15 Push Ups
20 Squats with weight (50 pound child)
20 Calf raises with weight (50 pounds child)
Were going to do a little Biology 101 refresher today. The Kreb's Cycle is the non-scientific name given to the cellular energy production process that happens in our cells. It is a bit complicated, so I am going to try and break this down as simply as I can. But, it is a VERY important process for life, and especially for athletic performance. Many of the nutrients we have discussed; electrolytes and B vitamins, are going to come into play. This is the process that turns Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fatty Acids into energy.
What is the Kreb's Cycle?
The Kreb's Cycle, or the Citric Acid Cycle, is the aerobic process by which cells produce ATP (Energy Molecule).
This process is called cellular respiration. We all know what respiration is, right? The breathing in of oxygen and the exhaling of carbon dioxide. Well, this is the same, but in your cells. The cells take in oxygen, make energy and release carbon dioxide...thus cellular respiration. No, we are not stopping here!
GLYCOLYSIS - Breaking Down Glucose
The Kreb's Cycle takes place in the Mitochondria of the cells (please tell me you remember cells, and their structure). Before this can take place, there are several precursor actions that must occur in the cytoplasm (gooey filling) of the cells. These reactions and chemical breakdowns make up the bits and pieces of the cycle that will form energy.
Glucose is, in some regard, the favorite energy source of the cells. It is made up of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. (C6H12O6)
After glucose has been transported to the cells, it undergoes a deconstruction in the cytoplasm of the cells, this is Glycolysis. Glycolysis Is the process by which Glucose is broken down into Pyruvate (C3H4O3). Pyruvate is the middle man between anaerobic respiration (fermentation, alcohol production) and aerobic respiration (life as we know it). Other by-products of glycolysis are Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and Reduced Nicotinamide Adenine dinucleotide (NADH).
After glycolysis, the Pyruvate is transported to the Mitochondria of the cell by transport proteins. Once in the Mitochondria, Pyruvate is further broken down into a chemical called Acetyl Coenzyme A (remember us talking about this in B Vitamins, and specifically Pantothenic Acid - B5) through oxidation. In this process, Pyruvate loses a carbon atom, and carbon dioxide is released, as well as a hydrogen atom which is picked up by NAD to form NADH
Acetyl CoA is a compound that combines Coenzyme A and an Acetate.
Acetyl CoA is the catalyst and fuel for the Kreb's Cycle. You can also get to this point by burning Proteins and Fatty Acids (See Below)
Beta Oxidation - Breaking Down Fat
Glucose is an instant energy source...It is metabolized quickly and creates instant energy. This is great for a quick release, but it is not sustainable. Fat is the next best source of energy, and it burns slower, releasing more energy over time.
Fats are long chains of Carbon and Hydrogen atoms. (Long Chain Fatty Acids are best for energy production...see my blog on Differentiating Dietary Fats) Through a process known as Beta Oxidation, only 2 carbon atoms at a time are removed from the fatty acid change (hence the long energy release, vs the instant energy release of glucose). These carbon atoms are converted into Acetyl CoA.
In the process lose hydrogen atoms are bound with FAD to create FADH2.
This process can repeat itself until all of the carbon atoms are used to make the Acetyl CoA...which the longer the chain the longer the slow release of energy. Unsaturated fats, with kinks in the structure, take additional enzymatic steps to convert into Acetyl CoA).
Catabolism & Deamination - Breaking Down Proteins
Protein is the least favorite source of cellular fuel. The process to convert proteins into cellular energy is hard, requires many steps, and uses up valuable amino acids that are needed for other functions, such as the formation of enzymes needed to catalyze reactions, and muscle growth.
Proteins are a combination of Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen. This Nitrogen difference adds extra steps to the breakdown process of creating Acetyl CoA. Some of the best proteins for creating Acetyl CoA for energy are the Branched Chain Amino Acids (more on these later)
The breakdown of large proteins into their individual amino acids is called Catabolism. This is the first step in creating energy from protein.
Amino Acids are the building blocks of proteins, and many of these are necessary for multiple steps in the Kreb's Cycle (such as the formation of fumarate and malate).
