No matter what your fitness goals are one fairly common objective for many is the boosting of their metabolism. Simply put, your body’s metabolism is the way in which it utilizes energy to meet your physical needs and fuel your body both when it is working and at rest. There are a number of physical body factors that contribute to one’s metabolism, genetics and muscle mass are two examples of this, but the foods we eat contribute significantly as well. Physical exertion is only half the battle. You need to provide your body with proper fuel to facilitate that physical exertion and the maintenance and energy in your body when you’re not physically exerting yourself. What we put into our bodies really does matter and make all the difference in achieving our physical fitness and optimization goals. Sure, all food is used as fuel in the body but ingesting the RIGHT KINDS of food matters. If you were to put gasoline in a diesel fueled vehicle, or vice-versa, you’d run into a whole heap of problems and definitely not get the performance output that you would if you’d supplied your vehicle with the PROPER FUEL. Your body is no different. So what types of nutritional fuel help with speeding up and maintaining an active metabolism? Here’s 4 tips to help get you started:
IRON DEFICIENCYThat’s right folks. If you’re low on iron your metabolism can slow down significantly. You hear tell of being advised to eat lean meats as a part of your nutrition for protein, well you can do this as a source of iron in your diet as well. 3-4 servings per day should do it. If you aren’t a meat eater try lentils. Lentils are iron-rich and one cup can fulfill 35% of your daily iron intake requirement.
BRANCH CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins. There are 20 amino acids in existence and 8 of those 20 are not producible by our own bodies. These 8 are considered essential amino acids because they can only be provided via diet and supplementation. 3 of those 8 are considered branched chain amino acids, or BCAA, and contribute to you maintaining an active metabolism. These three are known as Valine, Leucine, and Iso-Leucine. Cc6 Dietary sources of BCAA include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, lima beans, chickpeas, baked beans, lentils, brown rice, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds.
HYDRATIONMaking sure you are drinking enough water is important for a variety of reasons. Even slight dehydration is enough to slow down your metabolism. Most healthy people should be drinking about 2 liters of water per day. Drinking your water cold will force your body to warm the water which will burn more calories and also help rev your metabolism.
SPICE IT UP!
There’s an alkaloid compound called capsaicin that is an effective metabolism booster. Capsaicin is what gives spicy peppers their KICK! Generally, the hotter the pepper the higher the capsaicin content. If you can stand the heat try adding some spicy peppers to your food/meals. However, make sure to do this carefully and safely, especially if you aren’t typically a spicy food eater but still want to try this out.
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