The metabolism refers to the set of chemical processes that occur within the digestive system. It involves the conversion of nutrients from food and drink into energy and the foundation required for growth, repair, and other healthy bodily functions. Good metabolic health means your body is able to digest and absorb nutrients from food without unhealthy spikes in sugar, fat, inflammation, and insulin. It is important these spikes are avoided as they can contribute to the long-term impact of food on your health, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and increased levels of body fat.
Attitudes towards Metabolic Health
Having good metabolic health lowers your risk of metabolic diseases. The metabolism plays a key role in impacting other areas of health and can be impacted by food and drink. Another key component to metabolic health is sleep and stress management. For instance, when asked what health problems consumers suffer from, 47% said constant tiredness. This symptom could be related to the metabolism, due to its important role in producing energy for the body’s functions. Disruptions in metabolic processes can lead to reduced energy levels and tiredness.
Consumers also expressed concerns about their sugar levels. This can also be linked to the metabolism, with certain metabolic issues affecting blood sugar regulation; such as insulin resistance which can influence energy crashes and fatigue.
Diet & Lifestyle
Dietary and lifestyle habits can play a role in the functioning of the metabolism. For example, the timing of meals can affect the metabolism, and eating balanced meals regularly can help keep your metabolism active. Also, staying hydrated is important for maintaining optimal metabolic function. Water is required for various metabolic reactions, including those involved in digestion and nutrient transport. Regular physical activity, including aerobic exercises (like running and swimming), can also contribute to boosting the metabolism.
Sleep & Stress
When the body is under stress, various hormonal and physiological responses occur that can influence the metabolism in several ways. Our consumer insights highlight that almost three-quarters of global consumers experience stress some of the time. In some cases, chronic stress can lead to a reduced metabolic rate, making it harder for the body to burn calories efficiently. This can contribute to weight gain and difficulties in weight management. In addition, chronic stress can lead to sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or poor-quality sleep. Lack of sleep is known to influence the metabolism by disrupting hormones that regulate appetite, increasing the desire for high-calorie foods.
Sleep hygiene plays a significant role in metabolic function. The quality and duration of sleep have a significant impact on various metabolic processes. Sleep influences the release of hormones that are important for metabolic regulation. Our market research shows that 64% of global consumers get less than 7 hours of sleep per night, which is less than the recommended amount for an adult. Insufficient sleep is associated with the disruption of hormones, for instance, leptin (which suppresses the appetite) and ghrelin (which stimulates the appetite).
A well-functioning metabolism plays a central role in overall health. Being aware of how to support metabolic health can positively influence other health areas. By providing consumers with well-balanced, nutrient-dense options and transparent information, the food and drink industry can play a significant role in supporting consumers’ efforts to improve their metabolism and overall health.