anabolism and catabolism state explained

Deep down we all know there are different phases in any kind of sport and physical activity. The goal is to keep the balance between these phases and include them properly in the right amount in the right time. Anabolism and catabolism are the two main types of biochemical reactions that make up metabolism. Anabolism builds complex molecules from simpler ones, while catabolism breaks large molecules into smaller ones. Simply put Anabolic means “building up” and catabolic means “breaking down”. Long-term strategies, such as increasing muscle mass, may eventually have an effect. However, determining a body’s energy needs, then adapting lifestyle accordingly, will have a quicker effect on altering body weight.

How does catabolism happen?

Energy is released in three phases. In the first, large molecules, such as those of proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids, are broken down; small amounts of energy are released in the form of heat in these processes. In the second phase, the small molecules are oxidized, liberating chemical energy to form ATP as well as heat energy, to form one of the three compounds: acetate, oxaloacetate, or α-oxoglutarate. These are oxidized to carbon dioxide during the third phase, a cyclic reaction sequence called the tricarboxylic acid (or Krebs) cycle. Hydrogen atoms or electrons from the intermediate compounds formed during the cycle are transferred (through a succession of carrier molecules) ultimately to oxygen, forming water. These events, the most important means for generating ATP in cells, are known as terminal respiration and oxidative phosphorylation (see cellular respiration).

How does anabolism happen?

Anabolism, also called biosynthesis, the sequences of enzyme-catalyzed reactions by which relatively complex molecules are formed in living cells from nutrients with relatively simple structures. Anabolic processes, which include the synthesis of such cell components as carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, require energy in the form of energy-rich compounds (e.g., adenosine triphosphate) that are produced during breakdown processes (see catabolism). In growing cells, anabolic processes dominate over catabolic ones. In nongrowing cells, a balance exists between the two.

What are the catabolic hormones?

  • AdrenalineAlso called “epinephrine,” adrenaline is a product of adrenal glands. It is the key component of the “fight or flight” response that accelerates heart rate, opens up bronchioles in the lungs for better oxygen absorption and floods the body with glucose for fast energy.
  • Glucagoncreated by the alpha cells in the pancreas, glucagon stimulates the breakdown of glycogen into glucose. Glycogen is stored in the liver and when the body needs energy (training, running away from danger, high level of stress), glucagon stimulates the liver to catabolize glycogen, which enters the blood as glucose.
  • CytokinesThis hormone is a petite protein that regulates communication and interactions between cells. Cytokines are uninterruptedly being produced and broken down in the body, where their amino acids are either reused or recycled for different processes. Two examples of cytokines are interleukin and lymphokines, most often released during the body’s immune response to invasion (bacteria, virus, fungus, tumor) or injuries.
  • Cortisolproduced in the adrenal glands, cortisol is known as the “stress hormone.” It is released during times of anxiety, nervousness or when the organism feels prolonged discomfort. It increases blood pressure, blood sugar levels and suppresses the body’s immune processes.

What are the anabolic hormones?

  • TestosteronePresent in females as well as males, testosterone is produced mostly in the testes(gonads). It regulates some male sexual characteristics (facial hair, voice), strengthens bones, and helps build and maintain muscle mass.
  • EstrogenPresent in males as well as in females, estrogen is produced mainly in the ovaries(gonads). It regulates some female sexual characteristics (growth of breasts and hips), regulates the menstrual cycle, and plays a role in strengthening bone mass.
  • InsulinProduced in the pancreas by beta cells, it regulates the blood level and use of glucose. The body can’t use glucose, a main source of energy, without insulin. When the pancreas can’t create insulin, or when the body struggles to process the insulin it makes, this causes diabetes.
  • Growth hormoneProduced in the pituitary, growth hormone stimulates and regulates growth during the early stages of life. After maturity, it helps regulate bone repair.