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Campbell Essential Biology

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Cellular Respiration: Obtaining Energy from Food

Muscles in action. Sprinters, like all athletes, depend on cellular respiration to power their muscles.

CHAPTER CONTENTS Energy Flow and Chemical Cycling in the Biosphere 92 Cellular Respiration: Aerobic Harvest of Food Energy 94 Fermentation: Anaerobic Harvest of Food Energy 101

CHAPTER THREAD

Aerobic versus Anaerobic Lifestyles
BIOLOGY AND SOCIETY Marathoners versus Sprinters THE PROCESS OF SCIENCE What Causes Muscle Burn? EVOLUTION CONNECTION Life before and after Oxygen 91 102 103

Aerobic versus Anaerobic Lifestyles BIOLOGY AND SOCIETY

Marathoners versus Sprinters
Track-and-field athletes usually have a favorite event in which they excel. Some runners specialize in sprints of 100 or 200 meters. Others excel at longer races of 1,500, 5,000, or even 10,000 m. It is unusual to find a runner who competes equally well in both 100-m and 10,000-m races; most runners are more comfortable running races of particular lengths. It turns out that there is a biological basis for such preferences. The muscles that move our legs contain two main types of muscle fibers: slow-twitch and fast-twitch. Slow-twitch muscle fibers can contract many times over a longer period but don’t generate a lot of quick power for the body. They perform better in endurance exercises requiring slow, steady muscle activity, such as marathons. Fast-twitch muscle fibers can contract more quickly and powerfully than slow-twitch fibers but also fatigue much more quickly. They function best in short bursts of intense activity, such as sprints. All human muscles contain both slow-twitch and fast-twitch fibers, but the percentage of each fiber type in a particular muscle varies from person to person. For example, the thigh muscles of most marathon runners contain more slow-twitch fibers, whereas sprinters have more fast-twitch fibers.…...

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