Catabolic And Anabolic Compare And Contrast Essay

Key Difference: Metabolism refers to the bio-chemical reactions that take place in an organism. These reactions are important for maintaining life.  It consists of two processes – Catabolism and Anabolism. Catabolism deals with breakdown of larger molecules into smaller ones. These are usually energy releasing processes. On the other hand, Anabolism is related to the synthesis of complex molecules from simpler ones. These are energy-using processes.

Cells are important constituents of any organism. Numerous chemical reactions take place in these cells in order to carry out different actions. All the reactions are together referred to as metabolism. The chemicals that are involved in metabolism are known as metabolites. Metabolism as biochemical processes, are important in many contexts. They are important for maintaining life. These processes provide the necessary mechanisms for growth, reproduction, repair damage and many more.

The reaction of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways like in a metabolic pathway known as glycolysis, glucose is converted into pyruvate and produce ATP. During the chemical reactions, energy is involved. It is either taken in or released. Metabolism is responsible for managing material and energy resources of the cell. In catabolism more complex organic molecules break down into simpler substances. These reactions usually result in release of energy which is further used to drive chemical reactions.

Example of Catabolism

Fuels (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) -> CO2 +H2O + useful energy

Organisms are classified on the basis of type of Catabolism –

  • Organotrophs - Organisms which use organic sources as a source of energy
  • Lithotrophs - Organisms which use inorganic substrates
  • Phototrophs – Organisms which use sunlight as chemical energy

On the other hand, in anabolism reactions, simpler substances combine to form complex molecules. These reactions generally require energy to take place. In this context, anabolism and catabolism can be considered as just opposite of each other. Thus, anabolism can be referred to as ‘building up’, whereas catabolism can be referred to as ‘breaking down’. The energy released by catabolic reactions is used for carrying out anabolic reactions.

Example of Anabolism

Useful energy + small molecules ->complex molecules

Metabolism comprises of both catabolism and metabolism. In this way, it balances both the activities that take place simultaneously. Catabolism is also known as destructive metabolism. On the other hand, anabolism is also known as constructive metabolism.

Comparison between Metabolism, Catabolism and Anabolism:






Metabolism refers to the bio-chemical reactions that take place in an organism. It consists of two processes – Catabolism and Anabolism

Catabolism deals with energy releasing processes.

Anabolism is related to energy-using processes.

Origin of Word

From Greek: μεταβολή metabolē, "change" or Greek: μεταβολισμός metabolismos, "outthrow"

From Greek kata = downward + ballein = to throw

From Greek: ανά "upward" and βάλλειν "to throw"


Includes catabolism and anabolism

It breaks things and releases energy

It builds things and consumes energy


  • Growth and division
  • Maintaining cellular structures
  • Sense/respond to environment

The energy released provides fuel for anabolism, heats the body, and enables the muscles to contract and the body to move.


  • It supports growth of new cells
  • It helps in maintenance of body tissues
  • It supports the storage of energy for future use

Energy Form

Includes enegy forms of catabolism and metabolism

Energy is released as kinetic energy

Energy is used and stored as potential energy


Includes examples of catabolism and anabolism

Cell Respiration, Digestion, Excretion

Photosynthesis in plants, assimilation in animals

Maintaining a healthy level of anabolic activity is critical to ensuring quality of life and longevity. Metabolism can be simply defined as the set of biochemical processes that occur in an organism to sustain life. It can then be divided into two categories, processes that break down (catabolic) and processes that build up (anabolic).

Anabolic Versus Catabolic

Anabolic processes create complex materials from simpler substances. This activity would include synthesizing the basic components of cells like proteins and lipids, as well as creating the storage form of nutrients to be utilized as needed for energy. The steroidal hormones that stimulate protein synthesis and muscle growth are traditionally classified by endocrinologists as anabolic hormones due to the nature of their effects on the body.

Catabolic processes move in the opposite direction, breaking down large molecules into smaller ones, and tend to release energy in the form of energy- rich compounds like adenosine triphosphate (ATP). They not only supply the energy to power anabolic activity, they also provide the small molecules (building blocks) required to create more complex molecules, and the electrons which act like “glue” by holding atoms together through chemical bonds.

A Healthy Balance

In a cell where the anabolic processes dominate over the catabolic ones, growth will result. In a fully developed (non-growing) cell, a healthy balance will exist between the two states. This same concept applies to the entire organism. Take a human for example. As a child, youth naturally provides an anabolic dominant metabolism to support the growth requirements necessary for healthy development. This is the reason why children often bounce back quicker from illness and injury. Once fully mature, a balance between catabolic and anabolic activity is found to sustain the body. Maintaining this balance is crucial to ensuring quality of life and longevity, as it impacts every aspect of health.

Aging – The Shift Toward Catabolic Dominance

As we age, the balance slowly shifts towards a more catabolic dominant metabolism, initiating the many physical and energetic changes we associate with later stages of life. The body becomes less efficient, losing the ability to keep pace with the rate of break down that is occurring. This shift results in decreased energy levels, physical deterioration, increased susceptibility to illness and injury, and longer recovery times. While this is a natural process that everyone experiences, the choices we make over the course of our lives can greatly improve our body’s ability to age gracefully. A healthy lifestyle that includes proper diet, regular exercise, and good rest is essential.

Supporting Anabolic Restoration

In conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, nutrients and botanicals that specifically promote anabolic activity can be highly effective tools for strengthening the body’s ability to regenerate and repair itself. Amino acid mineral chelates (creatine magnesium chelate), ecdysterone rich herbal extracts (Rhaponticum and Suma), and “super-food” concentrates (whey protein) have all been shown to support anabolic metabolism. 

Many of Natura’s formulas provide synergistic combinations of ingredients to encourage anabolic restoration, vital health, and longevity. 

Natura's anabolic support formulas:
Power Adapt®
Night Gain®
Beyond Whey®

One thought on “Catabolic And Anabolic Compare And Contrast Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *