Every time you swallow a bite of sandwich or slurp a smoothie, your body works hard to process the nutrients you've eaten. Long after the dishes are cleared and the food is digested, the nutrients you've taken in become the building blocks and fuel needed by your body. Your body gets the energy it needs from food through a process called metabolism.
What Is Metabolism?
Metabolism (pronounced: meh-TAB-uh-lih-zem) is a collection of chemical reactions that takes place in the body's cells. Metabolism converts the fuel in the food we eat into the energy needed to power everything we do, from moving to thinking to growing.
Specific proteins in the body control the chemical reactions of metabolism, and each chemical reaction is coordinated with other body functions. In fact, thousands of metabolic reactions happen at the same time — all regulated by the body — to keep our cells healthy and working.
Metabolism is a constant process that begins when we're conceived and ends when we die. It is a vital process for all life forms — not just humans.