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Energy is created by three main nutrients being broken down within the body.

These nutrients are referred to as energy nutrients. Fats, Carbohydrates and Proteins. The body collects these nutrients directly through eating plants that photosynthesise and indirectly through the animals that eat the plants. Food travels through to our stomach when consumed, and through our intestines where it is digested. The body digests food and stores nutrients throughout the body.

The primary energy source for the body. Found in foods such as pasta, bread, fruits and cereals. When eaten, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and transported via the blood to the muscles for energy release. If this energy is not used immediately, it is stored as Glycogen in the skeletal muscle. Once stored in the muscle, it can only be used by that specific muscle group. If muscle groups are full with glycogen, it is transported back to the liver and stored. Excess glycogen is stored as triglycerides (fat) in adipose tissue.

Fats are found in foods such as fatty meats, fast foods, butter and nuts. This is the secondary source in the body after carbohydrates. After consumption, fats are digested into free fatty acids for transport around the body via the bloodstream. They are stored in the body as triglycerides in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Need oxygen to be broken down.

Found in food sources such as meat, fish, eggs and milk. Primarily used for growth and repair of the body. Proteins are only used in extreme circumstances for example starvation, when all the carbohydrate and fat stores are depleted.

Energy stores are not used immediately to create energy, but are used to rebuild ATP. ATP is an energy rich molecule which consists of 1 Adenosine molecule and 3 Phosphate molecules. When a phosphate molecule releases from ATP, energy is created. Leaving Adenosine Diphosphate. Energy from food sources is utilised, ADP+P can be resynthesised to create ATP.

Energy released
Muscular contraction Digestion Nerve Transmission

A-P-P-P
Adenosine Triphosphate

A-P-P (+P)
Adenosine Diphosphate + Phosphate

Food Energy
Carbohydrates Fats Proteins

Carbohydrates and Fats are the main fuel sources used to supply energy demands but which is more dominant is dependant on the exercise duration and intensity. Fats can only be broken down to resynthesise ATP in a process which requires oxygen called aerobic lipolysis. Carbohydrates are broken down aerobically in a process called aerobic glycolysis or without oxygen in a process called anaerobic glycolysis.

As intensity increases, the body will rely on carbohydrates for a fuel source. This is because carbohydrates require considerably less work to be broken down and are therefore dominant during high intensity exercise. As duration increases, the body will rely on fats for a fuel source. This is because fats require oxygen to be broken down. Therefore fats tend to be more dominant during low intensity, long duration exercises.

The bodys preferred fuel source is glycogen. However once the bodys glycogen stores are depleted, athletes must rely upon fats as a fuel source. As fats require oxygen to be broken down, this creates harder work for the athlete. Athletes at this stage will notice their performance level drop significantly, they will lose concentration and appear disorientated this is called Hitting the wall. In any event lasting longer than 90 minutes, the exhaustion of glycogen is a limiting factor for athletes. Glycogen stores can be manipulated through training and diet.

There are three energy systems within the human body ATP-CP system or Creatine Phosphate system Lactic acid system or Anaerobic system (without oxygen) Oxygen system or Aerobic system (with oxygen).

First energy system used. The body has limited stores and the use is restricted. This system will last 0-10seconds of contractions during exercise. Maximal or sprint exercise. Once depleted this system can be restored 50% after 30 seconds of rest. 100% restored in 3 minutes.

A-P-P-P
Adenosine Triphosphate

C-P
Creatine Phosphate

ENERGY + C + P A-P-P (+P)


Adenosine Diphosphate + Phosphate

Glycogen is broken down into pyruvic acid which produces enough energy to resynthesise 2 ATP molecules. Without enough oxygen pyruvic acid creates a byproduct called lactic acid which causes muscle failure as it accumulates. This is called anaerobic glycolysis. Provides short term energy and is dominant in activities lasting 20-90 seconds of maximal intensity.

Glycogen

A-P-P-P
Adenosine Triphosphate

ENERGY

Pyruvic Acid A-P-P (+P)


Adenosine Diphosphate + Phosphate

NO OXYGE N Lactic Acid

A-P-P-P
Adenosine Triphosphate

Glycogen
Glycogen

ENERGY ENERGY

2 ATP
NO OXYGEN

A-P-P (+P)
Adenosine Diphosphate + Phosphate

Pyruvic Acid

Pyruvic Acid
Lactic Acid

Krebs Cycle 36 ATP

OXYGE N

Starts similar to the lactic acid system only when sufficient oxygen is delivered the pyruvic acid is further broken down into CO2 and H2O and resynthesises 36 ATP molecules. Dominant in sub-maximal activities lasting more than 2-3minutes It takes a person 3-5 minutes to reach their steady state the state in which their oxygen demands are met by sufficient oxygen consumption. No by-products but exercise lasting more than 12hours will result in depletion of glycogen stores which may take 24-48hours to replenish.

The maximum volume of oxygen consumed by the body for energy production the moment where oxygen intake peaks despite increase of energy expenditure. Express in relative VO2 Max in millilitres per kilogram of body weight because of the size of the athlete. Important indicator for a persons capacity to resynthesise ATP. VO2 Max can only be achieved through the dominant use of anaerobic glycolysis.

The maximum intensity of a persons steady state which can be sustained without the accumulation of lactic acid is called the anaerobic threshold. Anaerobic threshold is also know as OBLA (onset of blood lactic acid). This determines the maximum exercise intensity they can maintain for an extended period of time without feeling the fatigued effects of lactic acid accumulation. The period where they body is desperately trying to catch up to the oxygen demands of the body is called oxygen deficit.

Once the exercise activity is finish, recovery begins immediately. Oxygen consumption will remain high after exercise to allow the body to return to preexercise levels oxygen debt. EPOC is a result of replenishing of ATP-CP stores, removal of lactic acid, increased activity of the heart and respiratory muscles, restoration of myoglobin and haemoglobin oxygen supplies, release of hormones during exercise and the increase of core temperature.

EPOC Alactacid component restoration of ATP-CP and replenishment of O2 for myoglobin and surrounding tissues. Approx. 2-3 minutes in total. EPOC Lactacid component the removal of lactic acid and slight glycogen replenishment. The removal of lactic acid may take up to 90 minutes for full recovery. Both processes occur immediately and simultaneously after exercise. Continuous activity post-exercise at approx. 50-65% VO2 Max will: speed up the removal of lactic acid, prevent blood pooling, allow skeletal muscles to oxididse some of the lactic acid for more energy and keeps blood circulating through the liver to covert lactic acid back to glycogen. This is called and warm down.