7 Natural Supplements That Boost Your Metabolism (+Are They Safe?)
The metabolism is an incredibly important series of chemical reactions in the body that help sustain life throughout the body. However, when the metabolism is not working properly, certain symptoms may present themselves. These include fatigue, sluggishness, slow heart rate, problems with digestion, weight gain, and difficulty losing weight.
With up to two-thirds of adults in the United States categorized as overweight or obese, boosting the metabolism naturally, as well as following a balanced diet and exercise, may be the key to your unexplained weight gain.
This article will cover a number of natural supplements you can use to boost your metabolism naturally.
What Are Thermogenics and Stimulants?
A thermogenic supplement is one that increases the body’s temperature, therefore increasing the rate in which the metabolism burns fat. Thermogenics also increase heart rate, blood flow, and boost energy levels. There are many natural thermogenics that can be utilized for metabolism boosting benefits.
Many weight loss supplements also contain stimulants, which are chemicals, both synthetic and natural, that help to increase energy levels to help increase physical activity. (1)
7 Natural Supplements That Boost Your Metabolism
Selenium is important for thyroid and metabolic health. Studies show that inadequate supply of this element may lead to complex rearrangements of thyroid hormone metabolism enabling adaptation to unfavorable conditions. Most people are actually able to get enough selenium through their diet, but if your diet is lacking in whole grains, fish, poultry, or brazil nuts, a supplement might be helpful in boosting your metabolism as well as preventing body fat storage in the midsection. (2)
Zinc is an important nutrient to supplement with in a quest for a faster and healthier metabolism. Zinc works directly to reduce hunger and overeating by raising the amount of leptin in your body. Leptin is a key hormone in both fat gain and loss because it is responsible for regulating appetite.
Studies show that people who struggle with obesity and have difficulty losing weight may have problems eating a balanced and nutrient-dense diet. Supplementing with the right nutrients, particularly zinc to help with leptin regulation, is beneficial in boosting the metabolism and decreasing appetite. (3)
The consumption of spicy foods has been directly correlated with lower mortality rates. In one study, results showed that the habitual consumption of spicy foods was inversely related to total mortality. (4)
This is due to the high levels of capsaicin in peppers. Capsaicin is the active compound found in peppers that produces a burning sensation when it comes into contact with tissue. Eating a meal full of spicy peppers such as habaneros, jalapenos, or many different types of chili peppers have shown favorable effects on obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, metabolic syndrome, and non-alcoholic fatty liver. (5)
Additionally, capsaicin is excellent to supplement with during a caloric deficit, as it supports negative energy balance by counteracting adaptations that decrease energy expenditure with just 2.56mg of capsaicin per meal. This amount of capsaicin meal has also been shown to promote fat oxidation without increasing blood pressure. (6)
Calorie restriction is one of the only non-pharmacological methods to alleviate conditions such as diabetes and cancer, both of which are common in western society. Reducing calorie intake by 30-50% percent below maintenance levels can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce cardiovascular risk factors. However, calorie restriction has also been shown to lower metabolic rate. Furthermore, resveratrol decreased inflammation markers, triglycerides, and blood glucose levels after 30 days of supplementing with resveratrol. (7)
Guarana has become a popular addition to energy drinks in recent years due to its potent stimulant effects. It is said to contain 4 times as much caffeine as coffee beans and contains other natural chemicals that heighten the stimulant effects of guarana. (8) Recent studies of those who are suffering from metabolic disorders suggest that supplementing with guarana can actually help to cure these disorders. (9)
Caffeine can help you boost your metabolism and lose weight for a couple of different reasons. Caffeine increases the amount of epinephrine in your system, which tells the body to break down fat cells. Caffeine also increases your resting metabolic rate, which is how quickly your body burns energy when you’re not exercising. (10)
Caffeine is a stimulant that influences the central nervous system. It is a popular ingredient in energy drinks, coffee, soda, tea and more, and is the most widely used drug in the world. It is, however, an ergogenic compound, which raises blood pressure and heart rate. At high doses, negative side effects such as nausea, arrhythmia, tachycardia, headache, nervousness, and nausea have been observed, alongside positive effects on athletic performance. Its effects on hormones, metabolism, and physiology manifest themselves through an increase in fat mobilization. (11)
7. Green Tea Extract
The consumption of green tea has been shown to benefit a variety of ailments such as liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. These benefits stem from the catechins found in green tea, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate. There have also been plenty of human studies on the effects of catechins on cardiovascular risk factors, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Long-term consumption of green tea has been shown to have a preventive effect against obesity caused by a high-fat diet. Green tea has also been shown to have positive effects on glucose metabolism. (12)
Are They Safe?
Generally, when people hear the word natural, people assume that natural metabolism boosters are safe for consumption. However, this is not necessarily the case. All of these supplements should be taken in moderation and under the supervision of your healthcare provider. All have the potential to cause negative side effects when consumed in excess.
There are a couple of different side effects that you might experience from metabolism boosting supplements. Addiction, particularly with stimulants, is common, which in turn can cause irritability, dizziness, and headaches. These supplements can also cause nausea and diarrhea, as well as anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue.
Stimulants and thermogenics can also cause increased heart rate and blood pressure. In rare and severe cases, use of metabolism boosting supplements such as stimulants and thermogenics can cause seizures, coma, and in extreme cases, death. However, these cases tend to be exacerbated by an underlying health concern or extreme abuse of these supplements. If you experience minor side effects with one type of metabolism booster, change to a different active ingredient to see if this helps to alleviate some of your symptoms.
If you are looking to lose weight and boost your metabolism, there are a variety of different natural supplements that you can take to help jumpstart your efforts.
Of course, it is important to discuss with your doctor whether or not you are healthy enough for an exercise regimen and metabolism boosting supplements. With any luck, you will find a metabolism boosting supplement that helps you lose weight, energize your workout, and improve your overall health.