Wouldn't it be nice if you could rev up your metabolism just by sipping a tasty beverage? Well, wish granted. Here are three simple and delightful drinks that'll do the trick. But, reality check: these are no replacement for eating wholesome, healthy food. They are, however, generally safe to drink regularly. Bottoms up!
As if you needed another reason to worship coffee, it's actually a proven weight-loss aid. Caffeine increases metabolism and improves fat-burning by 10 to 29 percent. Wanna supercharge your morning brew? Sprinkle in a teaspoon of cinnamon. The spice can slow digestion, helping to regulate blood sugar, keep you fuller, longer, and reduce cravings. Not to mention, it adds flavor and dimension to your average cup of coffee. Can't lose! Look for Ceylon cinnamon, which has a milder, sweeter flavor, as well as significantly less coumarin, a toxin that can be harmful to the liver, than regular Cassia cinnamon.
If you're not a coffee person, you can still get the metabolism-boosting benefits of caffeine from green tea. Some small studies have shown that antioxidants called catechins in the tea can increase metabolism and fat burning as well—but only slightly. Even if the effects aren't dramatic, green tea is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, so it's definitely an incredible beverage for overall wellness. Drink two to four cups a day to best harness its power.
Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic
Apple cider vinegar is a darling among health gurus. Its benefits may be more anecdotal than scientific, but some research has shown its potential to improve metabolism. One study found that ACV may increase insulin sensitivity in people who are insulin resistant, reducing the amount of insulin the body needs to produce in order to stabilize blood sugar. This makes it easier to convert carbs into energy rather than storing them as fat. Enzymes and fiber from raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar may also optimize digestion and help the body to naturally detox more effectively. Some proponents like to take a shot of ACV daily—but always with equal parts water to dilute it. Swigging it straight up can erode tooth enamel and irritate the esophageal wall. If you want to get a little more fancy, it's totally worth it to whip up this special sweet-tart tonic: Add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and the juice of ½ lemon to 2 cups water. If you're taking medication or have type II diabetes, consult with your physician before getting into an ACV regimen—overdoing it could lower potassium levels and even cause abnormally low blood sugar. Keep in mind that these drinks only have temporary effects—no miracle beverage will ever really permanently alter your metabolism. For that, there's nothing like good old-fashioned exercise (including cardio and strength training) and a healthy diet with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber-rich fruits and veggies.