There are three different types of energy systems within the body. Through the use of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the body is able to maintain a constant supply of energy. APT is formed during a reaction between adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and a molecule of phosphate. ATP consists of a molecule of adenine and three phosphate groups. When the ADP joins with the phosphate molecule energy is stored within the bonds, when the bonds are broken the energy is released. Energy can also be released when ATP is combined with water.
The body can function both aerobically and anaerobically this allows different body systems to use the one which will be most beneficial to them. During prolonged activities there will be a high amount of oxygen required will be powered by aerobic systems. For activities which require no or very little amounts of oxygen will be powered by anaerobic systems. Energy is acquired through the oxidation of mainly carbohydrates and fats. When carbohydrates are broken down they change into glucose, this can then be stored by the body as glycogen in the liver and muscles. Fats are broken down to form fatty acids. There is three ways in which ATP can be produced these are creatine phosphate energy system, the lactic acid energy system and the aerobic energy system.
The creatine phosphate energy system
The creatine phosphate energy system is the first energy system; it is made up of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and creatine phosphate. It is readily available and produces ATP rapidly, although it only exists in limited concentrations, only lasting for 10 seconds. The creatine phosphate is stored within the muscles and is used when the need for energy is instant or the intensity is high. This is most likely in sports such as sprinting and power events. This type of energy system produces ATP without the use of oxygen as it is such a quick process; this is why it only allows it to be used for very short periods of time. The creatine phosphate produces one molecule of ATP and one of creatine.
Lactic acid energy system
This is the second energy system which is able to sustain the body for longer periods of time but still at a high intensity. In this process energy is produced by the breakdown of glucose and glycogen. Just as the creatine phosphate system this works anaerobically which means without the presence of oxygen, therefore this limits in to working for only 60-90 seconds. This type of energy system would be used for activities such as the 400m which still require high intensity but over a longer period of time. During this process glucose if obtained from foods such as fats and carbohydrates, if the glucose is not required at that time it will then be stored in the body as glycogen. When glucose is broken down it produced 2 molecules of ATP as well as 2 lactic acid and heat. When glycogen is broken down it produces 2 molecules of ATP, 2 lactic acid and heat.
Lactic acid is the by-product which is produced; it builds up and then diffuses into the blood and tissue fluid. When lactic acid is not removed it causes the muscles to stop contracting and fatigue will set in.
Aerobic energy system
The aerobic energy system produces large amounts of energy but which can last for long periods of time at low intensity. It is the long term energy system which is used in everyday activities. In the presence of oxygen glycogen and fatty acids break down producing ATP. Glucose produces 38 ATP, carbon dioxide, water and heat. When fatty acids break down they produce 129ATP, carbon dioxide, water and heat. Carbon dioxide, water and heat are the by-products but unlike lactic acid to not affect the muscles ability to contract.
Depending on the type and intensity of activity the recovery periods will differ in order to take into account the amount of damage to the body. The length of a recovery period depends