Everything in the world adheres to a specific set of rules. Common physics suggests that anything needs energy to move. Animals also need to expend energy to move. An animal body is extremely complex and requires thousands – if not more – chemical reactions at any given moment to work.
Here is everything you need to know about metabolism, differences between high and low metabolism, and how to improve it in your body:
What is metabolism?
Metabolism is simply known as the summation of all chemical reactions that happen inside a living body. By all, we mean any chemical reaction that happens even in the cell is a part of metabolism. To limit and focus on a single definition, metabolism simply defines all the reactions that take inside the living body to convert food to energy.
Metabolism is not only limited to animals and humans – but it also happens in plants. Metabolism can be technically divided into two types, depending on their use in the human body:
Catabolism is the process of breaking down small molecules into smaller units that can be oxidized to release energy. In simpler words, catabolism is what happens when you digest food. The process is responsible for breaking down complex molecules into smaller, lesser complex molecules that can then be used in the process of anabolism.
Catabolism involves the following hormones:
- Adrenaline – a hormone that is released by the adrenal gland and is a crucial part of the body’s fight-or-flight response.
- Glucagon – a simple hormone that is involved in controlling blood sugar levels and produced by alpha cells in the pancreas.
- Cortisol – a steroid hormone that plays a vital role in enhancing our body’s ability to tackle stress and it’s bad effects. It also performs some similar functions as Adrenaline.
Anabolism is the process of synthesis of complex molecules through smaller molecules. In simpler words, anabolism is the opposite of catabolism. Simply speaking, anabolism helps store energy into the body.
Some of the hormones involved with anabolism include:
- Estrogen –is a hormone that plays vital roles in the development of the reproductive system in females. It also plays a vital role in the development of cognitive health, bone health, and the function of various cardiovascular activities.
- Growth hormone – it is a very complex hormone that helps stimulate bone growth. Simply speaking, it also helps stimulate the growth of all tissues of the body.
- Testosterone – a very vital hormone that is important for the development of muscle in the human body, and various male body parts.
Difference between high metabolism and low metabolism:
Depending on the state of how the body is working, the chemical reactions in the body can be characterized into two types: high metabolism and low metabolism.
Here is a complete difference between high metabolism and low metabolism:
If you are burning a lot of calories at once, doctors will simply say that you have a metabolism. High metabolism refers to the speeding up of the bodily functions that result in more calories being burnt at any period. Many factors influence how someone can go reach a fast metabolism rate.
If you have been feeling like you have been unable to digest a lot of food, chances are that you have a low metabolism. Low metabolism is also linked to obesity in many people. There are many symptoms that you can check to see if you are suffering from a low metabolism.
Your high and low metabolism depends on many factors such as age, gender, weight, hormonal functions, and physical levels. There is no general way to compare the metabolism between two people unless they are of the same age, weight, gender, have similar hormone functions, and do the same physical activities at once.
Various symptoms can help you figure out whether you have a high metabolism or not. Some of these are:
- People with unusually high metabolism are unable to put on weight no matter how much they eat.
- High metabolic people experience fatigue more often than people with normal levels of metabolism. They have the desire to eat more often than normal people.
- Irregular cardiovascular activities such as high heart rate without physical activity is also a sign of high metabolism.
- People who have high metabolism generally have higher temperatures, even when resting. This is most evident when they wake up.
For people with low metabolism, here are some signs to help them identify if they have the condition:
- People with low metabolism easily gain weight even if they haven’t eaten much.
- Because the body is burning energy at a slow pace, people with low metabolism experience sleepiness and weakness often.
- Metabolism is generally the concept of all chemical reactions that take place in the body. People who have low metabolism are also linked to having dry skin.
- Depression and loss of hair are also symptoms that you might be experiencing a phase of low metabolism
Benefits & Risks of high metabolism:
There are many benefits but also risks with higher metabolism. It is suggested to try to maintain normal metabolism unless you are trying to lose or gain a lot of weight.
Benefit: You lose weight easily
A high metabolism means that the chemical reactions in your body happen at a faster pace. This also means that more energy will be expended by the second to keep the body working.
For people who are looking to lose weight, they will join gyms to do so. The gym works out the body, which in turn turns up the clock of metabolism in the body.
Risk: You lose weight easily
Losing weight is both a blessing and a curse. Because you are now able to easily lose weight, you will also have a tough time trying to maintain your weight after you reach your desired limit. Studies are not needed to figure out that people who lose weight easily will find it very hard to gain proper weight.
Risk: Blood sugar level dips easily
The sugar in the blood is an important source of energy for various body organs. High metabolism can mean that the body converts the nutrients from the food into fast, and then those nutrients into energy as fast. This means that the blood sugar levels will dip and rise fast. This can lead to some issues in the body, if not being able to maintain these levels.
Benefit: Can access energy easily
One of the biggest benefits of having a high metabolism is the fact that you are always packed with energy. It can take the slightest push and you will be ready to expend much more energy as compared to your slower metabolism peers. Think of it like a car that’s always in ignition mode.
Risk: Higher mortality rate
Although there are indications that show that people with higher metabolism have a higher mortality rate, there are still no viable studies to show so. People who have a high metabolism are also linked to oxidative damage, poor nutrition, and homeostatic dysregulation.
Benefit: you get lean muscle easily
One of the biggest advantages of having a high metabolism is the fact that with the proper diet, one can easily gain lean muscle and lose fat at the same time. This is one of the most important factors that are craved by bodybuilders throughout the world.
Benefits & Risks of low metabolism:
Lower than average metabolism rate has its own set of benefits, but far greater risks. Here are some of both:
Benefit: Easy to gain weight
People with low metabolism find it very easy to gain weight. Just a little change in diet and they will be gaining weight faster than your gym companion chanting the word “one more”.
Risk: Easy to gain weight
Because it is extremely easy to gain weight, people with low metabolism have to control what they are eating. This leads to a lower quality of life, and inevitably a bland lifestyle.
Benefit: slows the aging process
A study in 2010 showed that people who have a low metabolism live better and prolonged lives. This might be because higher levels of metabolism are also mean more stress for the body and vice versa.
Benefit: prevents diabetes
Studies show that low metabolism can help prevent diabetes, hypertension, and several types of cardiovascular diseases.
How to improve metabolism?
There are many ways to improve metabolism such as:
- Maintain a healthy diet with both fruits, green vegetables, and animal protein.
- Sleep according to your natural sleep schedule.
- Drink plenty of fresh water. Unnaturally cold water is not recommended because it can disturb your natural
- Start hitting the gym. You will also have a better mood which is a big requirement for maintaining metabolism.
Drink green tea and eat spices as both can help speed up metabolism.
We hope that this brief article on some simple facts about metabolism helped you. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and try to maintain your metabolism into a healthy level: not too high, not too low.