Anabolics refers to anabolism, which is the method of constructing molecules from smaller units. It derives from the Greek words ana which means “upward” and ballein which means “to throw”. In bodybuilding language, this simply means enlarging the muscles. Adding mass to the muscles or enlarging the muscles requires energy and metabolic processes, which simply means movement within the cells of the body. |
The anabolic process refers to “building up” tissues, organs and for bodybuilders, muscles. The complex method of increasing the muscles of the body called the muscle mass is also referred to as the anabolic processes. The anabolic process is not limited to increasing the muscle mass. This process also includes increasing the body size of an individual and the growth of the bones.
Most endocrinologist, or those specialist that deals with the endocrine system (the glands that secretes hormones), classified these components as either anabolic or catabolic, depending on which part they stimulate. So a hormone can also increase a certain part of the body and is involved in the anabolic process. These anabolic hormones include the anabolic steroids, which speeds up muscle growth.
Anabolism is also referred to as constructive metabolism as opposed to catabolism. Anabolism is building up of things, like muscles in particular, through a series of chemical reactions. Anabolism also consumes energy during this process of chemical reactions. In other words, the more muscles you build, the more energy you’ll need. This energy will derive from the food that you’ll eat.
Anabolism is also synonymous with biosynthesis which allows the body to create new cells and maintain the tissues. Our body has the capacity to use simple molecules to create larger molecules. For example, amino acids are simple molecules which could turn into proteins using the anabolic process. Proteins are larger and more complex molecules or polymers.
Some of the classic anabolic hormones that our body produces are growth hormone, insulin, testosterone and estrogen. The growth hormones are made by the pituitary gland and it stimulates the release of the somatomedin, a hormone that is produced by the liver that causes growth in the body. The insulin on the other hand is a hormone made in the pancreas. The purpose of the insulin is to regulate the level of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Our body cells utilize glucose by the use of insulin.
The testosterone is the male hormone that is produced in the testes. It is responsible for the development of the male sex characteristics like deep voice, having a beard, strengthening the muscles and bone mass. Estrogen on the other hand, is the female hormone produced in the ovaries. It is responsible for developing the female characteristics such as the breast, the uterus and regulating the menstrual cycle.
Anabolics is therefore important for body builders since it is the process that determines the increase in muscle mass. Anyone who’s seriously thinking of getting involved with bodybuilding should also consider the process involve in anabolism.
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