One Tool To Boost Metabolism
CAN NUTRITION STOP AN AGING BODY'S SIGNS OF METABOLIC SLOWDOWN? LEARN WHY THE BLOAT, BRAIN FOG, AND FATIGUE MIGHT NOT BE INEVITABLE AFTER 40
It’s not like I needed a study to confirm that metabolism seems to come to a screeching halt after 40, resulting in weight gain and leading to higher rates of lifestyle disease. There’s a wealth of evidence to support that.
Even without the empirical proof, I saw the signs all over me. There was the extra girth that I carried around my middle despite a fairly healthy, plant-focused diet and daily movement. Whereas years before, a few gym sessions and not eating a second bowl of ice cream would be all that was needed to flatten my tummy, lately it feels impossible, despite my best efforts.
And it wasn’t just what I saw when I looked in the mirror. Brain fog—described as a feeling of disorientation coupled with a side of anxiety—started creeping in from time to time. I had always been an early riser and felt most focused early in the day. But I started fading quickly after lunch and found myself able to handle little more than organizing my inbox in the afternoon.
Then there was the fatigue, an entirely new experience for me. While I could burn the candle at both ends in decades past without missing a beat, now I was feeling maxed out and ready for a nap by midday. After some digging, I learned that the “fatigued 40s” are all too real. The causes can be as simple as the time of year (Chinese medicine believes that the change of seasons affects our sleep). Or, they can be hormonal; as a woman moves into pre-menopause and perimenopause, there are significant changes that can zap energy levels.
There’s also growing evidence that 40-something women are worn out for lifestyle reasons. Busy careers, kids, aging parents: the stressors are real. And the stimulants we seek when we need a boost, such as coffee, wine, and sugar, only compound the problem, depleting our energy levels to a state of sheer exhaustion.
Not ready to fade into oblivion, I wanted to find a natural, effective way to beat (or at least weaken) Mother Nature at her own game. Enter, Sakara Metabolism Super Powder, touted as a remedy for metabolic slowdown and all the symptoms that come with it.
The Powers Of The Powder
The directive is to take this chocolatey powder with nut milk, coconut water, or in a shake for 14 days straight and see some powerful results. (Routine equals boredom for me, so having inventive ways to sneak it into a smoothie, morning latte, or dessert was helpful.)
The payoff would be a supercharged metabolism that would stabilize my blood sugar, eliminate bloat and puffiness around my middle—often misread as extra weight—clear brain fog, alleviate anxiety and lessen fatigue. But how would this packet succeed where a healthy diet and regular Pilates sessions had not? Turns out, it’s not about one being better than the other, it’s targeting the post-40 system with key superfoods that fire up your digestion, which signals all kinds of good things to the rest of your body.
First and foremost, the powder is packed with L-Glutamine, an amino acid shown to increase resting metabolic rate. This is the rate at which the body burns energy while at rest (breathing, circulating blood). It’s akin to tuning up a car engine so a car runs at a highly-efficient rate.
A pair of compounds extracted from Atlantic brown seaweed, fucoxanthin and fucoidan, supports my mission to look a little leaner. The former is part of the light-absorbing mechanism of the plant and gives seaweed its brown or olive color. Together, the extracts suppress weight gain and improve lipid metabolism.
To fight the 9 p.m. wine or cookie craving that invariably strikes after a stressful day, there’s the Ayurvedic herb Gymena Sylvestre, aptly called gurmar or “destroyer of sweet” in Hindi. It bolsters glucose control so that sugar levels in the body are stabilized.
it’s targeting the post-40 system with key superfoods that fire up your digestion
For potent bloat-eliminating effects, there’s Horsetail Extract, which is often used to bolster kidney health, poor digestion, brittle hair, and blemished skin. Here, the plant is employed as a natural diuretic that helps to rid the body of excess water.
Lastly, Black Pepper Piperine, an active compound found in black pepper that reduces the time it takes food to pass through the gastrointestinal tract, which equals more efficient digestion. For me, that looked like a decrease in bloat and saying goodbye to that uncomfortable, “I feel stuffed” feeling after eating.
The Verdict: A 40-Something Love Story
I am not inclined to wax poetic about anything. One, because I know we are all unique and biodiverse. What makes one person’s skin glow can manifest in a scaly rash for others. All I can do is reveal my experience and how it affected my body at this particular (and particularly challenging) stage in life.
First, the taste. I am burying the lede a bit here, but doing anything for over 10 days warrants a mention of this. For me, a routine only works if it is not covered in dread. I want whatever I eat to feel like a gift that I can savor as it nourishes me. While many supplement powders on the market have a medicinal or artificial taste, the organic ingredients in Metabolism Super Powder like cacao, coconut milk, and coconut sugar give it a natural, palatable, not-overly-sweet flavor. I found that it lends itself equally to a creative plant-based recipe or simple mix of powder and nut milk, so you have options to keep your taste buds happy.
Moving down to the middle section (my own, that is).The reduction of bloat was real. And the struggle to keep it at bay was never easier. After seven or eight days, I could see a natural flattening, and everything I wore just felt better. But it was more than how I looked. Everything seemed to work in harmony; my digestion was better, and the soft tire around the middle did recede. It was replaced by a feeling that my body was functioning extra-efficiently. Even over days of not-so-good habits (lack of sleep, skipped meals and workouts), I had a hidden weapon in the form of a humming digestive mechanism to see me through. This also meant that occasional constipation, often a side effect of outside stressors, seemed to disappear as well.
Even over days of not-so-good habits (lack of sleep, skipped meals and workouts), I had a hidden weapon in the form of a humming digestive mechanism to see me through.
The brain fog question is trickier. It’s not that I don’t think it helped my focus and productivity—it did. But I couldn’t help but wonder if I wasn’t telling my brain, this is working because you are drinking these powerful plants each day. What I think now is that the heightened focus and attention was a direct result of feeling a lot less fatigued, which was perhaps the biggest game-changer of all. I generally felt a swell of energy and lightness throughout the 14 days. I made sure not to drastically alter other habits like sleep and exercise and tried not to welcome any extra stress into my life during my experiment. Perhaps it was in part due to the loss of excess water or better-functioning digestive tract, but my afternoon slump was gone, and in its place was an even flow of energy throughout the day and early evening. After all, it is all connected. When one system is imbalanced, it has an effect on everything else. Did I feel 26? No. Did I want to? Another no. I just felt like the best version of myself at my very own age.
So for now, it’s Metabolism Powder 1, Mother Nature 0.