How is energy transformed in the body

How is energy transformed in the body

But what if instead of looking at death from a biological perspective, we examine it from a physics standpoint? In life, the human body comprises matter and energy. That energy is both electrical impulses and signals and chemical reactions. The same can be said about plants, which are powered by photosynthesis, a process that allows them to generate energy from sunlight.

The process of energy generation is much more complex in humans, though. Mostly, we get it through the consumption of food, which gives us chemical energy. As we know through thermodynamics, energy cannot be created nor destroyed. It simply changes states. The total amount of energy in an isolated system does not, cannotchange. And thanks to Einstein, we also know that matter and energy are two rungs on the same ladder.

The universe as a whole is closed. We exchange energy with our surroundings. We can gain energy again, through chemical processesand we can lose it by expelling waste or emitting heat. Those atoms and that energy, which originated during the Big Bang, will always be around.

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world.

You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.The body needs energy for everything it does: breathing, eating, sleeping, walking, working and any other activity that we perform in our everyday lives.

This energy is provided by food in the form of calories. The body uses energy to eat, digest and metabolize food, and to burn kilojoules during physical activity, but it also needs a large amount of energy to exist in a state of complete rest. The process of converting calories from food and drink into energy is a complicated biochemical process called metabolism.

How We Get Energy from Food | A Natural Process in Body

A body uses up to 10 percent of its energy to eat, digest and metabolize food. Digestion breaks down food, both chemically and mechanically, into smaller components that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

how is energy transformed in the body

After digestion, the smaller components are carried across the intestinal wall through absorption. Next comes elimination, when undigested food and waste products are removed from the body. At the same time, anabolism is changing small molecules such as amino acids and fatty acids into more complex, larger forms, such as glycogen and hormones, which are crucial for the growth and maintenance of cells and tissues. About 20 percent of an average active person's energy is required to burn kilojoules during physical activity.

During exercise, the body relies on three different energy systems, which work independently of one another but may all be used at the same time. A chemical reaction causes the ATP-PCr molecules to separate, which releases the energy required for contraction of the muscles.

Other types of short, intense activity may rely on the glycolytic energy system, which is responsible for breaking down glucose stored in the liver and skeletal muscles and converting it to ATP — adenosine triphosphate, the chemical form of raw energy in your body. Finally, the aerobic system uses oxygen to break down fat stores for energy that the body relies on for a lengthy, continuous energy supply, such as it needs during a long run, swim or cycle.

Most of the energy the body uses each day — 50 to 80 percent — is needed for being at rest, otherwise known as basal metabolism. This is the minimum amount of energy required to maintain the body's vital functions, such as breathing, blood circulation and organ function. The rate at which energy is used for these vital functions is the basal metabolic rate BMR. Not everybody has the same BMR; genetics, sex, age, height and weight are all factors.

Your BMR drops as you get older because muscle mass decreases. To maintain a good BMR and become more energy efficient, increase your overall calorie burn through exercise. Claire is a writer and editor with 18 years' experience. She writes about science and health for a range of digital publications, including Reader's Digest, HealthCentral, Vice and Zocdoc. About the Author. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd.Energy transformation is the change of energy from one form to another. For example, a ball dropped from a height is an example of a change of energy from potential to kinetic energy.

Chemical energy from food is converted to mechanical energy when the food is broken down and absorbed in the muscles. The chemical energy from food can also be converted to thermal energy to keep the body warm.

When lightning strikes a tree, electrical energy is converted to thermal energy. Chemical energy stored within batteries can be converted to electrical energy. Electrical energy can be converted to light energy when a light is switched out. Electrical energy can also be converted to sound energy when it is used to power a loudspeaker.

Sound energy is converted to electric energy in a microphone. At hydroelectric water plants, gravitational potential energy is converted to electrical energy when water falls from a height. Wind turbines convert the mechanical energy from the wind into electrical energy.

how is energy transformed in the body

Solar panels convert light energy into electrical energy. Electrical energy can be converted to mechanical and sound energy in a blender.


