anabolism catabolism

What is the difference between muscle catabolism and muscle anabolism?

Both catabolism and anabolism belong to the body's metabolic process. These are very important phases for athletes. These two phenomena work in completely opposite ways. Catabolism generates energy for the body. While anabolism uses energy. When we talk about muscle catabolism and anabolism, the former reduces body mass while the latter increases it. To better understand all this, here is a small comparison.

How catabolism works

catabolism anabolism

Catabolism is a set of chemical processes that break down molecules from the components absorbed by the body. The purpose of this is to create energy for the body as a whole. Similar to anabolism, large molecules are transformed into smaller ones.

Catabolism produces the heat needed to warm the body. It is also through this process that the muscles of the body can contract. It is catabolism that provides the energy for the anabolic process.

This procedure requires the presence of oxygen to start. To start the catabolism process, you need to breathe. It is also necessary to exercise and move to promote the catabolism process.

How anabolism works

Anabolism is a technique that allows the body to renew or manufacture cell tissue. It does this by transforming large molecules from sugar, fat and protein into much smaller molecules. This transformation consists of synthesizing the molecules. However, unlike catabolism, anabolism promotes energy recovery.

Anabolism does not require oxygen to take place. It is through this method that the body can store energy. Without the anabolic system, it is impossible to maintain body tissues. It is this system that allows the creation of new cells in the body.

Weight training is the best method to promote the anabolic process. Since it allows you to recover energy, it is perfect for practicing sports or exercise over a fairly long period of time.

Examples of hormones resulting from catabolism

Catabolism gives life to several hormones. One of these is adrenaline which is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands. Then there is cortisol which is a hormone considered to be responsible for the stress of an individual. Its level varies according to each individual and can also change throughout the day.

Examples of hormones from anabolism

First, there is estrogen. This is a hormone that is naturally secreted by the ovary in women. It is used to maintain and ensure the proper functioning of the female genitalia. It is thanks to the production of estrogen that the breasts of women develop. This hormone is also responsible for the onset of menstruation in pubescent girls.

Then there is the testosterone which is a hormone responsible for male virility. It is at the origin of the pilosity of the boys during their puberty period. It develops during the fetal period. It stops once the baby is born. It then reappears at puberty as the male genitalia develop. Then it generally decreases after the age of 30.

What about bodybuilders?


When we practice bodybuilding, we are primarily looking for muscle anabolism. In fact, the purpose of this phase is to develop muscles. This is what is commonly called muscle mass gain. Nevertheless, it will not come in a week, it will take a little time to reach this one provided that you train regularly and have a proper diet. When training is done, small lesions are formed on the muscles, and it is nutrition and sleep that allow the body to repair them and thus make them grow. Other parameters come into play to contribute to this, such as the natural hormones that our body secretes and that facilitate anabolism and of course the rest phases. In other words, athletes are afraid of catabolism.

Do you want a complete bodybuilding program to follow?

Other articles to read :

Endorphin secretion during sport

How to master the thruster in weight training?

Lou Ferrigno's training: The incredible hulk

Alcohol and bodybuilding: Its harmful effects when we are athletes

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One Comment

  1. Very technical
    anabolism: muscle gain
    catabolism: muscle loss
    Here is a good summary and no need to go into details
    when you work out you push and eat and that's it

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