What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the term used to describe the process by which the body converts food and nutrients into energy. The body’s metabolism is like an engine, it runs all the time – whether we are eating, moving, thinking or even sleeping! Without our metabolism, we would not be able to live. It is needed to perform all bodily activities, create new cells and tissue, maintain body temperature, heal injuries, repair damage and free the body of all toxins.
Your metabolism kicks in when you eat and your stomach begins to digest your food. After you have eaten, the body uses enzymes released by the pancreas and thyroid gland to break down the digested food into simple substances (sugars, amino acids and fatty acids). These substances are distributed by the bloodstream and absorbed by the body cells to be used as energy to run the various processes in the body. Excess energy is then stored by your body (as either muscle or fat) so that it can be used in the future.
Two Types of Metabolism
There are two types of metabolism, catabolic metabolism and anabolic metabolism. Catabolic metabolism refers to the breaking down of large molecules into smaller ones so that they can be easily absorbed. Anabolic metabolism is when small molecules are assembled into larger ones. Your body’s metabolic processes are also used to break down chemicals, such as drugs or toxins, in the body.
How is Metabolism Measured?
Everybody has a unique resting metabolic rate, called your basal metabolic rate or BMR, which determines how quickly, or slowly, your body uses up energy when you are resting. Metabolism is measured according to your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This calculation will determine how quickly your metabolism works when you are resting.