Chemical energy is converted to mechanical energy in cars when gasoline undergoes combustion to power the engine. When fuels such as gasoline are combusted, chemical energy is converted to heat and light energy.

Nuclear energy is converted to heat and light energy in a nuclear reaction as seen in the sun and in atomic bombs. Plants convert light energy to chemical energy through photosynthesis.

During bungee jumps, gravitational potential energy is converted to elastic potential energy. Friction converts kinetic energy to thermal energy. Waves convert mechanical energy to electrical energy. Geothermal energy in geologically active regions of the world can be harnessed as electrical energy. Home Science.Food is a vital necessity for all the humans and animals to live. We feel the hunger because it is a bodies call to replenish or restore the reserve food. The food inside the body as is used for supply of energy.

So what we ate previously gives us energy now and what we eat now gives us energy in the next requirement of the body. This helps us survive in times of lack of food. When we eat food, it releases into the blood the reserve supply of glucose from the liver. This glucose is carried by blood to provide instant energy to the body. It is well described in biochemistryIn short we can say that food is broken down to basic units like glucose. This glucose is converted to energy in the cell mitochondria.

Food breaks down to glucose, amino acids and fats in digestive system. There are many intermediary steps in between glucose and ATP formation and they are outlined at the bottom. This structure is formed in the plants due to photosynthesis. This photosynthesis is a process happening in the green leaves under the influence of sunlight.

The energy from sunlight is captured to form carbohydrate by use of carbon-dioxide CO2 and water H2O. So in other words we can say that the energy from sun is captured in carbohydrate form. When we eat these carbohydrates in the form of sugar, starch potato etc, this energy is released into the body cells.

The glucose a finest carbohydrate molecule is broken down in cell to smaller forms. These are then converted by mitochondria one of the cell organelles into energy ATP. During this conversion, the carbohydrate molecules is broken down back into carbon-dioxide CO2 and water H2O. On the contrary, the plants breath in CO2 by leaves and absorb water by roots to form these carbohydrates. Thus energy from sunlight is taken by plants and given to us. In this process CO2 and H2O are involved as principle intermediates.

This gets digested in the gut to glucose, amino-acids and fatty acids respectively. This happens in presence of oxygen inside the mitochondria.

So mitochondria are call power houses of our body cells. So for production of energy we require oxygen from lungs besides food. Also See: How Energy is used in the body. Interestingly, in case of starvation, fatty acids stored convert to acetyl-coA to produce energy and aminoacids also breakdown to produce actyl-CoA to produce energy. Hence a starving person looks lean and loses his weight as the reserve substances are consumed out to produce energy.Energy is the ability to do work.

It is power that exists everywhere in many forms. The main forms of energy are lightchemical, mechanical, nuclearelectricalheatand sound. Energy changes form whenever it is used to do work. When energy changes form it is called energy transformation. Another name for energy transformation is energy conversion. Energy transformations occur everywhere in the universe. They take place constantly.

That is because energy cannot be created or destroyed. Energy can neither appear out of nowhere nor vanish into nowhere. Instead, energy changes form when it does work—such as when it makes something move or when it makes a living thing grow. The nuclear energy of the Sun is constantly being changed into electromagnetic energywhich includes light energy.

how is energy transformed in the body

This energy travels in waves through space. On Earth light energy from the Sun is used by plants to make their own food. During a process called photosynthesis it is transformed into the chemical energy found in plants.

People and other animals then eat plants as food.

What Are 20 Examples of Energy Transformation?

The chemical energy of the food transforms into heat and mechanical energy. Mechanical energy is the energy the body has because of its motion and position. Activities such as breathing, walking, standing, or running involve mechanical energy. People have invented many ways to cause energy transformations. For example, engineers control how electrical energy is formed and where it goes so that it can be changed into light energy.

Wind turbines transform the mechanical energy of the wind into electrical energy. Power lines transport the electricity from the wind turbines to buildings.

Wires in buildings deliver the electricity to light bulbs. Electrical energy that reaches a light bulb changes to light and heat energy.The macronutrients carbohydrate, protein and fat are all broken down in the digestive system so the body can use them for energy.

