look at a couple of scientific-based studies showing the benefits of nuts and seeds to regulate your metabolism.

Chia seeds

Researchers have found that chia seeds contain important minerals and fatty acids that play an important role in metabolism. Regularly consuming chia seeds may help to regulate your body’s metabolic rate and help promote healthy muscle and tissue growth. (27)


One randomized controlled trial found that consuming a large serving of almonds has many metabolic benefits. Eating 43 g of almonds daily with a meal helped to lose weight because they reduced appetite and helped prevent snacking. Almonds also help boost levels of vitamin E which is an important antioxidant. (28)

If you want to get the best health benefits from nuts, find out why you should soak nuts before eating them.

Coconut Oil to Rev Up Your Metabolism

One way to raise your metabolic rate and help get rid of belly fat quicker is to add more coconut oil to your diet.

The reason that coconut oil is a natural metabolism booster is that it contains a type of fatty acid called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

One study on men who consume a diet high in MCTs found that these healthy fats increase the thermic effect of meals. Consuming MCTs can help to increase metabolism and also promote weight loss. (29)

Another study found that, over a 12-week period, coconut oil could help to boost the metabolism of women. Adding 1 tablespoon of coconut oil 3 times a day to the diet helped women lose fat from their waist without increasing levels of cholesterol. (30)

MCTs in coconut oil also helps to rev up metabolism during exercising and increase the number of calories burned during a workout. (31)

Learn more about the amazing secrets of coconut oil and how coconut oil in your diet promotes good health.

Metabolism Booster Supplements and Pills

There are many supplements that are sold as metabolism boosters and claim to increase your resting and exercising metabolic rate.

Do supplements to boost your metabolism actually work? According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, dietary supplements for boosting metabolism and losing weight may only have a limited benefit. Also these metabolism booster pills aren’t regulated and may cause unwanted side effects. (1)

Some ingredients commonly found in pills to speed up your metabolism include green tea, capsaicin (the compound that gives cayenne its spice), and caffeine.

Green tea. There is some scientific proof that compounds in green tea called catechins may promote weight loss by thermogenesis. Green tea supplements may also help burn off fat and help you maintain a healthy weight. (32)

Caffeine. Taking caffeine supplements can help increase energy expenditure and increase fat oxidation. The effect of caffeine in increasing your metabolism may also boost weight loss. (33)

Capsaicin. Studies have shown that spicy capsaicin can be used as a metabolism-boosting nutrient because it increases energy expenditure. However, because capsaicin helps to burn up to 50 calories a day more, it may take between 1 and 2 years for any noticeable effects to be seen. (34)

Metabolism Boosting Drinks

If you want to speed up your metabolism to lose weight, you don’t just have to stick to foods that affect your metabolic rate. You also need to incorporate metabolism-boosting drinks into your diet.

Water is a Natural Metabolism Booster

One of the best drinks to speed up metabolism is water because it is essential to keep your body working efficiently.

Researchers have found that drinking 500 ml of water can increase metabolism by up to 30%. Scientists found that drinking warm water may have a better thermogenic effect than cold water. Drinking 8 glasses (250 ml each) of water daily can help to increase metabolic rate and promote weight loss. (35)

Learn how to make flat tummy water if you want to burn off excess fat from your abdominal region.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a Metabolism-Boosting Drink

Another drink to help maximize your metabolism is diluted apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar seems to work as a metabolism booster because of its acetic acid content. One small randomized controlled trial found that consuming a vinegar drink before a meal can improve many metabolic processes in the body. (36)

Find out more about the surprising benefits of drinking a glass or two of diluted apple cider vinegar daily if you want to lose weight. You can also find easy recipes for making these ACV detox drinks.

Oolong Tea to Speed Up Metabolism

If you are interested in really revving up your metabolism, then you should regularly drink oolong tea.

One study found that drinking oolong tea can boost the metabolic rate in men. In one trial, full-strength oolong tea was better than water in helping to burn off fat and increase metabolism. (37)

A study from Japan found that oolong tea is also good for helping women increase their metabolism and lose weight quicker. (38)

Find out how oolong tea can not only help you lose weight, but also relieve stress, improve your heart health, and manage diabetes symptoms.

