ATP - How Is Energy Produced And Used Up In Our Body?
The main aim of exercising is to improve muscle tone, strength and endurance. This requires the production and use of energy by the body. This energy constitutes complex molecules known as ATP, Adenosine Triphosphate.
These ATP Molecules are the essential elements of a biochemical process called the Krebs Cycle or Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle.
Carbohydrates break down into sugars that form ATP molecules. The simpler sugars break down more easily and quickly on an average. However, the more complex carbs take longer to break down and therefore provide the body with an adequate supply of compounds required to produce ATP.
It is a known fact that sugars so to speak are not bad for the body but when consumed in excess and in unhealthy forms, can lead to adverse health problems such as Diabetes.
ATP molecules are broken down into ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate) and thus release energy in the process.
Once the ADP are produced, they pick up the molecules required for the production of more ATP and thus the cycle continues once again. The energy that is released during this process is used to repair and maintain the damaged cells in the body,aid in the process of respiration, help the organ system function properly and more importantly produce the energy required to fuel muscle contractions.
The Krebs Cycle leads to the production of heat and carbon dioxide as byproducts. The heat is eliminated from the body through the processes of respiration and sweating. Whereas, the carbon dioxide is carried through the system and some of it is expelled during the respiratory process.
Exercise which basically involves muscle contractions requires ATP molecules to be produced continuously at different stages in time. In order to achieve this the body has the capability of producing 3 different systems, which produce ATP at different rates.
The phosphagen system allows ATP to be replenished quickly but only for short periods. Thus this system greatly helps sprinters. The glycogen-lactic system produces ATP at a much slower pace and lasts only for upto 90 seconds or so. The third system is known as Aerobic respiration. This process makes ATP the slowest but can last indefinitely.
When you exercise, ATP gets consumed. This is the principle reason why we need to eat in order to replenish the lost nutrients and gain more energy in order to exercise and produce more ATP. Thus, this cycle starts over again.
The body is a fascinating self regulating system that consists of interconnecting components. This structure of the body is central to the way it produces and uses energy.