The way macronutrients are broken down and converted into energy is a complicated process, but here are the basic steps that outline how your body turns carbohydrates into energy.

How many carbs should you eat per day to lose weight? Should you eat protein and carbs together? Can you lose weight faster with carb cycling?

how is energy transformed in the body

Carbohydrates are found in fruit, vegetables, grains and other starches. Digestion for carbohydrates actually starts in the mouth. Enzymes in saliva begin to break down carbohydrates. Carbohydrates travel through the esophagus, stomach and enter the small intestine. In the small intestine, carbohydrates get further broken down into single carbohydrate units called monosaccharide. These single molecules get absorbed across the intestine wall and are sent through the blood stream.

Carbohydrate in the blood is in the form of a monosaccharide called glucose. The more carbohydrate eaten at one time, the more glucose is going to be released into the blood after digestion.

When glucose levels in the blood are high, like after a meal, the body sends a message to the pancreas to release the hormone insulin. When glucose is now in the cell, thanks to insulin, the glucose can go through metabolic pathways to be broken down for energy or stored for later use.

In order for the cell to use glucose for energy, it has to be converted to adenosine tri-phosphate ATP. Glucose has 2 different metabolic pathways it can go through, depending on the needs of the cell. For example, during high intense, short exercise glucose can give energy to muscle cells through anaerobic glycolysis break down of glucose. The pathway provides ATP from glucose fast and also makes lactic acid as a byproduct.

For longer duration, lower intensity exercise, glucose can be broken down via aerobic glycolysis. This process gives more ATP production for the cell, but takes longer. If energy is not immediately needed for the muscle, the cell can store the glucose. Glucose molecules stored in muscle or liver tissue is called glycogen.

As the muscle cell needs energy, the glycogen will be broken down and go through anaerobic or aerobic glycolysis. Muscle cells rely on carbohydrate to energy, but other cells in the body can use carbohydrates for energy with these same metabolic pathways. After a meal, glucose is sent to the liver.

The liver can also store glucose molecules as glycogen, like the muscle cells. The liver can use glucose for energy through glycolysis. Glucose can also be stored as fat if glucose is not needed for energy.

When blood glucose levels get too low, the hormone glucagon gets released to raise blood glucose levels. When blood glucose levels get too low, that is a signal that stored carbohydrate, glycogen, needs to get broken down to raise blood glucose levels to a normalized level.

Glucagon will act on glycogen in muscles and the liver to break off glucose molecules. These molecules enter the blood and can travel to where they are needed for energy in the body.Your body creates energy from the fats you include in your diet. Although dietary fat has more energy calories per gram than proteins and carbohydrates do, your body has a more difficult time pulling the energy out of fatty foods. Because fat is digested more slowly than proteins and carbohydrates, you feel fuller a condition called satiety longer after eating high-fat food.

Imagine a chain of long balloons — the kind people twist into shapes that resemble dachshunds, flowers, and other amusing things. When you drop one of these balloons into water, it floats.

What Are 20 Examples of Energy Transformation?

The fat floats on top of the watery food-and-liquid mixture in your stomach, which limits the effect that lipases can have on it. When the fat moves down your digestive tract into your small intestine, an intestinal hormone called cholestokinin beeps your gallbladder, signaling for the release of bile.

Bile is an emulsifier, a substance that enables fat to mix with water so that lipases can start breaking the fat into glycerol and fatty acids. These smaller fragments may be stored in special cells fat cells in adipose tissue, or they may be absorbed into cells in the intestinal wall, where one of the following happens:. Burning glucose is easier and more efficient than burning fat, so your body always goes for carbohydrates first.

The first step is for an enzyme in your fat cells to break up stored triglycerides the form of fat in adipose tissue. Left untreated, ketoacidosis can lead to death. Medically, ketoacidosis is most common among people with diabetes. For people on a low-carb diet, the most likely sign of ketoacidosis is stinky urine or breath that smells like acetone nail polish remover.

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