5 foods/drinks to increase your metabolism

Posted by Dayne Hudson in Weight Loss

Estimated reading time: 6mins

5 foods/drinks to increase your metabolism | Bulk Nutrients blog

Do some foods and drinks really boost your metabolism?

They do, but not necessarily in a way that will give you a huge benefit. The general rule is that whole and minimally processed foods will have a greater effect on your metabolism. This is because of the fibre and other antioxidants that your body must break down after consumption, and the energy is costs to do so.

But having said that, heavily processed foods will still burn calories during the digestion process, but just not as much. 

A great example is a study that found a sandwich made from multi-grain bread and cheddar cheese increased subjects metabolism by 47% more than the other option of white bread and processed cheese. 

And this is likely due to the greater fibre and protein content in the multi-grain option.

Here's how the macronutrients you eat (protein, fat and carbohydrates) affect your metabolism:

  • Protein: 30% of calories ingested will be lost during digestion (this is called thermogenesis). 
  • Fat: 2-3% of calories ingested will be lost during digestion
  • Carbohydrates: 6-8% of calories ingested will be lost during digestion

And such is why a high protein diet (and high protein foods) are recommended for fat loss (along with the fact it keeps you fuller than carbohydrates or fat, too).

So basically, everything you eat ensures an increase in your metabolism just to break it down. It is just some foods require more energy than others.

However, here are 5 foods and drinks that will boost your metabolism more than most:

1. Will chilli pepper increase my metabolism?

The answer is yes, with researchers declaring it "facilitates weight loss." Chilli and capsaicin were found to assist with fat metabolism, energy expenditure, and thermogenesis.

So, opting for capsaicin and chilli will help you burn more calories than you otherwise would. You might prefer to add chilli to your meals or consume more capsaicin -- the choice is yours!

2. Will caffeine increase my metabolism?

You bet! Keep your coffee black if you can, to ensure you're not negating its effects by having a whole heap of cream and milk. There's no point ordering the most outrageous milky and fluffy coffee, as the effect of caffeine will more or less be superfluous.

Coffee will give you more energy and can help you burn more fat.
Coffee will give you more energy and can help you burn more fat.

One study wanted to test how effective coffee was for weight loss on obese and normal-weight individuals. Here's a summary of what they found:

  • Metabolic rate increased significantly during the 3 hours following caffeine ingestion in normal-weight subjects
  • Metabolic rate increased significantly in the obese group, with significant increases in fat oxidation observed only in the normal weight subjects
  • After the subjects consumed a meal containing 736 calories, the thermic effect (calories burnt) of that meal was significantly greater after coffee, as opposed to the decaffeinated coffee. The fat burned was also significantly greater after coffee!

So, if you're looking to shed some kilos, a low-calorie coffee (black with a splash of milk) can only help. 

3. Can water help me burn more calorie and lose weight?

Yep! Research has found that having 0.5 litres of water bolsters resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour. Moreover, keeping the water cold might be better, too. Research is clear that given your body has to heat up cold water to bring it to body temperature, more calories are thus burnt! 

Not to mention that water plays an important role in satiety; consuming it 30 mins before eating helps subjects eat less.

Water can help you lose more weight.
Water can help you lose more weight.

4. Can green tea help with fat loss?

Here's another weight loss ally for you! Green tea has been found to help subjects burn fat at rest and during exercise, even though it's only been minor. 

However, the promising thing about green tea is that it can help create more brown fat. Brown fat ensures our bodies burn extra calories to stay warm; it's favourable to white fat and could help us burn excess kilos.

5. Will whey protein help me lose weight?

And last but not least is whey protein; which we mentioned earlier has a thermogenic effect of 30%. The body spends a lot of energy breaking it down, and given it has so few calories and keeps you full, it's a great option for weight loss.

And we've got you covered with our Whey Protein Isolate range, which comes in many flavours and boasts at least 25 grams per serve. 

Whey Protein Isolate: Whey protein is a critical fat loss ally.
Whey Protein Isolate: Whey protein is a critical fat loss ally.

So, there's 5 foods and drinks that will directly increase your metabolism. Although it will only be minor, the point is that these foods and drinks encourage a better diet in general. Someone who is overeating daily isn't likely to also be consuming lots of water, whey protein, green tea and caffeine, with added chilli on their meals. 

These foods and drinks simply might promote a better diet in general. It's critical to also point out that nothing matters if you're NOT eating in a calorie deficit for fat loss; no food is going to save you. But if you are sticking to a calorie deficit, you're only doing yourself a favour by consuming these foods and drinks during a diet.

The results might be modest, but when it comes to weight loss, every calorie counts! 


  1. Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jéquier E. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/33.5.989. PMID: 7369170. 
  2. Barr, S., & Wright, J. (2010). Postprandial energy expenditure in whole-food and processed-food meals: implications for daily energy expenditure. Food & nutrition research, 54(1), 5144. 
  3. Boschmann M, Steiniger J, Hille U, Tank J, Adams F, Sharma AM, Klaus S, Luft FC, Jordan J. Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Dec;88(12):6015-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2003-030780. PMID: 14671205. 
  4. Dubnov-Raz G, Constantini NW, Yariv H, Nice S, Shapira N. Influence of water drinking on resting energy expenditure in overweight children. Int J Obes (Lond). 2011 Oct;35(10):1295-300. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2011.130. Epub 2011 Jul 12. PMID: 21750519.  
  5. Jeukendrup AE, Randell R. Fat burners: nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism. Obes Rev. 2011 Oct;12(10):841-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00908.x. PMID: 21951331.  
  6. Nirengi, S., Amagasa, S., Homma, T. et al. Daily ingestion of catechin-rich beverage increases brown adipose tissue density and decreases extramyocellular lipids in healthy young women. SpringerPlus 5, 1363 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-3029-0 
  7. Varghese S, Kubatka P, Rodrigo L, Gazdikova K, Caprnda M, Fedotova J, Zulli A, Kruzliak P, Büsselberg D. Chili pepper as a body weight-loss food. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Jun;68(4):392-401. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1258044. Epub 2016 Nov 29. PMID: 27899046.  
  8. Westerterp KR. Diet induced thermogenesis. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004 Aug 18;1(1):5. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-1-5. PMID: 15507147; PMCID: PMC524030.

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