The Energy Systems Overview
Our bodies require energy for every cell in our body to do their job. But the amount of energy that we require varies drastically. If we compare all the complex metabolic functions in our body, exercise demands the most amount of energy. But then again intensity, duration and fitness levels of the exercise have a significant effect on how much energy is needed and how quickly it is needed. Our body has 3 different energy producing systems.
The three main energy systems are used for different types of physical activity. These three systems are called:
The Creatine Phosphate System
The Anaerobic or Lactic Acid System
The Aerobic System
The first two systems are anaerobic systems, meaning they do not require oxygen to produce ATP (Adenosine Tri-phosphate). The third system is the aerobic system, which does require oxygen.
Where does energy come from and how to we store it?
We are designed to get our energy from the natural environment via the food that we eat. Everything that you eat or drink has to be digested to extract the energy from it. Our body can extract energy from three main food components known as macronutrients. They are:
The process that our body uses to extract this energy from food (macronutrients) is digestion. The body has to break down the food we eat into chemicals that our bodies utilise to live. The calorific values of the 3 main macronutrients vary, with fat being the most calorie-dense at 9 kcals (calories) per gram, while protein and carbohydrate have 4 kcals per gram.
What factors affect our energy systems?
During aerobic exercise the use of carbohydrate relative to fat varies according to a number of factors. The most important are:
The intensity of exercise
The duration of exercise
Your fitness level
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