To turn these amino acids into an energy source for the Kreb's cycle, they must be Deaminated. This means that the Amino Group must be removed through enzymatic reactions. This removes the Nitrogen and leaves only the Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen, which can then be used to create Acetyl CoA.
How to Get to Oxaloacetate
Oxaloacetate, is necessary for the Kreb's Cycle, but getting to Oxaloacetate takes a couple of steps.
To begin with we need Succinic Acid. Succinic Acid is found in all plants and animals. It is involved in several chemical processes in the body, but today we want to talk about one...it's involvement in the Kreb's Cycle.
In an enzymatic reaction by Succinate Dehydrogenase (let's call this SDH for short), Succinic Acid is oxidized into Fumaric Acid. Fumaric Acid is also converted in the skin from exposure to sunlight, and can be found in our food (Mushrooms).
The next step involves the oxidation of Fumaric Acid by the enzyme Fumarase into Malic Acid. Malic Acid is also found in fruits and vegetables and gives them their sour taste. It was first isolated in apple juice.
Finally we get to the formation of oxaloacetate!
Malic Acid is oxidized by both Malate dehydrogenase and SDH (see above), and voila! Oxaloacetate. Oxaloacetate is transported to the Mitochondria to participate in the Kreb's cycle, but it is also part of several other functions inside the cells.
Now to Begin the KReb's Cycle - The Formation of citrate
All of this work up until now, has been the breakdown of macronutrients into the necessary Acetyl CoA, and formation of Oxaloacetate. Now what happens with these, is the beginning of the Kreb's Cycle...the fuel and the catalyst have now been created.
In the first step of the Krebs Cycle, Acetyl CoA (A 2 carbon molecule, remember how awesome the breakdown of fat was into exactly 2 carbons) and Oxaloacetate (a 4 carbon molecule) come together with Water (yes, good old H2O). In the process Coenzyme A is lost, and what is left is the Oxaloacetate and Acetyl group, which forms Citrate (AKA Citric Acid, a 6 carbon molecule).
Why so much back and forth to get to this point? Citrate is a 6 Carbon molecule, and to continue, this needs to be remembered as we lose carbon molecules in each reaction, with energy byproducts being produced. This is why the Kreb's Cycle is also called the Citric Acid Cycle, as the energy production cycle is really the breakdown of citric acid to form NADH, FADH2, GTP, and in the end ATP.
Carbon Atom #1
As it is Citrate is very stable, in order to deconstructed, an isomer must be made. To do this an enzyme called Aconitate, with the help of our good friend H2O, removed a molecule of oxygen, and thus creates the isomer Isocitrate.
Now that we have destabilized the Citrate, we can now start taking it apart to create energy.
NAD (Nicotinamide Adenine dinucleotide). This is an important compound to understand. I've mentioned it above already, but now it gets real important, so let's talk about it a bit. NAD is a coenzyme. It is, as it is in the name, a formation of B3 (Niacin) and Adenine (a Purine). It loves Hydrogen and will readily add one.
So, as we begin to take away Carbon atoms from our Isocitrate molecule through specialized enzymatic processes catalyzed by the enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase. As the name says, the enzymatic process "dehydrogenates" removes a hydrogen, as well as releases a carbon and a couple of oxygen molecules in the form of CO2. The loose hydrogen binds to NAD, to create NADH. This chemical will come into play in another process later on down the chain in the production of ATP.
The isocitrate has been degraded into a 5 carbon compound called Alpha-ketoglutarate.
In this step have released a CO2 molecule and a NADH molecule.
Carbon Atom #2
From the initial steps, the process then becomes more rapid. Once we have converted citrate into isocitrate, we easily lose a carbon atom, and convert energy molecules and cellular waste (CO2).
In the next carbon loss, the newly formed alpha-ketoglutarate is degraded by the enzyme alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. Like in the above step, a hydrogen is released from the compound, and binds with the available NAD to form a molecule of NADH. In the process a carbon atom is lost and formed into CO2 as a waste product
Carbon Atom #3
OH, just when you thought there was going to be a pattern here, we change things up a bit.
Remember the Coenzyme A part of Acetyl CoA that we lost in the first step of making Citrate, well it's back!