Green Tea to Prevent Sluggish Metabolism

You don’t have to buy expensive green tea supplements to speed up your metabolic rate because drinking green tea can be just as good for your metabolism.

The Journal of Research in Medical Sciences reported that drinking 4 cups of green tea daily helps to regulate metabolic processes. One trial involving men and women found that green tea also helped to lose weight and lower blood pressure. (39)

Learn about more amazing benefits of drinking green tea every day.

Matcha Tea Helps Improve Metabolic Rate

Matcha tea has even more metabolism-boosting catechins than standard green tea and could help you shed extra pounds quicker. (40)

If you are interested in giving your health a boost, find out about the many benefits of making your own metabolism-boosting tea with matcha powder.

Drinking Coffee Gives Your Metabolism a Boost

Because coffee contains caffeine, it is one of the many drinks that help speed up your metabolic rate.

One trial involving animal subjects found that regularly consuming coffee helped prevent weight gain on a high-fat diet. Scientists also noted compounds in caffeine that positively affected the metabolic rate of mice. (41)

Even though drinking coffee has been given a bad rap, there are actually many ways that coffee can boost your health and help maintain liver health when consumed in moderation.

Metabolism-Boosting Milk Drinks

You can also drink calcium-rich milk to help speed up metabolism and lose belly fat quicker.

Research published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism found that consuming dairy drinks on a calorie-controlled diet helped to boost the metabolic rate and promote fat loss in men and women. Researchers noted that it seems that dietary calcium positively affects body metabolism and energy expenditure. (42)

If you can’t ingest dairy products or follow a vegan diet, find out about some great animal-free sources of calcium that can help keep bones strong.

Other Ways to Boost Metabolism

It is important to remember, that to really boost your metabolism and shed pounds of extra fat you need to be physically active. Let’s look at some lifestyle choices that are also excellent metabolism boosters.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) For Healthy Metabolism

One of the best ways to increase your metabolism through exercising is to do high-intensity interval training.

HIIT is physical activity involving short bursts of intense physical exercise followed by a short period of active resting.

One study found that 2 minutes of sprint interval exercises had the same beneficial effects on metabolism as 30 minutes of endurance exercise. (43)

The results from another study showed that HIIT exercises also boosted metabolic rate in a 60-minute resting period after exercising. (44)

HIIT exercises have also been shown to be more effective for fat loss than regular workouts. (45)

If you are interested in losing weight quickly and getting a faster metabolism, read about the many benefits of interval training.

Lift Weights to Boost Metabolism

To help increase your resting energy expenditure, one great way to boost your metabolic rate is to lift weights.

Many scientists point to the fact that good muscle mass is one of the most important factors in having a healthy metabolism. (46)

However, although lifting weights helps as a natural metabolism booster, studies show that it is important to combine resistance training with aerobic training for more effective weight loss. (47)

Sit Less to Raise Metabolism

One very easy way to increase metabolic rate is to stand more often throughout the day.

A study from 2014 found that the body burns more calories while standing rather than sitting. Researchers found that office workers who used “standing desks” significantly lowered their risk of cardio-metabolic diseases. (48)

Learn about the dangers of sitting too much throughout the day and what you can do to stand more.

Get Enough Sleep to Improve Metabolism

Sleep is an extremely important factor that affects and regulates how fast your metabolism operates.

Researchers warn that a lack of sleep can result in metabolic dysfunction that may result in obesity and other health issues. The changes in metabolic processes that can occur include hormonal imbalances, increased blood glucose levels, and increased feelings of hunger. (49)

Some studies indicate that a lack of sleep may result in a sluggish metabolism in women more than men. Sleep deprivation can also result in reduced energy expenditure that can eventually impact on body weight. (50)

Find about some natural home remedies to help improve your sleep quality and help you fall asleep faster.

Deal with Stress and Anxiety Better to Prevent Metabolism Slow-Down

Stress is another factor that can result in a lethargic metabolism and increased weight gain.

Scientists have noted a link between stress, obesity, and chronic metabolic disorders. Research has shown that reducing chronic stress is essential in helping to keep your metabolism working at full capacity. (51)

If you feel that you are always stressed out, find out what you can do to cope with stress better and which essential oils are good for anxiety.

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