Energy Metabolism: Part 1

Let’s get technical for a moment.  How much do you really know about your body?  Cardio good….sugar bad….etc.  Do you actually know how we get the energy we need to power our bodies?  When we go running or weight lifting, how does it affect you?  The truth is that your metabolism will be affected differently depending on the exercise you choose to do.



The amazing molecule shown above is the fuel of humans; adenosine triphosphate (ATP).  To the right you will see the base…adenosine.  The pentagon on the bottom center is a sugar….ribose.   The series of P’s and O’s to the left is your triphosphate (THREE phosphate groups linked together).  This molecule has stored energy waiting and ready for when our bodies call upon it.  The energy is released when one of those phosphate groups is cleaved, or broken off, from the rest of the molecule.  The result is adenosine diphosphate; now the molecule only has TWO phosphate groups.



The big question is where can I find ATP?  Up my nose? In my blood?  Brain? Toes? Kidneys?  ATP is created using a variety of systems.  Each system is optimized for a specific objective.

The three systems our body uses to provide ATP are:

  1. Phosphogen System
  2. Glycolysis
  3. The Citric Acid (or Krebs) Cycle

In favor of keeping the facts bite-sized I will continue to identify and explain these systems in another post.  Please follow along to stay updated!

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