We all know that a healthy metabolism is good for us. However, knowing how to maintain a healthy metabolism is another story, especially when most of us don't even have time for say, maintaining our closets. It's why knowing simple ways to boost your metabolism before bed is so insanely helpful — because it helps keep us healthy without taking a ton of time out of our day.
But before you try to boost your metabolism, it's important to know exactly why a healthy metabolism is important in the first place (and it's probably not for the reasons you think). As personal trainer Jeremy Duvall wrote on DailyBurn.com, a healthy metabolism means your body's systems are functioning and processing energy the way they should be.
"Catabolism, or the breaking down of chemical bonds to release energy, is the most well known part of the process [your metabolism] as it releases energy in the form of calories. However, what’s just as essential is anabolism, the storage of energy in the form of chemical bonds for later use, including carbohydrates and fats. A properly functioning metabolism is a delicate balance of both functions," Duvall said.
Basically, what all of that means is that a metabolism doesn't have as much to do with your body size (a common misconception, according to Duvall) as it does with how your body is actually breaking down and using the food you eat. This most notably affects your daily energy levels.
Personally, when it comes to taking some time to feel my best, before bed is usually my most "me-centered" time, not only because it helps me unwind from the day, but because it's the time when I actually can carve out space to focus on myself. Metabolism-boosting activities don't have to be any exception.
You can definitely incorporate a few simple metabolism-friendly activities into your pre-bed routine without feeling like you're turning your entire life upside down to reap some very big long-term benefits. And what's even better, some of these pre-bed metabolism boosters are super relaxing, meaning they'll serve double-duty and also help you get to sleep.
If you're looking for some simple ways to enhance your metabolism, here are nine evening metabolism boosters that will definitely help.
1. Do A Five-Minute Workout
In a piece for Shape, Mike Espinosa, a trainer at Barry's Bootcamp in New York, said sleep is when "our bodies undergo repair and detoxification," and so a quick muscle-booster before bed is actually a great time to do some quick toning exercises. And if you're worried exercising will wake you up, he also then recommended following it up with a five minute yoga relaxation video.
2. Actually Sleep
According to personal trainer Jeremy DuVall in a piece for DailyBurn.com, simply getting enough sleep each night will do wonders for your metabolism. He noted that sleep deprived individuals also have more trouble managing their blood sugar, and are often hungrier throughout the day. So do yourself a favor and get the sleep your body needs.
3. Drink Rooibus Tea
Yogi Organic Herbal Tea Caffeine Free Chai Rooibos, $3.39, Vitacost.com
According to a piece for MotherNatureNetwork.com, studies have shown that rooibus has been found to have positive effects on mice with metabolic problems, like high cholesterol and excess fat cells in the blood. Consider drinking a cup before bed each night. And bonus, there are some super tasty varieties out there!
4. Build Muscle
According to health writer Selene Yeager in a piece for Prevention, strength training is one of the absolute best things you can do to keep your metabolism strong 24 hours a day — even as you sleep. In the same piece, Gary R. Hunter, PhD, even noted that your metabolism can stay elevated for up to 48 hours after a lifting session since the more muscle you have, the more energy your body must expend to fuel them.
5. Get Your Bedroom Temperature Just Right
According to a study featured in The Huffington Post, sleeping in a cool room may actually boost our metabolisms as we sleep. According to the study, participants who slept in cooler rooms at night "gained metabolic advantages," likely because their bodies had to work to stay warm even as they slept.
6. Have A Pre-Bed Grapefruit
A study out of NIH found that participants who had daily doses of grapefruit or grapefruit extract exhibited healthier insulin responses (which is strongly tied to metabolic function) compared to participants who merely took placebos. So if you like a pre-bed snack, try eating grapefruit for a refreshing and metabolism-boosting treat.
7. Make Sure You've Eaten Enough
In a piece for Health, Gary Hunter, PhD, a professor of human studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, stressed the importance of not going to bed hungry when it comes to maintaining a healthy metabolism. She said to always make sure you're at least consuming enough calories to match your resting metabolic rate (i.e. the amount of calories you'd burn if you lay in bed all day).
8. Take Some Omega-3 Supplements Before Bed
Nature Made Omega-3 100% Vegetarian, $20.69, Vitacost.com
And in that same Health.com piece, Mark Hyman, MD, an integrative and functional medicine specialist noted the importance of taking Omega-3 supplements. I find that it's best to take them before bed because it means you don't have to deal with the fishy after-taste throughout the day.
9. Have Realistic Expectations
This final note is just a reminder to have realistic expectations about what little tricks and tips can do for boosting your metabolism. According to studies featured on The Daily Beast, the best thing you can do to keep your metabolism healthy is to eat a balanced diet. It doesn't sound super exciting, but it's the most important part of the process.
Boosting your metabolism doesn't have to be a whole to-do. It can be as simple as incorporating a few super simply and relaxing hacks into your pre-bed routine and seeing some pretty significant results.