The study of cellular metabolism is dependent on a knowledge of bioenergetics. Many students of exercise science do not have the opportunity to study this fundamental topic as a prerequisite to cellular biochemistry. Sadly, many exercise science courses, even those accredited within a particular country, do not require preliminary study of chemistry and biochemistry. This is a huge loss to the discipline of exercise physiology, as cellular biochemical regulation and perturbation during exercise establishes a diverse manner of regulatory systems essential to a person's subsequent exercise tolerance, or lack of tolerance. Furthermore, after teaching cellular metabolic biochemistry for more than 25 years, I am convinced that even a rudimentary understanding of bioenergetics is essential for a more complete understanding of cellular catabolism and anabolism. In this context, the explosive energy release from the sun is in stark contrast to the regulated, sequential, and therefore gradual energy release from the catabolism of large energy yielding molecules (carbohydrates, fats and amino acids) during cellular energy metabolism. Understanding cellular bioeneregtics fosters an understanding of why chemical reactions proceed in the directions they do, and why some can change and others cannot. My biggest tip for those venturing into this topic for the first time is to commit to reading and re-reading this content until you are comfortable with your understanding. If you do this, then your progress into the through the multiple Sections and Topics on cellular energy metabolism will be more rapid, and hopefully, far more enjoyable than otherwise.
Recommended sequence of topics:
What is bioenergetics?
Why study bioenergetics?
What is energy?
What is ATP?
Energy and the two laws of bioenergetics
Quantifying Gibbs’ free energy
Coupling chemical reactions