Home » What is metabolic process? Definition, Types, Process

What is metabolic process? Definition, Types, Process

A metabolic process is a set of chemical reactions that happen in living things to turn food into energy and keep the body running. This includes breaking down molecules to release energy (catabolism) and making new molecules using energy from catabolism (synthesis) (anabolism).

What is metabolic process?

What is metabolic process?

Figure 1: What is metabolic process?

The term “metabolism” or “metabolic process” refers to all the metabolic processes that contribute to keeping an organism alive. Energy is required by all living things so that they can carry out vital functions and synthesize new organic compounds.

Metabolic processes aid in development, reproduction, and maintenance of living organisms’ structures. Metabolic activities allow the organisms to adapt to their surroundings. Energy is needed for all the chemical processes that take place in living things, from digestion to the transportation of substances between cells.

Types of Metabolic Process

There are two main types of metabolic processes: catabolism and anabolism process.

Catabolism: Catabolism refers to the metabolic process in which cells break down molecules to get energy and nutrients. It’s the process by which macromolecules like carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins are broken down into their component parts like sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids. These by-products are then repurposed to produce ATP and new molecules.

Anabolism: Anabolism is the process that cells use to make molecules. It involves making complex molecules like carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins from simpler molecules like sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids. Cells and tissues grow and repair themselves with the help of these molecules. They also store energy and send messages between cells. Anabolism needs energy, so it usually happens with catabolism, which breaks apart molecules to get that energy.

catabolism and anabolism process

Figure 2: Anabolism and Catabolism process

How does Metabolism Work?

The digestive system breaks down the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) in food into smaller molecules that the body can absorb and use.  Enzymes like pepsin in the stomach and trypsin and chymotrypsin in the small intestine break down proteins into amino acids. In the small intestine, enzymes like lipase break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol. In the small intestine, enzymes like amylase break down carbohydrates into simple sugars like glucose.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrate metabolism is the name for the biochemical processes that the body uses to get energy from carbohydrates, like sugars and starches. This includes breaking down carbohydrates into simpler molecules like glucose and then turning glucose into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the body’s main source of energy.

Protein Metabolism: Proteins are broken down into smaller molecules called amino acids as part of the metabolic process, and these amino acids are then put to use in the body. Digestive enzymes initiate the process of protein catabolism, or the breakdown of proteins, by breaking down big protein molecules into smaller peptides and amino acids.

Fat Metabolism: Fat metabolism describes the procedures by which fats are broken down and utilised by the body for both energy production and storage. To put it simply, fat metabolism is the process through which fats (also called lipids) are broken down into smaller molecules such as fatty acids and glycerol, and then used by the body for a variety of purposes. In lipolysis, enzymes called lipases convert triglycerides (a kind of fat) into fatty acids and glycerol as the first step in the fat catabolism process.

How to Increase Metabolism?

How to increase metabolism? Boosting calorie expenditure, or metabolism, can be done in a variety of ways.

  1. Exercise: Regular exercise, especially weightlifting and high-intensity interval training, can improve muscle mass and speed up the metabolic rate.
  2. Protein Diet: Protein is more energy-intensive to digest than either carbs or fat, thus a diet rich in protein can help speed up your metabolism.
  3. Drink Water: Water will increase your metabolism since your body will have to use energy to warm the water to your internal temperature.
  4. Eat Spicy: Eat something spicy, and your metabolism will get a short-term boost since your body will have to work harder to cool down.
  5. Green tea: Green tea may boost metabolism because it contains substances called catechins and caffeine, according to some research.


FAQs on What is metabolic process?

  1. Reduce calorie intake
  2. Reduce muscle-building activities
  3. Get less sleep
  4. Avoid spicy food
  5. Reduce caffeine intake

There are various techniques to increase the rate at which the body burns calories, or metabolism: Exercise frequently, Eat sufficient protein, Stay hydrated, Get adequate sleep, Consume spicy food, Drink green tea, Perform weight training.

The energy (in the form of calories) that the body uses at rest to carry out vital processes like breathing, heartbeat, and temperature regulation is known as the basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Metabolism refers to the chemical processes that occur within the body’s cells to maintain life.