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An In-Depth Guide To Metabolism Boosters: What Works And What Doesn’t

May 16, 2021Metabolism0 comments

If you’re here, you’ve probably run into countless product recommendations to boost your metabolism. Losing weight is a challenge, and any help is easy to appreciate. On the other hand, that makes it easier to sell promises to certain demographics.

Finding good products can be as complicated as losing weight by yourself. The number of vendors offering the same formulas doesn’t make things easier. Learning what can work and what doesn’t is the ideal first step.

Luckily, Healthline has a fantastic article on the subject. We’ll revisit it soon to provide you with more tips. For now, let’s dive into its first advice: foods and ingredients.

We’ll go through the list of recommendations and review the scientific backing behind them.

Metabolism: An Overview

Your metabolism dictates how you burn calories and process nutrients. It’s the foundation of anyone’s weight loss efforts. Essentially, your metabolism splits into multiple processes and functions.

We can simplify its processes into two categories:

  • Breaking down nutrients to generate energy. The best example is how eating sweets makes us feel jittery and energized.
  • Synthesizing new nutrients from basic components from your diet. For instance, we turn amino acids into protein.

Furthermore, we can categorize our metabolism in two primary areas:

  • Our basal metabolic rate (BMR) is how your metabolism works during rest. That means how we process nutrients outside extensive physical activity. This metabolic rate comes from our heart rate, breathing, and other core functions.
  • Additional processes increase our metabolic rate. Physical activity, digestion, and recovery are great instances.

We have control over the second group. That’s why exercising and lifestyle changes are always recommendations. Building muscle is one way we can increase our BMR. However, our diet plays a crucial role as well.

What can change your BMR?

Our basal metabolic rate depends on our body composition. That means size, amounts of muscle and fat tissue, age, gender, and nutrition. Naturally, the interactions between BMR and these factors are pretty complicated.

Luckily, we don’t have to dive into too much detail. You basically have to understand that being “in good shape” means that your metabolism works better.

Of course, exercising is the ideal way to get there. That doesn’t mean it’s the only method. You want to complement your physical routines with the right diet and other “advantages.” Taking a holistic approach to weight loss is the optimal strategy.

Optimizing your metabolism is an excellent addition to your efforts.

Metabolism boosters: The fundamentals

Metabolism boosters can act in multiple ways. Some can help you build muscle. Others can increase thermogenesis (heat production). Regardless of the active effects, metabolism boosters optimize metabolic processes.

There’s no “best” approach to boosting metabolism. Many think that products that act on multiple fronts work better. Not all metabolic functions burn the same amount of calories. It’s more about finding what needs more improvement.

Healthline’s article details the most prevalent ingredients in metabolism boosters. What’s the reasoning behind them?


Caffeine can boost thermogenesis, which burns energy to produce heat. Ideally, you want to take 270 mg of caffeine per day.

Most supplements contain 200 mg, which is nearly twice as much as a cup of coffee. If you’re a coffee drinker, three cups per day are enough.


Capsaicin is responsible for the heat produced by jalapeños. While it’s not entirely clear, research has suggested that it can aid in weight loss.

Studies done in rats suggest that capsaicin may reduce adipose tissue weight. This component could stimulate certain hepatic enzymes responsible for its mobilization.


L-carnitine is responsible for the metabolism of fatty acids. It uses L-methionine and L-lysine as substrates. L-carnitine is most prevalent in red meats.

This nutrient transports fatty acids to the mitochondrial matrix. There, cells break down these fats for their energy reserves. It also reduces oxidative stress, fatigue, and physical exertion.

Chromium picolinate

Chromium picolinate could also be responsible for lipid metabolism. This study was done in broilers (chicken species) suggest abdominal fat decreases after supplementation.

However, our metabolism is considerably different. The original article suggests that it’s questionable as a metabolism booster.

On the other hand, it’s still beneficial. In diabetic and obese patients, it could improve insulin levels and glucose disposal.


Conjugated linoleic acid has also met mixed results. Experts believe that it could aid in weight and fat loss. However, further research is still necessary.

That said, some studies suggest that its supplementation could benefit weight loss. Supplementing CLA to the overweight subjects seems to yield lower obesity levels. Furthermore, adverse effects aren’t prevalent.

Green tea

Studies in mice have suggested that green tea might have metabolic benefits. In a 16-week study, a 2-4% green tea diet suppressed weight gain and serum leptin.

Similarly, cholesterol, triglycerides, and fat levels were lower than in the control group. However, experts remain hesitant to endorse green tea for metabolic optimization. Luckily, green tea is rarely an unsafe dietary addition.


Resveratrol is present in various types of berries and peanuts. Some studies have suggested that it can burn fat in mice. However, there isn’t enough evidence supporting benefits for humans.

Regardless, researchers have reported properties like caloric restriction and adipogenesis inhibition. Many experts still recommend it for anti-obesity therapeutic purposes.

