What does "metabolism" mean?

Dr Louisa Draper

"Your BMR is the marker for how many calories you burn when your body is resting and not exercising. People’s BMRs vary but we generally burn a similar amount of calories at rest. You can burn more calories by building muscle and by moving more."

Dr Louisa Draper

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Your metabolism is the process by which the food and water that you consume is converted into energy by your body. This energy can then be used immediately, or stored for use later. Everything you do, from breathing to brushing your teeth to running up a hill uses up energy.

Metabolism is a combination of thousands of chemical reactions that are constantly going on in your body’s cells to keep them working and healthy. Metabolism performs the functions which enable you to live.

When you eat, enzymes in your digestive system break down the constituent parts of the food into energy sources and nutrients that can be used by your body’s cells:

  • Proteins are broken down into amino acids 
  • Fats are converted into fatty acids Carbohydrates are changed into simple sugars.
  • The amino acids, fatty acids and simple sugars are then absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to your body’s cells. Once in the cells, the chemical reactions that metabolise these compounds interact with other enzymes. 

As a result, energy is released to be used immediately by the body, or stored in the body’s tissues for later use.