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ATP and Energy Storage



1.  ATP  Stores Energy


Living things store energy mainly in the

form of chemical bonds.  Within your cells,

 energy is constantly moved around from

 one large molecule to another.  How does

the energy get converted from, say a food

molecule to a muscle molecule?  The

answer is adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.


ATP works like a rechargeable battery. 

Energy can release by converting ATP to ADP,

 which is the “uncharged” form.  Likewise, by

 binding to a third phosphate group, ADP can

be converted back to ATP, the “charged form.


When you eat lunch, many complex chemical

 reactions occur.  But in essence al you are

doing is “recharging” your ATP, because in

order to do anything – flexing muscles, thinking, or whatever – your immediate source of energy

is ATP.


2.  Energy pathway


At right is a diagram of a major pathway of  energy transfer in the body.  Large food

Molecules, such as fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are pulled apart to release the energy

in their chemical bonds.  This energy is then used in many ways, including the buildup, or synthesis, of other large molecules.  Examples of large molecules the body needs to build are proteins that make up much of the body’s structure, and temporary energy storage “banks” like fat and glycogen.