When it comes to weight-loss supplements, there’s a lot of hype and junk out there. Heck, you’ve probably wasted more money on supplements that don’t work than you care to admit. Maybe you’ve tried weight-loss supplements that left you feeling jittery and anxious yet no lighter on the scale. Maybe the only thing that’s gotten lighter in the past is your pocketbook. The truth is you’re not alone, and that’s why we want to share 5 of our top metabolism boosters that work.
Tipping the Scales
When it comes to battling the bulge, we can think of weight management like a kitchen sink.
- The amount of water that’s in the basin is like your weight. More water = more weight; less water, on the other hand = less weight.
- The drain is like your metabolism. The faster the drain empties, the faster your metabolism. The slower the drain, the slower your metabolism. When weight loss is the priority, we want a drain that’s open (i.e., fast metabolism).
- The faucet is like your food/caloric intake. The greater the flow from the faucet, the more food/energy that’s pouring into the basin. The slower the flow from the faucet, the more controlled the food/energy pours into the basin.
In this article, we’re going to focus on supplements that can help drain the sink faster, but before getting into some of the best metabolism boosters, I think it’s important to make it clear that we still haven’t found the “magic pill.” Well, we found something that was pretty close, and it was called ephedra, which is now illegal thanks to evidence of serious adverse effects (likely due to inappropriate/irresponsible use, adulterated/unstandardized forms, and/or unsafe combinations with other ingredients).
Be that as it may, the point is that even the most well-researched metabolism booster is not a replacement for healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, and an overall healthy lifestyle. In other words, a metabolism booster is meant to be used as part of a well-rounded health and fitness routine to help you stick with your plan and get you to your goal faster. Basically, we’re just looking for a little metabolic advantage when it comes to weight management, and with that in mind, here are several metabolism boosters I have used myself and recommend to coaching clients.
5 Metabolism Boosters That Work
The common thread among many weight-loss supplements is caffeine, which acts as both an energy and metabolism booster. On one hand, caffeine enhances energy levels by “blocking” sleep. It literally blocks the receptor where the sleep pressure molecule adenosine binds, leading to the arousal, vigilance, and attention benefits.1 Of course, when you have more energy (or, perceive having more energy), then you’re more likely to burn more calories throughout the day (via exercise and spontaneous activity).
On the other hand, research shows that caffeine acts as a metabolism booster in a dose-dependent manner, increasing metabolic rate by about 5 – 6% over the course of 24 hours, which equates to about 100 – 150 calories or so, on average.2,3 Having said that, caffeine is a stimulant, and along those lines, it may have unintended consequences when used irresponsibly. What’s more, when it comes to this metabolism booster (and many others as well), we now know individual differences apply, and those folks who are “slow” caffeine metabolizers may be particularly sensitive to the negative side effects (e.g., feeling jittery, anxious, irritable; increased blood pressure, etc.).
Coach Tim Suggests: Drink Coffee or Green Tea. These are natural, low-carb sources of caffeine.
2. Green Tea
Thanks to its polyphenols—most notably the catechins EGCG as well as EGC, ECG, and EG—green tea is a well-known metabolism booster, increasing 24-hour energy expenditure in the neighborhood of 4%. Even more, research shows that green tea extracts also increase fat burning, making it a nice choice for folks who are looking to drop body fat.
What’s particularly interesting is that the metabolism-boosting benefits of green tea extract seem to be independent of caffeine. When it comes to green tea, studies have shown that habitual caffeine intake and ethnicity may influence how effective it is as a metabolism booster and weight-management aid. For example, some research shows that folks who regularly consume moderate-to-high amounts of caffeine may not see the same benefits as folks with low intakes.
And speaking of nutritional genomics, variations of the ADORA2A and COMT genes may also influence the results that one experiences with green tea. You don’t necessarily need to remember the alphabet soup. The take-home point is that individual differences apply.4,5
3. Plant Polyphenols
Green tea isn’t the only source of metabolism-boosting polyphenols, which are phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that have powerful antioxidant properties, give plants their vibrant colors, and contribute to plants’ unique taste and smell.
Resveratrol is one such well-known polyphenol, and animal studies have shown that it may be a unique metabolism booster via activation of brown adipose tissue.6 As exciting as that sounds, human studies haven’t been quite as promising.
