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Energy Systems

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Energy Systems

During exercise the body uses up large amounts of energy in three different ways. The ATP/CP system, anaerobic system and the Aerobic system all combine during periods of exercise to allow our bodies to continue exercise or playing sport. Most sports have a major system which takes up the bulk of the energy production during the activity and the timing in switching from one to another. This plays a major role in success in the playing arena. In a sport such as Australian Rules football it is important that the systems can switch back and forth between one another. Whilst in marathon running or 100m sprinting one system provides the bulk of energy production. This is why training energy systems to function at an optimal level is so important when striving to become an elite athlete.

The three energy systems work as follow. The ATP/PC system last for around 10 secs and requires no oxygen. This system is when the phosphate from phosphocreatine (PC) is broken away and joins with Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) to form Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). The ATP/PC produces no waste product which is a benefit. The Anaerobic Glycolysis/Lactic Acid System takes over once the alactic threshold is reached. The lactic acid system relies on glycolysis which is the break down of carbohydrates into glucose. Glycolysis occurs without oxygen and produces 2 ATP molecules. It unfortunately produces lactic acid as a waste product which has to be cleared to avoid muscle fatigue. After roughly 4 minutes the Aerobic system takes full effect of energy production. This system use proteins, carbohydrates and fats to resynthesize ATP molecules. The difference between this cycle and the Lactic acid system is because oxygen is required to complete the break down of glucose, with no lactic acid production, instead carbon dioxide and water are produced which are much easier to remove.



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