Metabolism. By definition, a noun meaning “the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life”. For athletes, metabolism is the current state of the body that determines whether you are burning body fat and building lean muscle or working your butt off and not seeing the results you once did. “Metabolism” gets the blame for a lot of things and while some of it might be warranted, less activity including not adapting your workouts to burn more energy and a poor diet including not adjusting for slower digestion rates and the right macro mix, are going to be more of a major contributor to a slowdown in your metabolic rate than aging.
Here are 7 things you can do to keep your body’s metabolism stoked up.
TURN IT UP
The next time you run, swim, bike, climb or walk, ramp up the intensity. Try going all out for 30-seconds and going normal for 90 seconds, repeat this for 15-20 minutes. Using different strategies such as this will help you consume more oxygen and make your cell powerhouses, the mitochondria, work harder to burn energy.
GET YOUR OMEGA’S
Why does eating lots of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, herring, and tuna) help amp up metabolism? Omega-3s balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, helping to regulate metabolism. They may also reduce resistance to the hormone leptin, which researchers have linked to how fast fat is burned.
Green tea has long been heralded for its antioxidant polyphenols. But new evidence shows the active ingredient, catechin, may crank up metabolism. Researchers conducted a series of studies in dieters and found that those who went green lost more weight than those who didn’t, suggesting that catechins may improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis, your body’s production of energy, or heat, from digestion.
Your body digests protein more slowly than fat or carbs, so you feel full longer plus, it may also give your metabolism a bump. In the thermogenic process, your body uses about 10% of its calorie intake for digestion. So, because it takes longer to burn protein than carbs or fat, your body expends more energy absorbing the nutrients in a high-protein diet. We offer a protein blend in three flavors designed to fuel muscle cells for up to 3.5 hours, Clinical Protein.
Your body constantly burns calories, even when you’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. That small difference can add up over time.
Your body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water before every meal and snack. Also, snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain water.
COFFEE, BLACK PLEASE
If you’re a coffee drinker, you probably enjoy the energy and concentration benefits. Taken in moderation, one of coffee’s benefits may be a short-term rise in your metabolic rate. Caffeine, as most of us know, can help you feel less tired and even increase your endurance while you exercise.
This is a short list of things that may help get you on the right track. There are others including eating every 3-4 hours, using hot spices and of course, getting enough sleep. The list is endless. By incorporating the seven that we listed, you should see a change in your body composition.
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