T Nation

Spicy Foods and Metabolism


Some interesting stuff: Metabolism Booster: Jalape?o, Haba?ero, and Cayenne Peppers
Secret Ingredient: Capsaicin ? the chemical in peppers that gives them their bite

How it works: By speeding up your heart rate. A study from the late '80s found that eating a single spicy meal can boost your metabolism by up to 25 percent, with the spike in calorie burning lasting for up to 3 hours after you finish eating.

More recently, a study from Laval University in Quebec found that men who consumed coffee plus red pepper-packed snacks and meals were able to burn nearly 1,000 more calories a day than a control group. Small snacks can also help keep your body from running out of fuel ? preventing those 3 p.m. office blahs.

"When you restrict the number of calories your body has for fuel, your metabolic rate can drop temporarily," says Susan Roberts, Ph.D., chief of the energy-metabolism laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. That makes it easier to pack on the pounds and harder to burn them off again.