What can you eat for a metabolism boost?

Now, we can synthesize formulas from those ingredients. However, that means buying metabolic supplements. You might not wish to make that jump yet. Luckily, you can add certain foods to your diet to give your metabolism a nice boost.

The last section in the article concerns foods that can help you increase your metabolism. Obviously, the idea is to lose weight in the long term. Don’t think that eating as much as you can help you lose weight.

Why did these foods make it to the article? What’s the scientific research backing them? That’s what we’ll assess now.


Dietary protein is crucial for building lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass replaces fat deposits and requires more energy. Merely maintaining your muscles burn more calories than fat. Therefore, protein is vital for increasing your BMR.

Iron, Selenium, and Zinc

These three minerals are essential for our thyroid hormone metabolism. That should be enough to warrant their inclusion in our diets. However, thyroid hormone is also responsible for metabolism regulation. It regulates carbohydrate and cholesterol metabolism directly.

Chili peppers

As we’ve mentioned, chili peppers get their heat from capsaicin. We also commented that its benefits are still unclear. However, human studies have suggested that chili intake can facilitate weight loss. The linked study goes back to capsaicin and boosting thermogenesis.


Similarly, we’ve also spoken about caffeine: coffee’s main component. Despite whether caffeine can boost our BMR, coffee is still a great ally during exercise. Your lipid metabolism rate (burning fat) could increase during the workout if you ingest caffeine.


Several types of tea could boost our metabolism. For instance, oolong tea seems to boost energy expenditure. Black tea could prevent obesity by suppressing fat formation and accumulation. Finally, green tea could also aid in losing and maintaining your weight.

Legumes and pulses

Lentils, beans, peanuts, peas, and others also offer high protein amounts. They’re common recommendations for replacing red meat in diets. Therefore, their benefits are the same as protein: building muscle mass.

Certain spices

The article lists ginger, grains of paradise, and cayenne pepper as ingredients. Ginger is famous for weight loss, and it might be true. Grains of paradise extract seem to activate thermogenesis in rats. Additionally, cayenne pepper contains considerable amounts of capsaicin.

Cacao (or cocoa)

Cocoa polyphenols might not have ties to weight loss. Regardless, they’re beneficial on multiple fronts, including metabolic disorders. Its antioxidant properties are also crucial for general health.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar offers a fantastic dietary modification for body weight management. However, its metabolic-boosting benefits require more research.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil increases conjugated linoleic acid levels in mice. We’ve already gone through how CLA could be effective for boosting our metabolism. Therefore, coconut oil is a great replacement for regular olive oil.


Water is already crucial for our bodies. Hydration is necessary for sustaining life and physical activity. However, water could also boost our metabolism. Our bodies heat water after consumption, creating water-induced thermogenesis.

How can you find metabolism boosters that work?

Now that you know what works, how does it translate into fitness-oriented decisions? You have the knowledge you need to pick the right supplements. Analyzing their formula for the mentioned ingredients will help you find winners.

Nevertheless, it’s a little more intricate. If you want to optimize your results, you must keep more variables in mind.

Don’t worry, all these tips come from what you already learned. Let’s see how you can find effective metabolic supplements.


Your first consideration is still the ingredients. You need to assess whether the supplement has components that work. The overview we provided should give you a robust foundation. However, make sure to further your research.

As science progresses, new solutions appear in the market. You ought to evaluate which innovations can yield results.

Understanding the ingredients in the formula takes us to the next step.


You also have to look at the formula’s composition. Essentially, product formulas take the ingredients in different volumes. Said volumes require attention, as they can dictate the product’s effectiveness.

Metabolic supplements add other components to their composition. Some include multiple ingredients. Others add agents that can make the supplement more tolerable or effective.

However, even the best ingredients fail if they make up a minority within the product. You need the right ingredients. Yet you also need the proper proportions for them to be effective.


Finally, the internet offers more information than scientific studies. Products often showcase testimonials to validate their promises. Nevertheless, you can find consumer opinions on dedicated websites and reviews.

Everyone’s different. What works for some might not work for others. That doesn’t mean testimonials are useless. You still want to know if the product has worked in some cases.

That said, be careful with the websites you choose. That’s more crucial when considering review sites. Some affiliates don’t research and merely recommend products. That’s why we prioritize proper research for every product we recommend.

The holistic takeaway

Optimizing your metabolism and losing weight is a complex process. It requires more than mere diet changes or exercise. You must learn what to look for and what you can add to your lifestyle.

If you’re unsure about how to begin, try changing your diet. You don’t have to overhaul your nutrition, though. Just caring a bit more for what you eat is a good start. As you get used to it, you can perform more changes.

Your goal has to be to take it slow and steady. Lives don’t change in one day. That means you have enough time, so use that. Set small but achievable short-term goals and don’t overcomplicate things.


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