Metabolic Energy Systemsby Ralph Waldo SEO We all are aware that our body needs energy to do any physical activity. But what really is energy? Where does this energy come from? How do we use it? How do we get more of it? Eventually, we get the energy from the food we eat. Though, we cannot use energy directly from food. Food is made up of several nutrients such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates. When we eat food these nutrients are broken down into the simplest forms, i.e. glucose, fatty acids and amino acids during the digestion process. Then, they get circulated in our body through the blood to either be used in a metabolic process or is stored for later use.
Food that is consumed must first be converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the instant useable form of chemical energy used for the body’s cellular function. Our body gets the maximum amount of ATP from the food we eat, and a small amount of ATP gets stored within the muscles. The energy for all the body functions comes from the conversion of high-energy phosphates (ATP) to lower-energy phosphates. Since our muscles don’t store much ATP, we must continually resynthesize it. This occurs in several ways using one of the three energy systems. Here are they:
Phosphagen System (immediate source of energy)
The Phosphagen system, or adenosine triphosphate–creatine phosphate (ATP-CP) system is first to respond during any physical activity. Among all energy systems, it’s the first one prepared for emergencies. It boosts in whenever the oxidative system, which is the body’s normal method for giving energy, is low. During a brief, high-intensity activities, a large amount of energy needs to be produced by the muscles, making a good demand for ATP. The phosphagen system is the fastest way to resynthesize ATP. This system utilizes creatine phosphate (CP) and has a very quick rate of producing ATP. The CP is used to reconstruct ATP after it’s broken down to release the energy. As the total amount of ATP and CP stored in the muscles is low, so there is limited energy available. However, the energy is instantaneously available, used for all-out exercise lasting up to about 30 seconds.
Anaerobic Glycolysis System (slow, uses carbohydrates)
The anaerobic glycolysis system is the conversion of glucose to lactate when there is a very little amounts of oxygen available. It is the main energy system used for all physical activities lasting from 30 seconds to about 120 seconds and is the second-quickest way to resynthesize ATP. It does not need oxygen and uses the energy stored in glucose for the production of ATP. This pathway takes place within the cytoplasm and breaks down carbohydrate in the form of blood glucose into a simpler component known as pyruvate. This results in production of two molecules of usable ATP. Therefore, very little energy is produced through this system, but the outcome is that you get the energy rapidly. The anaerobic glycolysis system is the main source of energy generated in the human body before oxygen, was at high concentration in the environment and thus would reflect a more traditional mean of energy production in cells.
Aerobic Energy System (slow, uses either fat or carbohydrate)
The aerobic energy system generates the maximum amounts of energy, although at the lowest intensity. This pathway needs oxygen to produce ATP, because fats and carbohydrates are only burned in the presence of oxygen. This process occurs in the mitochondria of the cell and is used for body functions requiring constant energy production. This system has a slow rate of ATP production and is mainly utilized during longer-duration, lower-intensity physical activities after the Phosphagen and Anaerobic Glycolysis systems. The aerobic system can be broken down into three sections: Glycolysis, Kreb's Cycle and Electron Transport Chain (ETC) and release a large amount of energy in order to resynthesize ATP.
It is significant to consider that all these systems contribute to the energy requirements of our body during exercise or any physical activity. These energy systems work together, however at different times, depending on the intensity and the duration of the activity. All energy systems contribute at the beginning of physical activity but the contribution is based upon the individual, the effort taken or on the rate at which energy is used.
Each of these three energy systems can produce energy to different capacities and varies from person to person. A study suggests that the ATP-PCR system can generate energy at a rate of roughly 36 kcal per minute. Glycolysis can generate energy only half as quickly at about 16 kcal per minute. The oxidative system has the lowest rate of power output at about 10 kcal per minute.
In conclusion, these energy systems add strength to the holistic and synergistic approach required by our body. People should understand the importance of powering the body to maximize energy and performance. It is also useful to know how our body gets energy so that healthy habits can be opted to improve the overall performance.
Created on Dec 31st 1969 18:00. Viewed 0 times.