× About Us How it works Pricing Student Archive Subjects Blog Contact Us

Enrich your knowledge with our informative blogs

What is the difference between cellular respiration and breathing (respiration)?

Cellular respiration and breathing are the living organisms defining characteristics. However, the terms are not synonymous, as there are several significant differences between both terms.

Cellular respiration generally describes how your cells make ATP, where ATP refers to a molecule used to provide the energy for performing chemical reactions. On the contrary, breathing or respiration refers to how your body gets oxygen into its lungs from the outside air.

Let us understand the difference by focusing on each one individually.

Book Your 60-minutes Free Trial class NOW!

What is cellular respiration?

Cellular respiration refers to the biochemical process of energy release that can be further utilized by the body cells to perform several daily activities, including sitting, running, walking, and many others. It is a vital process for maintaining the appropriate functioning of the organ system.


What is Breathing or Respiration?

Breathing refers to a biochemical process through which oxygen is inhaled, and carbon dioxide is exhaled out from the lungs to enhance the gaseous exchange within tissues, living cells, and other human body organs. The breathing mechanism involves several respiratory structures like the lungs, nose, and windpipe.

Book Your 60-minutes Free Trial class NOW!

Understanding the differences between Cellular Respiration and Breathing

Parameters Cellular Respiration Breathing
Definition It is a process of glucose breakdown to generate energy that is then utilized by the cells to perform cellular functions. Breathing is a process of exhaling carbon dioxide and inhaling oxygen.
Process type It is an involuntary chemical process It is a both voluntary as well as involuntary process


Process Occurrence The respiration process takes place in cells. Breathing takes place in the lungs and also involves the mouth, nose, and pharynx.
Energy Production Here energy is released and produced in the form of ATP Here no energy production occurs.
Enzyme used A large number of enzymes are used during the respiration process. No enzymes are used during the breathing process.
Cellular Activity A breathing process takes place inside the cells; it is known as an intracellular process. As it takes place outside the cells it is known as the extracellular process.
Associated organs It takes place in the cell organelles and cells including mitochondria, etc. It takes place through the respiratory organs including the lungs, nose, etc.

Book Your 60-minutes Free Trial class NOW!

Bottom Line!

The primary difference between cellular respiration and breathing is that

Breathing refers to a biological process of exhaling and inhaling the gases between the environment and cells and also involves several respiratory structures like lungs, nose, and windpipe.

Respiration refers to a chemical process that takes place in a cell. Here the air that we generally inhale brings oxygen to the lungs and is carried to the cells by the blood. And that is where it helps in breaking down the glucose resulting in energy generation. Furthermore, this energy is utilized by the cells to carry out their functions.

We hope this answer gave you a clear idea about the differences.

Read More – Biology Questions

View More – Useful links for Your Child’s Development 

Visualize the in-depth understanding of the natural world!
Visualize the in-depth understanding of the natural world!

Biology would sound more interesting when your curiosity levels are satisfied with better visuals & logical explanations.

Book A Demo Class

Tel Guru
Tel Guru

Register For The Demo Class