A key component of energy provision in the body is Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). In order to get used by every single cell, our macronutrients have to be converted into this molecule. Therefore, ATP is called “the ultimate source of energy” in the human body. ATP stores and transfers energy between cells, and when it breaks down into Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) and Phosphate, it liberates energy necessary for all metabolic and physiological processes.
Your body’s many uses of energy
When you’re physically active, your muscles use a lot of energy. But you’d be surprised how much energy our brain and other organs demand for optimal functioning. Our brain, liver, heart and kidneys make up 70-80% of our Resting Energy Expenditure (REE), whereas muscles and adipose (aka body fat) tissue only expend smaller amounts of energy during physical inactivity 1. When we eat, our intestines also require a fair amount of energy to break down and absorb the nutrients we eat. So regardless of your activity levels, your body’s energy stores are critical to how well you function.
How nutrients contribute
Several micronutrients are involved in producing ATP from the macronutrients your body gets access to. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for activating enzymes, biological catalysts that execute all metabolic processes in the body. By optimizing your nutrient status, you can also optimize your energy supply in order to fuel your ambitions. 2
1 Aragon, A.A., Schoenfeld, B.J., Wildman, R., Kleiner, S., VanDusseldorp, T., Taylor, L., Earnest, C.P., Arciero, P.J., Wilborn, C., Kalman, D.S. and Stout, J.R., 2017. International society of sports nutrition position stand: diets and body composition. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14(1), p.16.
2 Huskisson, E., Maggini, S. and Ruf, M., 2007. The role of vitamins and minerals in energy metabolism and well-being. Journal of international medical research, 35(3), pp.277-289.