Is metabolism really what we think?

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Recently learned that metabolism is actually all of the chemical reactions that take place in our bodies, whereas metabolic rate is the rate in which we convert stored energy into working energy.

So when people say “gosh my metabolism is so slow” do they actually mean metabolic rate?

In: Biology
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Yes, they do. It’s not rare to have a difference between what the science says and what the people says. The best example is how “hypothesis” is used in science for an almost certain explaination while in the common language, it’s used to say “something unsure and unverified”.

To elaborate a bit more on your metabolism question, if some people have a slower metabolic rate, their whole metabolism can also be slower (as less reactions happens per hour than other people) as a lot of chemical reactions in the body needs energy, energy provided by the metabolic rate.