What Kind of Energy Makes Muscle Cells Contract?

Chemical energy drives muscles to contract.
••• Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Muscles are bundles of fibrous tissue that, by contracting and relaxing, enable the body to move or to remain in position. These bundles are made of long but thin individual cells, embedded in a covering. Muscle fibers are synapsed by axons that trigger them to function. However, it is the metabolism of sugars and fats — chemical energy — that drives muscle cells.

Fat Metabolism

Fat metabolism is the primary source of energy during ordinary muscle use. Fat metabolism requires oxygen. Intense muscle usage requires more oxygen than the body can immediately provide. When required, the body produces energy, though less efficiently, by means of anaerobic processes — processes that do not require oxygen. Fat metabolism is one form of chemical energy.

Anaerobic Glycolysis

Anaerobic glycolysis converts glucose sugar into fructose, which is then converted into glyceraldehyde phosphates, which is further converted into phosphoglycerates, which is changed — finally — into pyruvate and energy. In this case, also, it is chemical energy that makes muscle cells contract.

Related Articles

Three Ways the Body Uses Energy
How Is Oxygen Important to the Release of Energy in...
How Are Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration Related?
How are Respiration & Combustion of Gasoline Similar?
Is the Krebs Cycle Aerobic or Anaerobic?
Where Does Respiration Occur?
The Most Common Organic Molecules in Cells
10 Facts on Photosynthesis
Chemical Reactions Required to Maintain Homeostasis
What Is Nadph in Photosynthesis?
Structure of the Muscular System
The Definition of Body Systems
Type of Energy Produced by Photosynthesis
Relationship Between Respiration & Metabolism
What Are the Processes by Which Macromolecules Are...
The Average Life Span of Skeletal Muscle Cells
The Advantages of Anaerobic Respiration
Functions of Human Organs
Role of the Lungs
The Structure & Function of Muscle Cells