The Energy Continuum

 

 

The Body has 3 energy systems that are used as needed to continuously feed the muscles during any physical activity.

Some of the foods you eat are converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This is the main source of energy for muscular contraction. The three energy systems all work together to maintain a constant level of ATP. Without it, movement would be impossible.

 In the FIRST ENERGY SYSTEM, ATP is plentiful for a very short time. After this, another chemical called PC (phosphocreatine) starts manufacturing ATP. PC is like ATP in the fact that it is made from foods you eat and stored in the cells. The body stores only small amounts of ATP and PC, and the energy from this source can only be used for short immediate bursts, such as lifting weights or the start of a race when you need a quick "explosive" burst of energy.

 The SECOND ENERGY SYSTEM that is used when system one is depleted is called anaerobic glycosis. Anaerobic means "without oxygen". And glycosis is the breaking down of glucose. Glucose is a form of carbohydrate that is stored in the blood. So, basically, this second energy system produces ATP by the process of breaking down glucose. The glucose is only partially broken down and it leaves a by-product behind called lactic acid. Lactic acid forms in the muscle and gives the feeling of discomfort and muscle fatigue, it also hinders the production of ATP. For a person new to exercising, this brief period of sensation may discourage them and cause them to stop exercising because they don't know that the third energy system is on its way. This energy system is relied on by activities such as wrestling and gymnastics.

The THIRD ENERGY SYSTEM is called aerobic metabolism. Aerobic means "oxygen". The body uses oxygen in combination with glucose, proteins, and fats stored within itself to produce large quantities of ATP. This produces high-energy ATP that lasts for hours and doesn't leave behind any fatiguing by-products such as lactic acid. Sports that rely on this energy system are marathon running, cycling, and swimming. This energy system is where the cardiovascular system is strengthened and stored fats are used up. Making aerobic exercise essential because it strengthens the heart, and lungs while burning fat also, which makes it a total body conditioning program for anyone looking to get fit. And the energy lasts for hours afterwards also, leaving you feeling great!

That is the energy continuum in a nutshell. And with this new information, you now know that the fairly quick feeling of fatigue, will soon be replaced by "BIG" energy. And when you are properly conditioned, energy system three can be used for hours of fat burning goodness.

Just remember, When you are properly armed with accurate information, all things are possible because thru the exchange of information is how knowledge is gained! 
 


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