Dr. Bryan D. Leatherman, M.D., speaks to AP Biology students about exercise energy metabolism

Exercise takes energy, and Dr. Bryan Leatherman took time to explain where energy for exercise comes from specifically. He discussed ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate, or energy for contraction), energy used in muscle relaxation, sources of ATP, the Krebs Cycle and more.

Dr. Leatherman broke down the sources of ATP by those that are immediately available, including ATP stored in muscle cells (supplies energy for 1-2 seconds and is limited), Phosphagen System: Creatine phosphate + ADP = ATP + Creatine (4-5 seconds of energy), and Myokinase System: 2ADP = 1 ATP + 1 AMP (5-15 seconds of energy). He also explained how ATP can be synthesized from macronutrients, including glycolysis (glucose or glycogen), fatty acid metabolism and proteins. Macronutrients include proteins, carbohydrates and fats/lipids.

He then detailed the electron transport chain, the role of oxygen in the metabolic process, and how fat metabolism is used for energy. He explained the importance of energy metabolism for athletic performance, weight management, in preparation for college admittance tests and more. Dr. Leatherman outlined energy metabolism in athletics, including metabolic responses to different forms of exercise ranging from short-term and intense to prolonged to incremental exercise. He also discussed basic sports nutrition, including hydration, components of muscles, effects of dehydration, why athletes experience impaired performance, how to refuel after exercise and several other factors.

Thank you to Dr. Leatherman for sharing this interesting information with students in AP Biology!