Energy Systems

Lesson on energy systems for swimmers, covering ATP, three muscle engines, and how to regenerate spent energy. 

Important for coaches and swimmers.

[00:02] Understanding the three energy systems in muscles is crucial for coaches and swimmers.

  • ATP is the universal molecule for energy in organisms.
  • The three engines in muscles are the phosphagen system, glycolysis, and the aerobic system.
  • The phosphagen system is the simplest engine and relies heavily on phosphates.
  • Creatine is a secondary battery that replenishes ATP in one step reaction.

[06:11] Creatine phosphate helps with short sprints.

  • Creatine phosphate is a powerful engine that provides the most energy at any one time.
  • It cannot be trained and lasts for about five seconds, after which the glycolysis system takes over.

[11:42] Lactate is not lactic acid and is used to regenerate NAD+ during high-intensity exercise.

  • Lactate is formed when pyruvate reacts with NADH to recreate NAD+.
  • Regenerating NAD+ allows glycolysis to continue, providing energy for high-intensity exercise.

[00:40] Lactate and acid go up together, but it's technically incorrect to say that lactic acid is generated or that acid comes from lactate.

  • Lactate is a surrogate marker for hydrogen and acid production.
  • The aerobic system is an efficient system that does not produce lactate or acid production.

[22:32] The aerobic system takes time to warm up and produces more ATP than glycolysis.

  • The Krebs cycle produces NADH and CO2, which is breathed out.
  • The mitochondria uses electrons to produce ATP and oxygen to create water.

[27:34] Breathing oxygen is important to prevent reactive oxygen species.

  • Antioxidant foods help scavenge bad oxygen that can cause inflammation and damage to proteins and DNA.
  • Different energy systems are used in different races, and breathing serves different purposes in short and long races.

[32:55] Different races use different energy systems.

  • Short races rely on glycolysis, while long races rely on the aerobic system.
  • The duration of the race determines which energy system is used.

[38:06] Understanding lactate threshold and pacing is crucial for endurance in races.

  • Lactate threshold is the maximum amount of lactate that can be produced without overloading the system.
  • Pacing yourself to reach the lactate threshold at the end of the race allows for maximum ATP production without overloading the system.

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