The trend of going to the gym to have a toned, healthy and muscular body is becoming popular in the world today. But have you ever wondered when you go to the gym, where is the energy source for your muscles to work?. The answer is ATP, so what is ATP? In this article, will learn with you about the importance and role of ATP for bodybuilders!

1. What is ATP definition:

ATP, also known as Adenosine triphosphate, is the method that the body uses to store and use energy, or more specifically, ATP is an energy-carrying molecule, responsible for transporting energy to places where it is needed by cells. cell use. For your muscles or more specifically every cell in your body, ATP is the source of energy for the body to function.

When a cell needs energy, it breaks down ATP to form adenosine diphosphate (ADP), a free phosphate molecule, and releases 12kcal of energy for exercise. However, the amount of ATP stored in the muscle is not much, so to have a healthy long-term muscle, it is necessary to restore and maintain adequate ATP. The energy used to recover ATP is broken down from starch, protein, and fat components.

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2. The body’s process of synthesizing ATP:

In the body, ATP is synthesized from two different pathways:

2.1 Lactic system (anaerobic):

When working for a long time and consuming a lot of energy, the body has the ability to resynthesize ATP by anaerobically breaking down glucose. From here, the reaction will produce lactic acid that causes fatigue and is toxic to the muscles. For the same reason, this energy system is called the Lactic system. During this process, about 12 chemical reactions take place to create ATP. This system can still work fast and generate enough ATP to last from 20 seconds to more than 1 minute.

This energy system has a capacity of 1.5 times greater than the oxygen system, it also does not require oxygen, which is very convenient because it takes a while for the heart and lungs to work together.

However, the lactic energy system is limited because the lactic acid produced inhibits the enzymes that break down glycogen so that the glycogen in the muscles and liver is never used to the point of exhaustion. At maximum activity, anaerobic glycogenolysis occurs in no more than 25% of glycogen stores.

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2.2 Oxygen energy system (aerobic respiration)

During long-lasting low-capacity muscle activities, an adequate supply of oxygen should be provided. To achieve that, the body uses oxidation reactions of substances such as sugars, proteins and fats to provide energy for the body to function. This energy system is the oxygen energy system.

Normally, the oxygen energy system uses two main substances for muscle contraction, sugar and fat, in extreme situations (such as hunger) protein can also be broken down into amino acids and used to make ATP. . The oxygen energy system will use starch to break down first, then fat and finally protein if needed. Sugar and fat when broken down will have different energy capacity and capacity.

Oxidation of sugars is equivalent to hydrolysis of glucose in the lactic system. Sugar oxidation system depends on glycogen stores in muscle and liver and the liver’s ability to regenerate glucose from other substances in large quantities such as lactic acid, amino acids, pyruvic acid, etc.

The oxygenated fat-burning energy system produces more energy than the oxidizing sugars. The reason for this is because when the body fat has a very large reserve, usually accounting for 15 – 30% of the body mass, it provides enough energy for the body to operate continuously for up to dozens of days.

However, the rate at which sugars and fats are oxidized are both dependent on the capacity of the aerobic activity. The larger the capacity, the more sugar will be oxidized, the smaller the capacity will oxidize the fat. To support with gym exercise, you should pay special attention to this energy system.

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In addition to the above two energy systems, there is a third energy system that is the Phosphagen system. The highlight of this energy system is that it has the largest capacity, 3 times that of the lactic system, 4 times that of the oxygen system. The phosphagen system can meet the high energy needs of the muscles, but only for 8 to 10 seconds.

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In a nutshell, imagine you are starting an exercise, your muscle cells will take about 2-3 seconds to burn ATP, phosphagen system will kick in and provide energy within 8 – 10 seconds. This energy system is suitable for weightlifters or 100m sprinters. If the training process takes longer, for example, running 400m short or swimming 100m, then the Lactic energy system will be active. Finally, for long-term exercise such as running 1000m, walking or cycling long distances, aerobic respiration will take place.

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3. The role of ATP with bodybuilders:

For those who Exercise when muscle and energy metabolism is an extremely important thing. Because of that, the maintenance of ATP almost determines a lot to the results of the gymnast.

At the same time, maintaining and loading enough ATP also has a very good impact on the health of gym goers in particular as well as ordinary people in general. Especially for those who lift heavy weights, maintaining ATP energy helps muscles not lose energy and also aids in maximum muscle growth.

For heavy lifters or bodybuilders, maintaining ATP energy from natural substances is often difficult due to the high demand and heavy use during training sessions, so creatine is a solution to the problem. this. Creatine supplements increase creatine phosphate storage, allowing you to produce more ATP energy to fuel your muscles during intense exercise.

4. How to increase ATP in the body:

4.1 Creatine Monohydrate:

According to “Natural Anabolics, creatine monohydrate can help reduce muscle fatigue because it increases the muscle’s ability to metabolize or regenerate ATP or adenosine triphosphate.” ATP is the source of energy for vigorous and power-driven muscle contractions. Creatine helps your body make ATP faster and more efficiently. Take 5 to 10 grams per day before or after exercise to help prevent muscle fatigue (1).

4.2 Beta-Alanine:

Beta-alanine works to reduce muscle fatigue by inhibiting the formation of lactic acid in the muscles. A product of anaerobic respiration, which is how your body produces energy during resistance training, lactic acid causes a burning sensation in tired muscles. As acid levels build up, your muscles can no longer contract forcefully. Beta-alanin increases intramuscular L-carnosine, an amino acid that buffers the acidity of lactic acid. Take 1.5 to 3 grams once before exercise and again with a meal later in the day.

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4.3 BCAAs:

BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are effective for improving muscle endurance and preventing fatigue because they can be used as a direct source of energy for muscles, according to “Natural Anabolics.” The unique “branched” molecular structure of L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine, BCAAs, allows them to be delivered directly into the bloodstream and to the muscles without going through the liver. Take 5 grams of BCAAs before, during, and after your workout.

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4.4 L-Arginine:

L-Arginine may support energy levels by boosting NO, or nitric oxide, in the body, according to “Everything You Need to Get NO.” Nitric oxide is important for the endothelial system, which regulates blood pressure by widening blood vessels. In this way, supplementing with L-Arginine allows more blood flow to the working muscles. This also means more nutrients and oxygen are delivered to fuel intense bouts of exercise. Take 3 grams of arginine 30-60 minutes before exercise and up to twice daily.

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4.5 Taurine:

Taurine’s role in energy production is important, as evidenced by it being found in muscle tissues with high energy demands such as the heart, according to “Supplement 101.” Taurine also helps muscle cells regulate calcium levels, affecting their ability to contract. According to author Jim Stoppani, taurine can increase exercise time at exhaustion by up to 50%. Drink 1 to 3 grams before exercise.

Through the above article, has helped you understand what ATP is and why it is necessary to maintain ATP when exercising. From here, you can apply it to your training session, choosing the right energy systems for your exercises to be able to achieve the most optimal effect for yourself. Wish you have more useful knowledge and better practice.