ATP Energy for the Body

Alex_Grey-LightworkerThe body is an amazing thing, and how it works wonderful yet mind boggling. We’ll be presenting a simplified version of how the body creates energy that helps you move.

First of all, what does the body use for energy? It uses adenosine triphosphate (ATP), it is what all energy systems create in the body, and what all body systems use for energy. There is a little amount of ATP stored within the muscles, but is used rather quickly, within 1-3 seconds of work. When used by the body ATP become ADP (adenosine diphosphate), and that ADP can become ATP again when presented with another phosphate, and some energy to bond it.

A few fun facts about ATP:

  • The average human body contains around 0.1Kg of ATP at any given moment
  • Throughout the day the body will produce and use up around 40Kg of ATP in the average adult, and 70Kg in an athlete.
  • During high intensity training the body can use up to 0.5Kg/min!

The quickest way the body replenishes ATP is by using stored creatine phosphate (also known as phosphocreatine, PC) that is in the muscles. It is a high energy compound that quickly helps create ATP from ADP by transferring a phosphate. PC will start to be used within 1-2 seconds of maximal work, and will be depleted within 15-30 seconds.  This energy system is quickly used up, and generally the power source used to help do quick movements.

Next the body will start to use carbohydrates to produce the energy it needs in a process called glycolysis. Glycolysis is a 10 to 11 step process where glucose or glycogen is broken down by different enzymes. The glycogen or glucose is broken down into pyruvate, or lactic acid, well the breakdown occurs energy is created in the form of ATP. The pyruvate that has been created is turned into acetyl coenzyme A, with the help of some enzymes, and fed in to kreb cycle. The kreb cycle takes place within the mitochondria of a cell. Inside the kreb cycle electrons are transfered, and carbon dioxide is removed, in the end you end up with more ATP.kreb cycle

The last way the body produces ATP is through the electron transport system (ETS) which also takes place within the mitochondria. This process involves the transfer of electrons from hydrogen. After losing the electron hydrogen is positively charged, and goes into the mitochondrial membrane. The left over electrons attach to oxygen causing it to have a negative charge; this attracts the positively charged hydrogen atoms. Some of the hydrogen attaches to the oxygen, and produces water. The hydrogen that does not attach to oxygen travels through this system interacting with enzymes to help create ATP from ADP and a phosphate. For every ATP transported out of the mitochondria an ADP is put in along with a positive hydrogen atom, and a phosphate to start the cycle over again.

There is a fairly basic telling of how the body produces ATP to make your body run. It truly is a complex, and amazing thing, so remember to keep your body running smoothly with some exercise! 

Steven Moore About Steven Moore

Passionate Personal Fitness Trainer, and NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist at Blitz Conditioning. Prone to spurts of random nonsense. [Read my full bio]

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