THE GREAT METABOLIC RACE
During exercise, carbohydrates and lipids are required in order to provide energy for the working body. The inherent reduced nature of these compounds allows for partial or complete oxidation in extracting energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The varying chemical structure of the macromolecules evokes different processes for their complete utilisation. This paper seeks to expound on the mobilisation of these fuels, the biochemical pathways that are used and the amount of ATP yielded with reference to different points during physical exertion, such as a long distance race. BEGINNING OF RACE
At the inception of the race, effectively 0 minutes, internal energetic laws dictate how products will be utilised and the extent to which these reactions will proceed. According to the free energy of the system, if Gibbs Free Energy (ΔG) is negative, it will see the formation of products from the reactants stemming from carbohydrates and lipids. The source of energy initially here comes from the stored ATP within the body. There are three components to this molecule that allow for its easy, fast utilisation according to free energy laws. Firstly, at equilibrium the ATP molecule carries four closely spaced negative charges based on its charged groups. This causes an internal strain from these repulsing forces which are easily released once ATP is hydrolysed. Secondly, the products of Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) and inorganic phosphate (Pi) are resonating structures that are stable, therefore their creation from ATP is favourable. Lastly, the H+ ions created as a result of ATP hydrolysis by water (H20) drive the formation of products as their concentration rises shifting the reaction towards the right to minimise the disturbance cause by the protons to re-establish equilibrium according to Le Chatelier’s principle. CARBOHYDRATE UTILISATION
Once the ATP stores of the body are depleted, energy is provided through...
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