Also, remember in the formation of Oxaloacetate that we talked about Succinate? Well, here is where we begin to cycle back on ourselves.
The 4 carbon molecule created by the degradation of alpha-ketoglutarate is very unstable, and it readily bind to the available Coenzyme A and becomes a stablized molecule called Succinyl CoA.
Once stabilized, the Succinyl CoA goes through a enzymatic changing of the guards so to speak. In the presence of Phosphorus, the Coenzyme A is detached and replaced with the available phosphorus.
Depending on where the cell is found, there is a presence of either GDP (Guanosine Diphosphate) or ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). Diphosphate mans there are 2 phosphate groups attached to a nucleic acid (and ribose sugar). In the next steps GDP and ADP can be interchangeable and GTP and ATP can be interchangeable.
So, as the newly formed, now stable Succinyl CoA comes in contact with the GDP and additional phosphate group...there is an exchange. Enzymes stimulate the detachment of Coenzyme A and its replacement with the lone phosphorus group. The Succinate group works as a transport for the phosphate group which then comes into contact with the available GDP. Another enzymatic process detaches the phosphorus and creates the new GTP (Guanosine TRIphosphate). In the process another carbon atom is lost in the form of CO2.
The remaining 4 carbon molecule is Succinate (remember this in the formation of Oxaloacetate...AAAAHHHHHHAAAAAA....did you just have an Ah Ha moment!
4 Carbon Molecules and Repeat
We've made it back to 4 carbon molecules and we have made GTP/ATP....now we rinse and repeat.
So, remember the steps above, and Succinate is degraded into Fumarate. Fumarate is degraded into Malate, and Malate is made into Oxaloacetate. In the degradation steps, a hydrogen is lost. This hydrogen binds to an available FAD (Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide)
The byproduct of these processes is a compound called FADH.
How many times the cycle repeats itself depends on the energy source.
Each Glucose Molecule can produce 2 Acetyl CoA molecules, and thus for each glucose molecule you get 2 cycles.
Each Each Fatty Chain produces a different number of Acetyl CoA molecules depending on the length of the chain. So, the longer the chain the more bang for your buck. This is many will argue, including myself, that good fats are a better energy source for the body than sugars.
All This Work for A Couple of Atp Molecules?
As you look at this whole, long, complicated process, and realize that there was literally one lone molecule of ATP produced, that seems pretty unimpressive...a lot of work for very little payoff.
But remember all of those molecules of NADH and FADH that were "byproducts?" Well, did you also notice that share a very common component of ATP....ADENOSINE!
There is another process called Oxidative Phosphorylation which converts those "byproducts" into ATP.
But that is a discussion for another day
1 Hour Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
If you've never tried it, do! I highly recommend McMahon Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. My children have been training there for 5 years, and I started at the beginning of this year. It is quite the workout!
Breakfast: Broccoli Cheese Frittata
Greens, Greens, Greens. I try and make it a goal of adding a green vegetable to every meal. Sometimes I fail, but if I make this my goal, more often than not I will have several servings a day.
Lunch: Nicoise Salad
After reading the above, you must now realize how important having a combination of both fats, and carbohydrates is for sustained cellular energy.
I used Tuna in this salad, Salmon would have been better. This is a great way to use some leftover green beans and potatoes. Add some good long chain fatty acid with quality olives and olive oil based dressing.
Dinner: Chicken TAcos
On the nights that I do Jiu Jitsu, we do not get home until 7:30/7:45. Crockpots and easy dinners are essential. One of my favorite go to recipes is Crockpot Chicken Tacos. I can have the chicken cooking all day, and then assembled some quick tacos. There is tortillaria by Jiu Jitsu that makes the most amazing tortillas. It's easy to grab those, and chop veggies.
The salsa is an avocado, cilantro dressing.
Total Water Today: 12 Cups
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 1: Intro
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 2: Electrolytes
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 3: Trace Minerals
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 4: Hydration
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 5: Hyaluronic Acid
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 6: Coenzyme Q10
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 7: Top 10
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 8: B Vitamins
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 9: Kreb's Cycle
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 10: Calories
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 11
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim 30 Day Crunch - Day 12
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