Understanding Your Metabolism

Aug 04, 2023 Energy 4 MIN

Understanding Your Metabolism

Understanding your metabolism and what you can do to support your health is the first step to achieving the most healthful you. Nature Made®'s team of experts explain your metabolism, give tips on , and suggest supplements that may help.†

What is Metabolism?

The term metabolism refers to various biochemical reactions that occur within the human body's cells. These reactions keep the cells functioning and are essential to maintaining the living state of the body. The two main types of metabolic reactions result in the synthesis of a substance or the breakdown of molecules.[1] By far, metabolism most commonly refers to energy production and the process by which calories consumed are broken down and transformed into energy. For some people, this process is naturally quite efficient. However, others may have a naturally slower metabolism and seek ways to increase their metabolic rate.

How do I increase my metabolism?

The speed at which your body metabolizes food into energy depends on three key factors: how many calories you consume, how many calories you burn, age, gender and genetics. While the genetic component is predetermined, there's a lot you can do to affect the consumption and utilization of calories and promote a healthy, efficient metabolism.

Physical activity has a significant influence on metabolism. Exercise increases your requirement for energy and keeps your metabolism active to meet that increased need.[2] Eating a healthy, balanced diet also supports a healthy metabolism because your body uses energy to digest and absorb the nutrients you consume through foods. Make sure to eat healthy portions of nutrient-rich food. If you have questions about caloric intake or what healthy foods to eat, please talk to your healthcare professional or Registered Dietitian.

Does metabolism decrease with age?

It does, but primarily because we tend to engage in less intense exercise and physical activity as we age. As a result, energy needs decline, and your metabolism slows down. So, what's the takeaway from this? Find ways to stay active throughout your life—no matter your age!

Is it true that the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be?

True indeed. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so when one increases lean muscle mass, they, in turn, raise their metabolism.[3] Strength-training exercises, such as weightlifting and resistance training, are especially effective for building muscle. However, don't forget about cardiovascular exercise! Walking, running, and swimming are vital for maintaining your heart and helping your body burn excess fat.

What are some tips for people who don't have time to exercise?

The most effective thing to do is to sit down with your schedule and find time. Unfortunately, for many people, that is much easier said than done. Thankfully, there are always ways to exercise, such as climbing the stairs instead of riding the elevator or parking at a distance from your final destination so you have to walk. Also, simple daily tasks like cleaning the house, carrying groceries from the car, gardening, and painting can have your body burning calories. Exercising doesn't have to be boring: while streaming your favorite shows at the end of the day, try some yoga or weightlifting as you watch!

How does diet affect metabolism?

As discussed above, diet plays an instrumental role in your . A healthy metabolism is necessary to help process the nutrients our body needs for energy and to carry out normal activities of daily living. Just be aware that consuming more calories than your body can use, especially from foods that lack nutritional density, can result in the storage of those calories as fat. It is recommended to pick fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy over anything processed or fried.

Another thing to remember is that excessively restricting calories can put your metabolism at a severe disadvantage. In strict dieting, the body enters survival mode, metabolism slows down, and as a result, the body can conserve whatever calories are consumed.[4] Instead of rigid, restrictive dieting, those aiming to lose weight should eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, as both can maintain and raise metabolism.

Are there any supplements that I can take to support my metabolism?

Yes, certain nutrients play critical roles in converting the food you eat into cellular energy your body can use. The family of B Vitamins consisting of Vitamins B1, B2, B3, pantothenic acid, folic acid, B6, B12, and Biotin are essential to the processes that metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into useable energy for the body. A daily B-Complex, such as Nature Made® Super B Energy‡ Complex, can help you with your intake of an adequate amount of these essential nutrients.†

Nature Made® CoQ10 200 Mg Softgels provide another nutrient to help support cellular energy production. Lastly, Magnesium is needed for a wide variety of roles in the body, including the breakdown of food into cellular energy. Nature Made® offers several Magnesium supplements, like High Absorption Magnesium Citrate Gummies, which provide a tasty source of this vital mineral.†

 

‡ Energy metabolism support*†

*Helps convert food into cellular energy†


† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


References

  1. Sánchez López de Nava A, Raja A. Physiology, Metabolism. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; September 12, 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31536296/
  2. Moghetti P, Bacchi E, Brangani C, Donà S, Negri C. Metabolic Effects of Exercise. Front Horm Res. 2016;47:44-57. doi:10.1159/000445156. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27348753/
  3. Vybornaya KV, Sokolov AI, Kobelkova IV, Lavrinenko SV, Klochkova SV, Nikityuk DB. Vopr Pitan. 2017;86(5):5-10. doi:10.24411/0042-8833-2017-00069. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30695621/
  4. Redman LM, Heilbronn LK, Martin CK, et al. Metabolic and behavioral compensations in response to caloric restriction: implications for the maintenance of weight loss. PLoS One. 2009;4(2):e4377. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004377. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19198647/

 

Authors

Graham Morris

NatureMade Copywriter

Graham has a degree in film with a focus on screenwriting from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He enjoys learning new things and finding the best, most engaging way to communicate them to a wide audience. Graham appreciates simplicity in life and nutrition, and wants to find the easiest, no-stress ways to stay healthy.

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Lynn M. Laboranti, RD

Science and Health Educator

Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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