Catabolism vs. Anabolism: What’s The Difference?

person standing on a weighing machine

Metabolism involves a set of chemical processes that are used to maintain our bodies. Without proper metabolism, we won’t be able to burn calories and risk becoming obese and developing insulin resistance.

Although metabolism is considered to be one broad term that encompasses all sorts of chemical reactions, there are two types of it – catabolism and anabolism.

Keep reading this blog to learn more about some major differences between the two types of metabolism.

What Is Catabolism?

Catabolism occurs when we digest food, and the molecules break down to be used as energy. Catabolism involves the breaking down of complex and large molecules in our bodies into simple and smaller ones. Glycolysis is the perfect example of catabolism.

What Is Anabolism?

Unlike catabolism, anabolism focuses on building, growth, and the organization of food molecules. In this process, the small molecules are brought together and built into one complex and larger molecule. An example of anabolism can be gluconeogenesis, where the kidneys and liver make glucose through noncarbohydrate sources.

How Are They Different?

The hormones involved are different in both processes

Hormones play a huge role in anabolism and catabolism. Anabolism involves insulin, estrogen, testosterone, and the growth hormone. Whereas catabolism involves the use of cortisol, glucagon, cytokines, and adrenaline.

The effect on exercise

Anabolic exercises are usually anaerobic in nature and are mostly done to build mass. These exercises help shed fat and can help you gain or maintain muscle.

When it comes to catabolic exercises, these are mostly aerobic and are effective if you want to burn calories and fat. These exercises are used to shed those few extra pounds but can reduce a lot of important muscle mass.

a woman working out

The effect on body weight

Like mentioned before, catabolic and anabolic processes are part of your metabolism. Therefore they have a direct effect on our body weight.

When your body is in an anabolic state, it works to build and maintain the muscle mass, and when it’s in a catabolic state, it’s losing and breaking down both the muscle mass as well as the body fat.

However, there can be exceptions if you’ve got any underlying medical issues.

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To fully understand your body’s anabolic and catabolic processes, it’s crucial to keep track of your metabolic rate. If you’re looking for a device that’s easy to set up and gives an accurate metabolic reading, we’ve got your back.

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