Metabolism is the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are: the conversion of food to energy to run. You've probably heard people blame their weight on a slow metabolism, but what does that mean? Is metabolism really the culprit? And if so, is. Metabolism is a term that is used to describe all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of the cells and the organism.
And as the word implies, photo, it's photosynthesis, it's making things out of light, and one thing I like to ask people when they are first exposed to photosynthesis, is like okay, we can see this grass growing or we can see this wheat growing, or we can see a tree growing, but where is that material coming from? And the most common answer is like, "Oh, somehow it's coming from the ground," and there are some nutrients that are coming from the ground but it's really all about fixing carbon, and you're going to hear about this a lot especially as we talk about the carbon cycle.
But you have carbon dioxide primarily in the air, so you have carbon, you have, I'll just write it this way. So you have carbon dioxide in the air and what photosynthesis allows these plants to do is take the carbon in that carbon dioxide and form bonds with it, turn it from its gas form into solid forms, into glucose molecules, and then use that glucose to build up cellulose and to build out other forms of starch and whatever else it might be.
So it's taking these molecules in the air I'll just draw them as these little It's taking these molecules that are in the air, and it's using the energy of the sun to fix them, to actually form bonds between the carbons and with other things.
As we said, we're mostly carbon and hydrogen and we have some oxygen in there, but we're able to form these structures. Now from there other living organisms, and this is a huge oversimplification, it could involve bacteria, it could involve all sorts of things. And just a reminder, you know, that photosynthesis, it isn't just light and it isn't just the carbon dioxide.
It also involves the water and we talk about that. So you also have water involved. You also have the water involved. So you have the carbon dioxide, so CO2, light from the sun, and water. These things are able to grow and nutrients from the Earth. And then from that, you're able to construct things like, well, you can directly go to these plants that are taking energy from the sun and construct things like bread or you have other animals that will eat things like the grass, and then break them down in their own way and they will be assisted by bacteria and then rebuild themselves up into a cow, into milk.
And so what this cow is doing, it's metabolizing this grass. It's able to break it down, it's able to catabolize the various molecules in the grass and break them down into building blocks that can then used to build up the cow, to build up milk, and whatever else.
And you might be saying, "What are these types of molecules "that we keep breaking down "and then building back up? Carbohydrates, and you're going to see most of the molecules that I'm about to talk about.
Frankly, all of them on the back of nutritional package because it tells you what's inside of it. What is your body going to metabolize when it eats that whatever's inside of the package? So carbohydrates, these are either simple sugars like glucose or fructose, or it could be polymers of these sugars, polysaccharides.
It could be starches made up of many, many elements of the Or many, many multiples of these simple sugars. We could be talking about lipids. So fatty acids, we could be talking about cholesterols. These are essential structures, and they're also essential for, well, various metabolic pathways inside of, well, all of life, or it could be proteins. It could be proteins made up of amino acids.
Sometimes people say the reason why you want the proteins is because it's made up of these amino acids. So you could break down these proteins and get the amino acids and then build it up into new proteins. Proteins and amino acids. And all of these things, they are found in things like in the foods, in the foods we eat, which we will then consume, we will then metabolize.
We will first catabolize them and break them down and then we will use those building blocks to build it back up. And at the end of the day, these provide the structures that make our bodies what they are.
They allows us to interact with our environment and they provide energy, and that energy, at the end of the day, the true molecular currency for that energy is a molecule called ATP. That's a molecule of ATP right over there. And the key for ATP, why it is the molecular currency for energy, are the three phosphate groups. So it has these three phosphate groups and we have a whole video on it, or a whole series of videos on it really, but the main key is that there's a lot of energy, especially beween I guess on the last phosphate group.
And this energy and that bond as the phosphate group breaks off it can release it to provide all sorts of life mechanisms including being able to metabolize things. It's one of the most frustrating realities of dieting—if you cut out too many calories, your metabolism thinks times are lean and puts the breaks on fat-burning to conserve energy, Hunter explains.
Eat enough calories to at least match your resting metabolic rate what you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day; calculate yours here. That's about 1, calories for a 5-feetinch, pound, year-old woman. Close View all gallery. Got your mom's slow-mo metabolism? Burn more calories with less effort by boosting your metabolism. The next time you run, swim, or even walk, ramp up the intensity for second intervals, returning to your normal speed afterward.
Using this strategy will help you consume more oxygen and make your cell powerhouses, the mitochondria, work harder to burn energy, explains Mark Hyman, MD, an integrative and functional medicine specialist in private practice in Lenox, Massachusetts, and author of Ultrametabolism: This way, you can exercise for less time than it takes to plod along at the same pace and still get great results. Here's how to do it: Exercise for 5 minutes at 3.
Increase your speed to 4 mph for 60 seconds. Then go back down to 3. Repeat the entire sequence 5 times, twice a week. To get a more challenging workout, increase the incline or your pace.
Why does eating lots of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids salmon, herring, and tuna help amp up metabolism? Omega-3s balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, helping to regulate metabolism. They may also reduce resistance to the hormone leptin, which researchers have linked to how fast fat is burned. A study in Obesity Research found rats that ingested large doses of fish oil while exercising lost weight.
Take omega-3 fatty acid supplements; Hyman recommends 1, to 2, milligrams per day. Hate the fishy after-burp? Try flaxseed oil, walnuts, or eggs fortified with omega-3s. Or check out supplements by brands such as Nordic Naturals that have no fishy taste.
Green tea has long been heralded for its antioxidant polyphenols. But new evidence shows the active ingredient, catechin , may crank up metabolism. Researchers conducted a series of studies in dieters and found that those who went green lost more weight than those who didn't, suggesting that catechins may improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis, your body's production of energy, or heat, from digestion.
But how much do you have to drink?
Introduction to metabolism: Anabolism and catabolism
Metabolism: Metabolism, the sum of chemical reactions that take place in living cells, providing energy for life processes and the synthesis of cellular material. Your body gets the energy it needs from food through a process called metabolism. Get all the facts on metabolism in this article. Eating more protein can also reduce the drop in metabolism often associated with losing fat. This is because it reduces muscle loss, which is a.