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Winter Drinks That Boost Your Metabolism

6 min read

By Katherine George

Medically Reviewed by Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE
  • Our metabolism is responsible for converting the food we consume into energy and fuel for the body.
  • While there’s no magic food that can shed weight, there are some that can help boost your metabolism, even if it’s just for a period of time.
  • Some popular winter drinks that may do this are ginger, black, or green tea, as well as juices like pomegranate and carrot.

When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than a warm drink. That first sip goes down and immediately starts to heat things up. Just like any season, there are drinks we prefer during the long cold months. They are usually warm and spicy to heat us up, along with a hint of sweetness.

People tend to be less active during the winter making it harder to lose weight. To help combat this, it’s important to make smart and healthy choices with diet, such as drinking any of these 11 winter drinks that might boost the metabolism

What is Your Metabolism?

If people have trouble losing weight, they might blame it on their “slow metabolism.” While our metabolism is linked to weight, a slow metabolism doesn’t necessarily cause weight gain, says the Mayo Clinic. It has more to do with how much a person is consuming along with their physical activity.

According to the Mayo Clinic, metabolism is how our body converts the things we consume (food and drink) into energy. “During this complex process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.” Essentially it’s responsible for converting nutrients from the foods we eat into fuel.

Many factors impact a person’s metabolism, including their age, gender, body size, health status, and diet.

Spicy Coconut and Almond Milk Tea

As long as they are consumed in moderation, nuts are a healthy winter food. For this drink we choose almonds because they contain healthy fats and fiber, notes They are also low in calories. “Combined with spices, almonds help warm up the body and increase immunity levels as well,” adds the source.

The coconut milk boosts the benefits of this drink by offering anti-inflammatory and healing properties, both of which are important during the winter. The recipe can be found on their website, and contains a mixture of spices, along with almond and coconut milk, vanilla extract, honey, and a tablespoon of chia seeds.

Hot Spiced Cider Tea

While it’s most commonly enjoyed in the fall, a lot of people still drink it in the winter months. But let’s face it, apple cider is essentially juice. A healthier option is this hot spiced cider tea.

Unlike apple cider, the base is black tea that is sweetened with spice, making it a deliciously warm winter drink. To make this drink, try this recipe from the Food Network. You’ll need cinnamon sticks, cloves, whole black peppercorns, an orange and lemon peel, cardamom pods, fresh ginger, orange-pekoe tea, apple cider, and some orange juice and water.

Apple Cider Vinegar or Apple Cider Smoothie

Apple cider vinegar can be useful in weight loss thanks to its acetic acid. “One teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per day has been shown to improve blood glucose levels after meals and may help to increase the feeling of satiety, which can lead to fewer calories consumed and potential weight loss,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES when talking to Prevention.

To consume apple cider vinegar, try making a hot apple cider smoothie with the juice of half a lemon, 2-cups of water, 3 green apples diced, 2 handfuls of spinach, 1-inch ginger peeled, and 1-tablespoon of cinnamon. Combine all the ingredients in a high-powered blender or processor until smooth. Then heat it up on the stove and enjoy.

Hot Ginger Tea

The role ginger plays in weight loss is more about reversing the symptoms causing the weight gain than being directly associated with weight loss. For example, it can help alleviate bodily stressors that may inhibit a person’s weight loss journey, explains Prevention.

It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that work to prevent cardiovascular damage and other stressors. “Thanks to a compound called gingerol, ginger has the potential to improve blood sugar levels and reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol,” writes the source.

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice has long been touted for its amazing health benefits. Often consumed in the winter when this unique fruit is in season, it provides so many great benefits. WebMD lists it as a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.

Another potential benefit is that it may aid in weight loss. references Delhi-based Weight Management Expert, Dr. Gargi Sharma who points to its antioxidants, polyphenols and conjugated linolenic acid as key components in helping burn fat and boost the metabolism. It also serves as a healthier alternative to more sugary beverages because it’s naturally sweet and low in calories.

Green Tea

Green tea contains powerful antioxidants like catechins which may be effective in boosting metabolism and burning fat. “The most notable of those catechins is epigallocatchin gallate (EGCG), which has been researched as a particularly effective metabolic booster especially when combined with caffeine, a stimulant that may increase calorie expenditure,” writes Prevention.

However, it’s important to note that the source also talked to James Collier, R.Nutri who warns that while catechins work, “the amount you’d have to consume for even a tiny effect would be considerable and for a sustained period.” With that being said, hot beverages in general tend to fill people up and can help with weight management.

Hot Turmeric Milk

Turmeric milk (haldi doodh) originates from Ayurvedic practices and is most prevalent in Indian cultures and cuisines, says Nutrition Stripped. It’s essentially a combination of warm milk and turmeric. Most traditional recipes will combine the turmeric with cow’s milk, but it can be enjoyed with any type of milk (almond, cashew, oat, etc).

Nutrition Stripped has a step by step process on how to make turmeric milk on her website. There’s also one here on Guide to Better Living. Feel free to add additional spices to sweetener or enhance the taste and increase its nutritional density.

This brightly colored spice provides many health benefits, most of which come from curcumin, a compound that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. But Healthline notes there has also been some promising research into whether or not it can be used for weight loss. However, more studies are needed.

Black Tea

Sipping a hot tea is a surefire way to warm up after spending some time outside in the winter which is why so many people gravitate towards teas like green and black tea. Both are great options because they contain caffeine (about 47-mg), notes Prevention. Caffeine is a stimulant that may increase calorie expenditure.

The difference is that black tea contains an abundance of polyphenols. “These compounds have the capacity to reduce calorie intake, increase healthy bacteria in the gut, and promote fat breakdown,” adds the source.

Hot Chocolate and Oats Smoothie

What makes this drink beneficial for weight loss is that it contains oats. These are rich in fiber and have fat-burning properties, says Pair this with dark chocolate that reduces bad cholesterol, is heart-friendly, and voila! You’ve now got two ingredients that boost metabolism, keep body temperature high, and leave a person feeling full and satisfied.

All that is needed for this recipe is some dark chocolate, almond milk, rolled oats, a banana, some almonds, chia seeds, and water. Warm the almond milk with the dark chocolate first, then add the remainder of the ingredients (only a fifth of the almond milk). Blend it together. Heat the rest of the milk until it’s hot. Pour it into a cup and stir in the almond mixture.

Other Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Healthline states that eating food, specifically food that is high in protein, can increase a person’s metabolism for a couple hours, known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). Protein will provide the largest rise in TEF and gives a greater sense of fullness which prevents overeating.

You should also drink more water since it may temporarily speed up the metabolism. Eat spicy foods, particularly red peppers that contain capsaicin, a compound that can boost the metabolism. And be more active! Do less sitting and more lifting weights or high intensity workouts. All of these things can potentially boost the metabolism.

Get lots of sleep at the end of the day because it is a major increase risk factor for obesity, warns Healthline. This might be because sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on metabolism.


Julie Ching is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Los Angeles. She decided to become a Dietitian after traveling through Europe, South America, and Asia and discovered a passion for food. She now works with people of all ages and varying disease states to improve their health. She is passionate about teaching people about nutrition so they can live their best life while still considering their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

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