In the world of nutrition, many foods and drinks are believed to increase metabolism – the reactions in the body that provide energy. In this article on Honest Nutrition, we study the impact of our diet on our metabolism and whether certain foods and drinks really have a significant impact on the metabolic rate.
Many factors can affect metabolism, including age, diet, biological sex, physical activity, and health issues.
Digestion and processing of food, including carbohydrates, proteins and fats, also requires energy. This is known as the
For example, fat takes
A person may think that specific foods and drinks can “speed up” the metabolism, but this is not necessarily true. Some foods require more energy to digest than others, and some foods may increase your basal metabolic rate slightly, but not by much.
It is the total food intake that matters most.
For example, TEF, the energy needed to digest food, differs depending on the macronutrient content of the meal.
- Protein: 10 to 30% of the energy content of the protein ingested
- Carbohydrates: 5 to 10% of the carbohydrates ingested
- Fat: 0 to 3% of the fat ingested
The body uses the most energy to break down and store protein, which is why it has the highest TEF.
The TEF represents approximately
Research has also shown that high protein diets can increase resting metabolic rate (RMR), calories burned while resting.
It’s clear that high protein diets can help people burn more calories every day, but what about specific foods?
The compounds in chili peppers, green tea, and coffee, for example, can slightly boost metabolism.
Studies show that consuming products made from green tea catechin extracts can increase daily calorie expenditure by up to
Some studies indicate that EGCG, a catechin found in green tea, has the potential to increase energy expenditure at
Meanwhile, the capsaicin in chili peppers
On a related note, one study found that having a hot drink containing ginger powder with meals may slightly increase the TEF by about
To promote and maintain a healthy body weight, it is essential to focus on the overall quality and macronutrient content of the diet, rather than incorporating or eliminating specific foods.
As mentioned above, research shows that diets high in protein and whole foods likely increase energy expenditure, compared to diets low in protein and high in ultra-processed foods.
While there is probably nothing wrong with consuming moderate amounts of foods and drinks believed to improve metabolism, such as spicy foods, ginger, and green tea, it is unlikely to have a significant effect. on energy expenditure or body weight.
Eating a well-balanced diet with lots of protein and fiber, from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans, for example, will support a healthy metabolism and also promote overall health.
Getting enough physical activity and maintaining healthy muscle mass can also help improve overall energy expenditure.
Resistance training can be particularly effective. A 2015 study showed that resistance training for 9 months could increase RMR by up to
Rather than focusing on specific foods, anyone looking to boost their metabolism should consider their diet as a whole. Eating a diet high in protein and unprocessed foods can help increase energy expenditure, which could help maintain a healthy body weight.
Overall, having a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet and plenty of physical activity is the best way to support a healthy metabolism.