Aging is inevitable, and as you grow older, signs of aging show up in your body. This includes your metabolism, which may slow down. Just like everything else we do, we try to find ways to slow down the aging process, and the metabolism is no different. This can include exercise or changing what we eat and drink.
“Metabolism is a complex set of physiological processes that dictate things like body temperature, cell growth and repair, managing hormones, and food digestion,” explains Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD. “Often we are interested in manipulating metabolism related to the rate at which food is burned as it supports weight management efforts.”
She continues to say that, unfortunately, certain beverages don’t directly increase or decrease metabolism. Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, believes the same.
“No one anything (food or beverage) speeds up your metabolism, end of story,” says Goodson. “That is just not scientifically accurate. There are some things that can indirectly contribute to it, but not speed it up. It’s really more drinks that might help with weight loss than speed up your metabolism.”
With that being said, there are some drinking habits that might potentially help your metabolism and contribute to weight loss. For more on slowing down the aging process, check out 4 Eating Habits That Slow Down Your Metabolism After 50, Say Dietitians.
Hembree suggests drinking adequate water is a great way to help speed up metabolism after 50.
“11.5 cups a day for women and 15.5 cups a day for men are the total fluid recommendations. My advice is at least half of this as 100% water,” she says.
If you wanted to add extra flavor, try drinking lemon water. This may help improve digestion and promote fullness, leading to aiding in weight loss.
“Of all the macronutrients, protein takes the most energy to break down and digest,” says Goodson. “As dietitians, we often say, ‘protein helps get you full faster and keep you full longer,’ and that is due to the fact that it has a slower digestion rate than carbohydrates or fat.”
Therefore, Goodman recommends sipping on beverages with protein. Examples include those made with cow’s milk, Greek yogurt, or protein powder, which might help keep your metabolism in high gear as well as curb your appetite.
“Avoiding excess alcohol intake has been shown to support a healthy metabolism,” says Hembree.
According to Hembree, excess alcohol intake would be more than 2 drinks a day for men and more than 1 drink a day for women.
If consumed in moderation, drinking alcohol isn’t as bad as it seems. However, overconsuming the beverage could lead to not only weight gain from empty calories, but also come with other health issues like heart problems and hypertension.
“One of the most powerful drinks for weight loss is green tea,” says Goodson. “The catechins found in green tea are antioxidants that have been shown to potentially increase fat burning and elevate metabolism.”
Additionally, Goodson also says that the caffeine found in green tea may help improve exercise performance by providing a boost of energy.
For increased benefit, she suggests trying to consume matcha—a type of green tea that is highly concentrated with catechins.