On the other hand, a recent pilot study showed that one hour after folks supplemented with the super greens formula SPECTRA™ (a scientifically-validated polyphenol-rich blend of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices), they experienced a near 3-fold increase in metabolic rate and cellular energy production.7 As an added bonus, the researchers found it delivered measurable antioxidant action, which is mission critical to supporting the health of mitochondria, the “power plants” for producing energy and contributing to a healthy metabolism.
Coach Tim Suggests: MetaboGreens. With its energizing blend of 45 polyphenol-rich super greens, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices, MetaboGreens is the perfect plant polyphenol supplement to help support a healthy metabolism and boost energy levels.
4. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Speaking of mitochondria, CLA has been shown to enhance mitochondrial biogenesis, which is science speak for increasing the size and number of mitochondria.8,9 These are the energy factories responsible for burning fat and supporting a healthy metabolism. So, it’s no wonder that CLA is one of the most well-studied weight-management supplements of all time, and its safety and effectiveness have been demonstrated in over a dozen randomized controlled trials.
In fact, four separate systematic reviews with meta-analysis (which many would argue represent the gold standard for scrutinizing and summarizing scientific research on a given topic) have verified that supplementation with CLA helps reduce body fat and increase lean muscle.10–13 It is important to reiterate that a loss in body fat is often accompanied by an increase in muscle. There’s no question that’s a good thing. After all, muscle is metabolically active and burns calories. However, because of the “trade off” in weight, if you’re only looking at the number on the scale, you may be missing out on the progress you’re making.
Coach Tim Suggests: BellyTrim XP. BellyTrim XP features conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is found naturally in very small amounts in beef and dairy products. But this isn’t your run-of-the mill CLA supplement. BellyTrim XP also features punicic acid, a unique fatty acid that comes from pomegranate seed oil. Punicic acid has even been dubbed “Super CLA” by some researchers.* BellyTrim XP also includes the patented black pepper extract BioPerine®, which helps support enhanced absorption of fat-soluble nutrients.
You may be surprised to see protein on this list, but the fact is that protein works as a dual-threat metabolism booster. For starters, all foods we eat require calories to be burned to digest, absorb, and assimilate their nutrients. This is called the thermic effect of feeding (TEF), and protein has the highest TEF of all nutrients, boosting metabolism 3 – 6 TIMES more than carbs or fats. This means you burn more calories each day with a higher-protein diet. Also, protein is essential for building and maintaining calorie-burning lean muscle, which acts as a 24/7 metabolism booster.
For instance, muscle burns 3 times more calories than fat, and lean muscle accounts for about 50% of the total calories burned each day. As an added bonus, higher-protein diets help improve appetite management and increase satiety. In other words, protein helps on both sides of the energy balance equation.
Practically speaking, most people should consume about 0.6 – 1.0 grams of protein per pound per day. Because this can be tricky for the majority of folks, a protein supplement is foundational for virtually everyone interested in improving the way they look, feel, and perform.
Coach Tim Suggests: Platinum1 Premium Grass-Fed Whey Protein. When it comes to protein quality and reaping the benefits of protein, whey protein isolate is king. And here are just some of the reasons we truly believe Platinum 1 sets the bar as the best whey protein isolate:
- Platinum 1 is the FIRST grass-fed whey protein isolate that’s hydrolyzed, which means it’s enzymatically broken down into smaller components.
- It is premium grass-fed whey protein isolate that comes from happy, healthy, pasture-raised cows treated compassionately, ethically, and cruelty free.
- Platinum 1 has ZERO added junk: no soy, GMOs, artificial growth hormones, gluten or added sugars
Perhaps best of all, Platinum 1 premium grass-fed whey protein isolate tastes phenomenal, and we’re sure you’ll fall in love with the dessert-like flavors with your first taste.
The Top 5 Metabolism Boosters: A Recap
Of course, this list is just a magnification of the stable of metabolism boosters on the market; heck, there are probably more options available than words on this page. Along those lines, there’s no shortage of purported metabolism-boosting supplements that are more hype than hope, including these four popular weight-loss ingredients. But that’s not to dismiss other potentially effective metabolism boosters like capsaicinoids and capsinoids, which have been shown to increase calorie burn.14,15
Finally, it’s key to reiterate that even the most effective metabolism booster is meant to be used as part of an overall healthy lifestyle—not as a replacement. In the absence of a well-rounded health and fitness program, it’s unlikely that even the most highly touted metabolism booster will have a noticeable effect. At the end of the day, there is no replacement for consistency, dedication, and smart work.