The internal process by which the body expends energy and burns calories.
Metabolism is the process of converting food and nutrients we consume into the energy the body needs to breathe, circulate blood, grow and repair cells and everything else for survival.
It is measured through our basal metabolic rate (BMR) which refers to the number of calories we burn as the body performs basic (basal) life-sustaining functions.
The Process of Metabolism
Catabolism is mainly involved in breaking down large organic molecules into smaller molecules. This process releases energy
Anabolism is mainly involved in building up or synthesizing compounds from simpler substances required by the cells. This metabolic process requires and stores energy
Metabolism is related to nutrition and the existence of nutrients. Bioenergetics described metabolism as the biochemical pathway through which cells obtain energy.
As we age, our BMR decreases, resulting in slower metabolism which means we don’t burn as many calories at rest.
Our unused energy is stored in our liver, skeletal muscles and fat cells. With slower metabolism, these sources of energy are not being used up efficiently, resulting in weight gain.
Increasing metabolism is an effective way to help with weight management.
The most effective way to increase metabolic rate is through myofibrillar hypertrophy, the building of muscle and increasing muscle mass.
Muscles require energy at rest. The bigger the muscle, the higher the muscle mass, the faster your metabolism will be.
MORE MUSCLES = FASTER METABOLISM
The process of increasing muscle mass size is known as “muscular hypertrophy”. They can be done via
- Myofibrillar hypertrophy
- Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy
Myofibrils refer to muscle fibers.
The Science Behind Myofibrillar Hypertrophy
The act of muscle contraction causes trauma and microtears in the individual muscle fibers which signals our body to overcompensate in an attempt to recover, increasing the volume and density of the ‘injured’ myofibrils
This type of hypertrophy results in physiological and performance adaptations, such as increases in muscle size, strength and power
The Science Behind Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is more prevalent in bodybuilders with the aim to ‘pump up’, filling the muscles with blood.
Myofibrillar hypertrophy is more advantageous. Larger muscle fibers will adapt to be able to produce greater force, resulting in more strength and speed.
Increased muscle mass will result in faster metabolism as more energy is required to maintain these muscles.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid a yo-yo diet
- Aim for slow and gradual weight gain during pregnancy