Nutrition8th July 2016

Five tips for raising your metabolism

1. Don’t drink when you’re not thirsty

– we are often told to drink plenty of luid each day, but we don’t really know why. When we drink too much fluid that doesn’t contain solutes such as salt and sugar, we dilute our extracellular fluid (fluid outside the cells) resulting in frequent urination, loss of salt and a lower body temperature (metabolism). As a guideline, you should only drink more fluid if you’re thirsty (dry mouth), hot or about to do exercise – this is when you really need it.

2. Monitor your body temperature and urine

– body temperature is an accurate metabolic marker. Temperatures consistently below 98.6F are indicative of a slow metabolism; if this occurs, eat a salty carbohydrate-rich snack to boost your metabolism. In a similar vein, if your urine is pale or clear in colour, or you have the urge to urinate frequently, then you should drink less fluid and eat a salty snack.

3. Snack often

– the purpose of snacking is to combat a stress event. Signs to look out for include cold hands and feet, sudden urge to urinate, crash in energy levels or a sudden onset headache. Not much is needed, for example, a salty carbohydrate snack with a small cup of juice.

4. Eat enough carbohydrate

– low-carb diets can be metabolically suppressive regardless of salt and fluid intake. The glucose from carbohydrate is an important factor in salt uptake – which is why many sports drinks contain both carbohydrate and salt.

5. Eat enough salt

– salt is a powerful metabolic stimulator, and will super-charge your metabolism provided you don’t overdrink. Aim to make each meal pleasantly salty (don’t overdo it). In a short space of time, you will notice an increase in body temperature, greater focus and increased performance.