What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the chemical reaction that occurs inside our body. Our bodies use these reactions to produce energy, maintain homeostasis (balance), and carry out many other processes. There are two types of metabolic pathways: catabolic and anabolic. Catabolic pathways break down molecules into smaller components while anabolic pathways build larger molecules from smaller ones. The average calorie intake per day is about 2,000-2,500 calories.
Catabolic Pathways: The catabolic pathway breaks down food into usable energy. These pathways are responsible for breaking down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. In order to do this, they require oxygen, enzymes, and cofactors. Enzymes are catalysts that speed up chemical reactions without being consumed themselves. Co-factors are necessary for enzymatic activity. Oxygen is what gives the catabolic pathways their name. Without oxygen, the breakdown of food would not occur.
Anabolic Pathways: Anabolic pathways create new compounds from existing ones. Anabolic pathways are responsible for building cells, tissues, organs, and bones. They need carbon dioxide, water, and small amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrate to function. Carbon dioxide is what provides the carbon atoms that make up the backbone of DNA and RNA. Water is what makes up the bulk of the human body. Protein, fat, and carbohydrate provide the raw materials that are used to build new structures.
What is the purpose of slowing your metabolism?
The human body does not work at 100% efficiency all the time. There are times when we have to slow our metabolic rate down temporarily in order to save energy. For example, when we are sleeping or recovering from intense physical activity, our bodies go into a state called “catabolic”. When we are catabolic, our body breaks down the stored fat and muscle mass into energy. In order to survive, we must use up these stores of energy. If we don’t, we risk starving to death. We can also get sick if we haven’t been eating enough. So, by slowing down our metabolism, we aren’t consuming as much energy and therefore, we can conserve some.
When we eat food, our bodies break it down into smaller particles called “macromolecules”, which include starches, fats, proteins, etc. Then they transport them to our cells using blood vessels. Our muscles require high amounts of sugar to function properly, so when we eat something sugary, our stomach secretes a hormone called “insulin”, which helps move the sugar molecules around inside our body. Insulin then goes to our liver, which makes glycogen (a type of storage molecule). Glycogen gets converted back into glucose once we exercise again.
However, a lot of people consume foods that cause their insulin levels to spike, causing their bodies to make more glycogen than they need. That’s why it’s helpful to practice intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting involves going without food for a certain amount of time each day. You could fast for 16 hours, eat normally for 8 hours, then fast for 8 hours, and repeat until you’ve gone 24 hours without eating. Fasting helps us burn more fat, even while resting. In fact, studies show that intermittent fasting results in weight loss without dieting!
How to slow down your metabolism?
- Eat less: Your body needs calories to function properly. If you consume fewer calories than your body requires, it will have to work harder to break down and use those calories. Your body will then burn more energy throughout the day to do what it needs to do. This means that you will burn fewer calories at rest, and burn even fewer while sleeping. In addition, your metabolic rate will slow down.
- Drink more water: Water helps your body stay cool. When you drink plenty of water, your kidneys will produce more urine. Urine contains salt, which helps regulate blood pressure and keep your organs working well. Drinking enough water will help prevent dehydration, which could lead to headaches, dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps, and irritability.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise burns calories and increases your heart rate, helping you burn extra calories. Regular exercise will also help maintain a steady heartbeat. A faster heartbeat can make your muscles feel tired, and a slower heartbeat makes you feel sluggish. Exercise will increase your metabolic rate, making your body work harder to get rid of the calories you eat.
- Reduce stress: Stress can cause your body to release hormones that speed up your metabolism. However, chronic stress can actually slow your metabolism down. Try to relax when you’re stressed out. Stress also causes your body to release cortisol, which can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia.
- Sleep: Sleeping for eight hours each night will give your body time to recover from the day’s activities. You’ll also wake up feeling refreshed. People who don’t get adequate sleep tend to perform worse academically and physically, and they may find it difficult to concentrate. Adequate sleep also keeps your appetite under control and prevents weight gain.
- Avoid caffeine: Caffeine speeds up your brain and nervous system. It also affects your heart rate and slows down digestion, so it can boost your metabolism temporarily. Caffeine can even improve athletic performance if taken before exercising. But its effect wears off after about 60 minutes, and it can leave you groggy.
- Don’t overeat: Eating too much food can put you at risk for obesity. Obesity can raise your chances of developing diabetes and high cholesterol levels. It can also reduce your energy level, causing you to spend more time sitting around rather than moving. In fact, people who are obese are twice as likely to die prematurely as thin people.
Importance of metabolism process in humans?
Metabolism is the chemical reaction that occurs inside our body to break down food and convert it into energy. Metabolic processes occur in two ways: aerobic respiration and glycolysis. Aerobic respiration is the process where oxygen molecules are broken down into water and carbon dioxide. Glycolysis is the process where glucose molecules are converted into pyruvate. Both metabolic processes require oxygen and produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a molecule that stores energy in cells.
Aerobic respiration produces about 36 kilocalories per gram of protein. Glycolysis produces only 2-3 kilocalories per gram. In order to maintain a constant supply of energy, the body uses both methods. When we exercise, our heart rate increases and blood flow increases to the muscles. Oxygen levels increase and the body switches to aerobic respiration. At rest, the body relies on glycolysis.
Nutrition and Energy in Metabolism
Metabolic processes depend on digested nutrients to produce energy. In order to synthesize nucleic acids, proteins, and other biomolecules, our bodies need this energy. These nutrients are substances that are either insufficient or insufficient in quantity for the body’s needs, resulting in poor health, as far as metabolism is concerned. Providing the body with energy and chemicals it cannot synthesize on its own requires nutrients. As well as ensuring that the body functions properly, food provides different substances essential for building and repairing tissues.
There is a need for both organic nutrients and inorganic chemical compounds in the diet. Foods high in organic nutrients include fats, vitamins, carbs, and proteins. Water, oxygen, and other mineral compounds are inorganic chemical compounds.
Carbohydrates in Metabolism
You may have heard about carbohydrates before if you’ve ever done any research on nutrition. Carbohydrates are a type of sugar that we obtain from our diet. Simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates are two types of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are those that are easily digested and absorbed, such as table sugar (or simply referred to as sugar).
Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, thus they aren’t digested as fast. Examples of complex carbohydrates would include grains, vegetables, and legumes. Carbs are stored in the body as glycogen, which is then broken down into glucose. Glucose is what the human body uses as fuel for its cells; therefore, having a sufficient amount of carbs in the body is extremely important.
Proteins in Metabolism
The human body contains about 60 grams of protein per day. Protein is necessary for cellular repair, growth, and maintenance. Proteins help your body build muscle mass, regulate blood sugar levels, transport oxygen throughout the body, maintain immune function, and control inflammation.
There are four major types of proteins: structural proteins, enzymes, carrier proteins, and regulatory proteins. Structural proteins are responsible for maintaining the shape and size of cells. Enzymes are responsible for catalyzing chemical reactions in the body, while carrier proteins carry molecules in the bloodstream. Regulatory proteins play a role in regulating metabolic pathways.
It is crucial that your metabolism works properly to keep your body functioning. Your metabolism can be affected by factors such as your age, muscle mass, and level of physical activity. You may experience a negative impact on your metabolism if you drastically reduce your calorie intake. Find out what other options you have to achieve a healthy weight from your healthcare provider. To achieve a healthy weight, talk to your healthcare provider about other options.