What Are The 3 Energy Systems In The Body?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman explains the ATP-PC system, anaerobic glycolysis, and oxidative metabolism.....the three systems in the body that produce energy to fuel muscular contractions during exercise.

Ever wonder how your body produces energy for exercise? That is gonna be a topic of our "Extended 60-Second Brain Bomb For Today."

So there are three systems the body uses to produce energy to fuel muscular contractions during any type of exercise. These are the ATP-PC system, anaerobic glycolysis, and oxidative metabolism. Let's go over each briefly.

The ATP-PC System

So the ATP-PC system stands for adenosine triphosphate-phosphocreatine.

Now this system produces energy very, very rapidly but it doesn't last for very long at all. So you're mainly using the system when you're doing like a balls to the wall sprint and you're about ready to vomit at the end.

So again, this system produces ATP very rapidly but it can't last very long.

Anaerobic Glycolysis

Next is anaerobic glycolysis. Now, compared to the ATP-PC system, this system can produce more ATP and lasts longer, about 30 seconds up to 3 minutes.

A good example of when you're using anaerobic glycolysis is when you're doing something like interval training where you're really lacking some serious oxygen to fuel those muscular contractions and breakdown those macronutrients to form ATP.

Interestingly enough, the only macronutrient or substrate that anaerobic glycolysis can use is glucose glycogen also known as carbs.

This is why a lot of you people that are keto feel like you're gonna fall flat on your face when you're doing interval training because anaerobic glycolysis can't use triglycerides as fuel.

Oxidative Metabolism (Aerobic Glycolysis/Krebs Cycle)

So last but not least is the oxidative metabolism system, excuse me.

And this thing is a workhorse because it can produce a mega shit ton of ATP because it can break down carbohydrate, it can break down fat, and in some circumstances, it can break down protein all to form ATP.

Now, this system really comes into play after about three minutes of exercise and when the intensity is a little bit lower.

So there you have it, those are the three energy systems that produce energy for exercise in the body.