What is aerobic metabolism?

Lona Sandon
Nutrition & Dietetics

Aerobic metabolism is a physiological process that requires oxygen to be available in order to use carbohydrate, fat, or protein for energy production. When oxygen is not available, only carbohydrate can be used for energy, this is anaerobic metabolism.

You use primarily aerobic metabolism for energy when you are working at a low to moderate pace during exercise. Walking briskly, cycling at approximately 12 mph, or a light to moderate jog would be good examples. Vigorous exercise or strength training actually relies mainly on anaerobic metabolism for energy production.

Aerobic metabolism is a chemical process in which oxygen is used to make energy from carbohydrates (sugars). Also called aerobic respiration, cell respiration, and oxidative metabolism.

This answer is based on source information from The National Cancer Institute.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.