This 1 Habit Is the Secret to a Faster Metabolism

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Who doesn’t want a faster metabolism? From the foods we eat to the types of exercise we choose to do, many of our daily habits have an effect on the body’s ability to torch calories.

 When your metabolism is functioning at its best, it’s much easier for you to maintain your weight (or lose it, if that’s what you’re going for). And you might be surprised by the things that affect it.

But first, what we know about metabolism and genetics

Family Eating Meal At Outdoor Restaurant Together, Smiling

You can thank your parents for your fast or slow metabolism. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Just like you can thank your parents for your brown eyes and curly hair, your metabolism is largely determined by your genetic makeup. At least 60% of the daily calories you burn are from basic functions like breathing, digestion, and circulation. The rest of your calorie burn is split between everyday activities and exercising.

 Surprising metabolism sabotages

Anti-stress balls in hand, according to the window with bright sunlight

Stress can sabotage your metabolism. |

Despite the fact that your genes play such a big role in your metabolic rate, it’s surprisingly easy to boost your metabolism — but it’s also easy to sabotage it. You probably know that poor eating habits are detrimental to your metabolism, but stress, lack of sleep, and skipping meals can also wreck it.

Hydration and metabolism

unopened bottle of water on a tray table in airplane

Drink some water! | tzam/iStock/Getty Images

Think about it: Water is involved with nearly every biological function in the body. So when you’re in a dehydrated state, your body’s metabolism will naturally slow down. Also, when your body doesn’t have enough water, your muscles, which are calorie-burning machines, slow down dramatically. Muscles are 70% water, so they need to be hydrated to work.

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Drink your water

Girl drinking water bottle

Water gives your metabolism a serious boost. |

Needless to say, the best thing you can possibly do to speed up your metabolism is drink more water. There have been many studies that back this up, including a flagship study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism that showed that metabolic rates jumped by 30% within 10 minutes of drinking water.

Does your drink water’s temperature matter?

Woman's Hand Pouring Fresh Pure Water From Pitcher

Room temperature water is just as good as ice cold. | puhhha/iStock/Getty Images

You may have heard that if you’re drinking water as a metabolism booster, it’s best to keep it cold. It turns out that there’s some truth to that — drinking ice-cold water does burn about eight more calories than if it were room temp because your body is exerting extra energy to keep it’s temperature at 98.6 degrees. But don’t worry if you prefer your water a little warmer — those eight calories aren’t enough to make a significant difference.

To lemon or not to lemon

cucumber and lemon beverage

Add a little flavor to your water. |

Celebs and popular diet gurus have often praised the benefits of lemon water, especially drinking it hot first thing in the morning. But does adding lemon to your water actually speed up your metabolism?

While the short answer is no, adding lemon to your water definitely doesn’t hurt. Lemons contain high levels of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and boost your immunity. So even though it won’t speed up your metabolism, it’s still a healthy option.

Have fun staying hydrated

Sparking water with lemon

Drinking water is not a chore! |

As long as you’re making sure to stay hydrated, you’ll reap all the many health benefits of water. So feel free to infuse your water with fruits and veggies or even eat hydrating foods. Drinking water should never feel like a chore.

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