Your metabolism is a collection of chemical reactions that take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your metabolism converts the food we eat into energy so we can use it throughout the day. We need the energy to power absolutely everything we do including thinking, moving, and growing. Without metabolism, we would quickly die due to lack of energy. Thousands of metabolic reactions are happening in your body as we speak. This is completely regulated by the body, all to keep our cells healthy and to work properly.
Metabolism starts as soon as we are born and only ends when we die. It’s an extremely vital process for the body, and is required for all life forms including plant life as well.
How Does Metabolism Work?
The best way to describe how metabolism works is by using an example. Let’s start with how metabolism is used in plants. Plants have a process called photosynthesis it uses energy from the sun to produce energy. The plant uses this energy as well as a chemical called chlorophyll to build sugars, carbon dioxide and water. This is how plants use their metabolism to fuel themselves.
When people or animals eat these plants, they take this energy that was stored in the plants in the form of sugars. Vital cell-building chemicals are also absorbed including carbohydrates, protein, amino acids, and fatty acids.
When the food is eaten, enzymes break down the food to create these cell-building chemicals. All of these compounds are then absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to all the cells in your body. Once this energy is in you, your metabolism will then regulate chemical reactions involving these compounds. If you’re sitting on the couch all day, your body will know not to use as much energy as compared to if you’re being chased by a wild animal trying to eat you. The energy that is within the cells is released into the body when needed or stored as fat.
Carbohydrates in Metabolism
Carbohydrates are essential for your metabolism and energy levels throughout the day. Carbs come in three primary forms: sugars, starches, and cellulose. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for human life. These carbohydrates are metabolised into a sugar called glucose. Glucose is technically what the body uses for energy.
The majority of people eat roughly half of their diet as carbohydrates. This can come from many products such as rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, wheat, as well as many unhealthy fast food options.
Vitamins and Minerals in Metabolism
Vitamins and minerals do not contribute directly to your energy levels are extremely important for your body to function correctly. There are more than 50 individual elements that are found in the human body. Being deficient in any of these minerals can cause severe consequences if not dealt with quickly. Some of the very important minerals your body requires include:
Fats in Metabolism
Fat is a concentrated source of energy. If you consume more energy than the body uses, your body will then store the excess energy as fat until there is a time when you may require it. Fat is extremely important for the body, of having too much can cause health problems such as heart disease and stroke. Fat can produce up to twice as much energy as other nutrients are such as protein or carbohydrates.
That helps the body by helping absorb vitamins that are fat soluble. Fat also protects vital organs by cushioning them in a protective layer. Most importantly, as a survival instinct, that was used as reserve storage for energy if you are unable to catch a meal. (In tribal days)
Essential fatty acids are fat such as Omega’s and unsaturated fatty acids. Your body cannot produce these types of fat, so they must be eaten in your diet. There are many great sources for Omega’s including fish.
Trans fats and saturated fats are the fats that are not required by the body. They can cause the clogging of arteries which can lead to heart disease, stroke, or heart attack.
Proteins in Metabolism
Proteins are essential to rebuild muscle tissue in the body. Proteins are part of every single cell in the body. Proteins help repair cell structure, produce haemoglobin which helped carry oxygen around the body, as well as help supply nitrogen to the body for energy production. The body requires proteins because they contain amino acids. The human body is unable to synthesise eight of the 20 amino acids that exist.
These eight essential amino acids can be consumed by eating a wide variety of different proteins such as meats, eggs, dairy products, vegetables, grains, and protein supplements. The majority of protein powders on the market have an extensive amino acid profile.
Anabolism vs. Catabolism
Your metabolism is a balancing act involving two kinds of activities.
The first one, called anabolism, is all about building muscle and storing nutrients. If you’re looking to build muscle, this is the state you want your body to be in as much as possible. It helps support the growth of new cells, helps repair body tissues such as muscle, and help store energy for future use.
Catabolism is the process that produces the energy required for your body to function. For example, when you are working out intensely, your body needs an extreme amount of energy. During the catabolic phase, our cells break down large molecules in our body, to release energy. These large molecules are usually in the form of fats and carbohydrates, but if your diet is lacking, your body can also break down muscle tissue. If you’re looking to gain muscle, we do not want this to happen. This is why nutrition is extremely important to bodybuilders.
This is why it’s extremely important for you to eat a high nutrient meal after your workout. This can include a few vegetables, meat or other protein, as well as a protein shake. This will help the body get the nutrients and energy it needs to repair the damage you did while working out. Failing to do this can cause a negative muscle gain because of the catabolism effect.
Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
There are many ways to increase your metabolism. Here are some of the more general ways:
Eating Right: To keep your metabolism revving efficiently, you need to make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet. Foods that are rich in protein and iron. Eating spicy food such as chilli peppers can also reduce body fat by raising your metabolism levels.
Exercise: If you live a hereditary lifestyle, your metabolism is going to follow suit. Exercise is the most important way for you to raise your metabolism levels. Weight training, swimming, or any other anaerobic exercise are best.
Take Calcium and Vitamin D: Studies have shown that people with low vitamin D levels tend to gain more weight and keep it on. Having the proper level of calcium and vitamin D in your system will make sure your metabolism is functioning as high as possible.
Drink Green Tea: Green tea has been shown to boost metabolism and burn fat quicker than placebo. Try drinking your green tea immediately in the morning for a nice metabolism boost throughout the day. Make sure you’re drinking your green tea straight without any milk or sugar.