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Omar Khouta - Cellular Respiration and Sport

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Omar Khouta

on 8 October 2013

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Transcript of Omar Khouta - Cellular Respiration and Sport

The lungs are very important organs involved directly in cellular respiration. When we breathe, air enters our trachea (windpipe) which leads into our lungs. There, air continues to travel through our bronchus, into bronchi and then into bronchioles. Finally the air reaches our alveoli, where oxygen is diffused into our bloodstream. Oxygen (O2) is an important molecule in cellular respiration as it is part of many processes in aerobic respiration and it also aids in ridding the body of lactate in anaerobic respiration
The Lungs
Respiration is the name of the chemical process that humans and other animals require to make energy. Respiration, depending on which type, occurs in either the Mitochondria or the Cytoplasm.
Omar Khouta- Cellular Respiration and Sport
Anaerobic Respiration
Anaerobic Respiration is a chemical process that we undergo to create ATP. When there is an absence of oxygen, either in the environment, or if your body isn't able to keep up with providing itself enough oxygen, we begin to undergo anaerobic respiration instead of aerobic. This is because anaerobic respiration, unlike aerobic respiration, does not require oxygen. As a result of this, the only step we perform in anaerobic respiration is glycolysis, as the rest of the steps require oxygen. Now the chemical formula is:

C6H12O6 2C3H6O3 + Energy
(Carbon Dioxide)
Aerobic Respiration occurs throughout the day. It requires oxygen to make ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). This is the molecule responsible for making energy. Aerobic respiration consists of 3 major steps; Glycolysis, Krebs cycle (tricarboxylic acid cycle) and the Electron transport chain.
Aerobic Respiration
Aerobic Respiration is a type of respiration that occurs in the Mitochondria in the cell. The chemical formula is as follows:
C6H12O6+6O2 6CO2+6H2O+Energy
Aerobic Glycolysis
Glycolysis is the first step of cellular respiration which occurs in the cytoplasm (a gel like substance within the cell). During Glycolysis, glucose is broken down into pyruvate (C3H4O3) resulting in 4 ATP, however because 2 ATP are used to initiate glycolysis, only 2 are available for use.
Krebs Cycle (tricarboxylic acid cycle)
The second stage of aerobic respiration, the Krebs cycle, occurs in the mitochondrial matrix. In essence, the pyruvate made from glycolysis is made into acetyl-CoA due to it being introduced to coenzyme A via the process known as pyruvate decarboxylation. Acetyl-CoA then combines with oxaloacetic acid to make tricarboxylic acid. Tricarboxylic acid (citric acid being a form of TCA, hence the name Citric acid cycle) then reacts with a few other enzymes which forms NADH and FADH2 which will both be used later on in the electron transport chain.These series of events form 2 ATP and the bi-product is CO2 (carbon dioxide)
The Electron Transport Chain
The electron transport chain is the third step in aerobic respiration. It occurs in the mitochondria, more specifically, the inner membrane. The other two steps, glycolysis and the Krebs cycle lead up to the ETC, providing it with the necessary chemicals. From the mitochondrial matrix, NADH and FADH2, which are both, in essence, electron carriers, convey the electrons they gained in the Krebs cycle to complex I-IV. This movement of electrons powers hydrogen atoms to move into the inter membrane space. Eventually the number of hydrogen atoms, or proton gradient, in the inter membrane space will build up and move back into the mitochondrial matrix. This movement into the matrix, from high to low concentrations of hydrogen atoms powers the creation of ATP, in fact the most ATP out of all steps in aerobic respiration, approximately 34. The bi-product of the ETC is water
Anaerobic Glycolysis
ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is the product of cellular respiration as it's primary function as a molecule is to produce energy. Energy is released from ATP when one of the 3 phosphate molecules is seperated, leaving two behind, creating ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). The phosphate molecule breaking off releases energy for the body's consumption.
Anaerobic respiration differs to aerobic respiration in that it does not require oxygen. Without oxygen, there would be no way to continue with respiration, therefore lactate (C3H6O3) is produced by the body to continue a cycle of glycolysis. However due to lactate being poisonous to us, our body disposes of it in two ways; oxidation back to pyruvate to continue respiration aerobically (which is the reason why we continue to breathe heavily after intensive exercise), or gluconeogenesis (Cori cycle) via the liver turning lactate glycogen.
Alveoli and the Gas Exchange
Gas exchange occurs in the alveoli. Alveoli are miniscule sacs only one cell thin. Alveoli are always close to capillaries (tiny blood vessels which are similarly one cell thin). This allows the distance traveled via diffusion to be decreased, making it more efficient. However for gases to travel between membranes, they must be dissolved in a liquid, meaning a moist environment in an alveolus. In the gas exchange, oxygen enters the blood steam via diffusion. This occurs due to a phenomenon known as osmosis, where higher concentrations of a substance will move into areas of lower concentration to equalise. Carbon dioxide utilises the same method to diffuse from the blood (high concentration) into the alveoli (low concentration) to be exhaled.
The Electron Transport Chain
Anaerobic Respiration
Cellular Respiration and an Athlete's Lifestyle
An athlete's lifestyle (in this scenario, a soccer player) is one which contains intensive action and movement for extended periods of time. As a result, an athlete not only requires maintained top class cardiovascular endurance (through training and exercise), but also a balanced diet. A balanced diet will make sure an athlete's cells receives the required amount of nutrients and glucose (for cellular respiration), while making sure they do not receive unwanted substances. Having a high energy diet is fundamental to maintain high levels of cellular respiration during a sport. Moreover, an athlete's body should be accustomed to high levels of respiration, i.e. increased lung capacity and cellular respiration efficiency, as a result of years of exercise and training.
Optimum Diet for a Soccer Player
A soccer player requires a healthy, yet energy packed diet. This can be achieved by incorporating the following nutrients in their meals:
Important Nutrients
Fiber: Indigestible substances, regulates the digestive system
Protein: Required for growth and repair of the body.
Saturated fats: An energy source, as well as a cushion for internal organs
Simple: Breaks down quickly into glucose
Complex: Also breaks down into glucose, though this process takes longer, maintaining blood sugar levels
Water: Important for hydrating the body, which is responsible and crucial for temperature maintenance, waste removal, joint lubrication, and other tasks

The above nutrients are extremely important, however athletes require carbohydrates in excess as this is what provides them with the majority of their energy, which will be consumed during a game.
Optimal Diet
Based on the previous conclusions, the optimum diet for an athlete (soccer player) would be:

Before a match- foods high in carbs for maximum energy, yet low in protein as proteins may cause digestion problems. For example pasta or rice with vegetables and fish is low in protein and fat, however high in carbs for energy consumption.

Post-game- as a result of the fatigue gained after intensive sport, a player must have protein to prevent muscular issues. Also carbohydrates are required to recover the lost glucose after the game. As a result I would suggest pasta salad with eggs, tuna and turkey.

Drinks- the best thing to drink as a soccer player would be electrolytes i.e. Gatorade or Powerade, as they will contain the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and many other nutrients the body needs for energy and to recover from fatigue.

Snacks- fruit, muesli bars, yoghurts and milkshakes, among others, are great snacks as they provide a good amount of carbohydrates, however are low in fat.

References and Further Information
Science Dimensions 3
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