Metabolism VS Catabolism: What’s the difference?

Do you know what metabolism or catabolism is? Both of these processes are important for maintaining overall health. Read on to know the difference between the two.
weight loss,metabolism,Health & Fitness,CatabolismMetabolism VS Catabolism: What’s the difference?
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You must have heard of metabolism, especially if you are someone trying to shed the extra kilos. Metabolism in itself is confusing for some, and now catabolism is here to confuse you even more. If you are confused about what these terms mean, then this article is for you. Understanding these terms is important regardless of what your weight goal is. Knowing these terms will not only help keep your weight in check but maintain overall health. 

For the unversed, metabolism is the process in which our body breaks down the food we eat and convert it into energy required by it to perform daily functions. It is a crucial part of the overall growth and functionality of all living things. Metabolism includes two other processes, including catabolism and anabolism. 

Catabolism and anabolism are the broad classes of the biochemical reactions that together make up metabolism. While catabolism breaks down molecules, anabolism is the growth and building of complex molecules. So, the main difference between the two terms is that metabolism describes all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of our cells. Catabolism, on the other hand, is a type of metabolism that is responsible for breaking complex molecules into smaller molecules. 

Read on to understand the difference between metabolism, catabolism and anabolism. 

What is metabolism? 

Metabolism is the rate at which our body burns calories to keep you healthy. From maintaining a healthy weight to keeping diseases at bay, metabolism helps in everything. A sedentary lifestyle can slow down your metabolism and take a toll on your health. It is important to maintain overall health by keeping your metabolism in check. According to Healthline, it involves two processes - anabolism and catabolism that help organize molecules by freeing and capturing energy to keep the body strong. 

What is catabolism?

As mentioned above, catabolism is the process in which your body breaks down the complex molecules into smaller and simpler ones to use for energy. The hormones associated with catabolism include adrenaline, cortisol, cytokines and glucagon. 

What is anabolism? 

Anabolism is the process that involves the synthesis of complex molecules.  In other words, it uses energy to break down molecules – small, simple molecules are built up into larger, more complex ones. The hormones involved in this process are estrogen, insulin, growth hormone and testosterone. 

Which one is more important? 

Since they are two different parts of the same process, metabolism, they are both important and affect your health. Any disruption in the body can lead to health problems. The key is to keep a balance between the two because when your body is in an anabolic state, it is building muscle mass and in a catabolic state, it is breaking down fat and losing both fat and muscle mass. 

You can keep a balance by working equally on different parts of your body. For instance, catabolic exercises include aerobic and cardio, including swimming, running, biking, etc. Catabolic exercises cause heart rate and blood pressure to rise. It will help build a healthy heart and lungs. 

Anabolic exercises include the exercises that work on specific body parts to help you gain muscle mass. Doing that three or four days a week is recommended. You should consult a professional who will help you figure out what will suit your body the best. 

The bottom line 

Catabolism and anabolism are different types of metabolism. Understanding the differences between the two processes can help you keep your weight and overall health in check. Try to incorporate both cardio and strength training in your daily regimen to maintain a balance between the two metabolic processes. Also, keep in mind that a healthy diet, resting and training are all important aspects that help you stay healthy. 

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