Metabolic Race

Topics: Adenosine triphosphate, Metabolism, Glycogen Pages: 2 (528 words) Published: September 12, 2013
Metabolism is a series of vital biochemical processes that take place in order to sustain life. During a marathon run, the individual relies on the breakdown of carbohydrates and lipids, in order to provide energy release in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This essay will focus on the role of mobilization and structures of both carbohydrates and lipids in the production of ATP.

Mobilization of Carbohydrates
When carbohydrates are consumed during a meal, catabolism originates in the mouth. The salivary enzyme α-amylase breaks down the carbohydrates through the hydrolysis of the α1->4 glycosidic bonds. This is followed by the further breakdown of the complex polysaccharides in the small intestine down to monosaccharides units in order for the glucose to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Mobilization of Lipids
Lipids in the form of triaglycerols are a major source of energy storage. Initially, the lipids are absorbed in the small intestine through emulsification into small droplets by bile salts; thus forming mixed micelles. During low blood sugar levels, the secretion of glucagon and adrenalin hormones activates the release of the enzyme triacylglycerol lipase, which subsequently stimulates the release of fatty acids in adipocytes. The blood protein serum albumin then transports the fatty acid through the bloodstream to tissue such as the renal cortex, heart and skeletal muscle in order to provide energy through β-oxidation.

Provision of energy during race
On your mark
At the beginning of the race, internal energy laws determine in which direction and to what extent each metabolic reaction will proceed. According to this system, when the Gibbs Free Energy (ΔG) is negative, a spontaneous forward reaction is proceeding towards equilibrium thus resulting in the formation of products from reactants. During this marathon, ATP is the energy currency during the breakdown of macromolecules, more specifically the...
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