Differences between Breathing and Respiration

Differences between Breathing and Respiration

Distinguish, differentiate, compare and explain what are the differences between breathing and respiration. Comparison and Difference.

All living organisms respire. Respiration is essential for survival of living organisms. It releases energy from the food. The oxygen we inhale is used to breakdown glucose into carbon dioxide and water. Energy is released in the process. Respiration is a process which involves breathing.

Why do organisms respire?

Organisms respire to get energy from food. During respiration energy is released from food and this takes place inside the cells of the body. Oxygen of air taken inside the cells is used for breaking down of food and energy is released by burning food.


Respiration is the process by which living cells oxidize food or burn food and release energy, at the same time giving off carbon dioxide.

Respiration is the process whereby potential energy, stored in food is released in steps as energy to do work. Respiration takes place in every cell of every organism, and the energy in food is released with the help of enzymes- special chemicals that speed up reactions.

Respiratory enzymes control the rate of the release of energy from the food. The enzymes ensure that the reactions occur at body temperature which is much lower than temperatures at which fuel burns. The burning process or oxidation of food to release energy, usually needs oxygen which is in the air organism breathe in.

There are two (2) types of Respiration

  1. Aerobic Respiration
  2. Anaerobic Respiration

Aerobic Respiration

Aerobic means with air. This type of respiration needs oxygen for it to occur so it is called aerobic respiration. Aerobic respiration occurs in plants as well as animals. Oxygen enters plant cells through the stomata. Plants produce their food via photosynthesis and release energy from it through the process of respiration.

Anaerobic Respiration

Anaerobic means without air (“an” means without). Sometimes there is not enough oxygen around for animals and plants to respire, but they still need the energy to survive. Instead, they carry out respiration in the absence of oxygen to produce the energy they require. This is called anaerobic respiration.


The function of the breathing system is to move air in and out of the body and to enable gaseous exchange to take place. The term gaseous exchange describes the movement of oxygen from the lungs into the blood, and the movement of carbon dioxide from the blood into the lungs. Remember that respiration occurs in cells and that breathing refers to the action of the breathing system.

Differences between Breathing and Respiration

S.No. Breathing Respiration
1 It is a physical process. It is a biochemical process.
2 Air contained oxygen is taken in to the lungs and air loaded out with carbon dioxide is given out. Oxygen taken in used in oxidizing glucose and energy is released.
3 Lungs are mainly involved. Occurs in all living cells of the body
4 A process of gaseous exchange with the environment. A process that breaks down food to release energy.
5 Removes carbon dioxide produced during respiration. Produces carbon dioxide.
6 Energy is consumed. Energy is released.
7 Not catalysed by enzymes. Enzyme catalyzed process.
8 Extracellular Intracellular


Difference between Respiration vs Breathing

Breathing vs Respiration

Differences between Respiration vs Breathing

Image Credits: Freepik

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