The metabolism has a very important function within the body. Essentially, it involves all the chemical reactions that happen to maintain the organism and cells. The first function is called catabolism, which is the process of breaking down molecules to turn into energy and anabolism, the process of synthesizing compounds needed by cells.
Good nutrition and exercise is vital for optimal performance of the metabolism. Nutrition ensures all cells have exactly what they need to produce energy. Exercise stimulates the metabolism to perform functions and effectively results in weight loss and increased energy. So what foods and exercises are best for improving how effectively the metabolism performs ? Let’s look at exercise first.
All exercise boosts the metabolism in some way, but studies on specific exercises have proved that it does matter what exercise you do. In one study mice were put on a treadmill once a day for 60 minutes over an 8-week period. The slope was gradually increased and at the end of the experiment it was found that the mice had an increased protein called DICER which was due to a reduction in weight and fat. This enzyme is responsible for ensuring more energy can be directed to the muscles. So regularly losing a treadmill (or outside running) will have beneficial effects and well worth doing.
HITT (high intensity workouts) have become popular in recent years, and understandably so. HITT exercises are great if you have limited time and don’t mind short, intense workouts. The intensity of HITT exercise means the metabolic rate stays high for hours after the workout finishes. This is great news for people wanting to lose weight. It means that if you eat after exercising all the fat burning processes of the body will be working effectively.
Incorporating metabolic renewal exercises into your life isn’t just about moving more, but also involves learning about your body as a whole. Hormones have a massive effect on the body, especially in women, and learning your hormone type is useful for informing your choice of exercise routine. You could do some research to discover how hormones are affecting your current functioning.
Muscles are able to burn off more calories than fat, so exercises that engage specific muscles are also fantastic for increasing metabolic speed. For example, mountain climbers engage every muscle group and strengthen the core, a good tool for losing weight and gaining overall strength.
Food and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to increasing metabolic rate. Food rich in protein requires extra energy to digest. Protein rich food increases metabolic rate by 20-30% compared to 10% when consuming carbs and fats. Protein helps the body keep hold of muscle mass. Foods that are important to eat regauly are:
Minerals are an equally important part of the diet. Selenium and iron are needed to keep the thyroid functioning properly. The thyroid is important as it controls the metabolism functioning at optimum levels through the thyroid hormone T4 and T3. These hormones work by triggering the cells and sending information about how much energy to use. If iron is low, the metabolism slows, making it difficult to lose weight.
If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll know that coffee has a positive effect on metabolism. Many exercise lovers add coffee to their daily routine, as the caffeine increases performance and alertness, making you work harder. It is also thought that the coffee itself helps muscles burn more fat by utilizing preserved glycogen stores.
If you enjoy a bit of heat in your food, then why not add chili peppers to your daily meals. Chili peppers have long been used to add spice and flavor to all manner of culinary delights, but the humble chili also has useful health benefits. The chemical Capsaicin found in chilis boosts how fast your body burns calories. If you don’t enjoy chilies, you can buy them in tablet form and take them as a supplement. It is also thought that capsaicin reduces appetite, which helps with metabolism and weight loss.
If you’re more of a cup of tea kind of person then do not fear tea contains catechins that complement caffeine to boost metabolism and green tea is even better. Matcha tea increases fat oxidation, which assists in burning more calories when exercising.
Spices such as ginger are a fantastic addition to the diet and have a wealth of health benefits. Dissolving ginger powder in water or steeping fresh ginger and drinking with a meal is thought to increase how many calories are burnt through digestion. Ginger also helps you feel fuller for longer, taking away the need to consume more food.
A well functioning metabolism is an important part of good health, and a regular routine of exercise and consuming the right foods will ensure it works for you in maintaining good health.