Have you ever heard of the Krebs cycle? Although it is not particularly well known among novice athletes, this cycle (also known as the citric acid cycle) has an essential role to play in your body’s production of energy. It’s also a crucial aspect of cellular respiration; a chain of chemical reactions within our bodies that generate the energy we need every day.
To put it simply, the Krebs cycle is the mechanism through which we generate energy from the food we consume. It happens mostly off the radar without us having any knowledge about it, but it governs out metabolic functions and energy levels nonetheless. All creatures who breathe oxygen, including us, have a Krebs cycle, so it’s vital to know a few things about it if you really want to optimize your athletic performance!
How the Cycle Works
The Krebs cycle is closely tied in to mitochondria – the powerhouses of your cells. These tiny cell constituents house the entirety of the energy production process, and are always hard at work converting sugar, glucose, amino acids and fatty acids into your body’s preferred source of fuel, adenosine triphosphate (or ATP). This is an eight-step process that starts with condensation and ends at a molecular end product, namely the creation of energy.
The human body simply would not survive without a constant supply of ATP, and the process that creates it generates carbon dioxide as its biproduct. Whenever we breathe, we introduce oxygen into our cells, allowing them to produce energy through the Krebs cycle. In full, this entire process is known as cellular respiration – and to perform at your peak, this system needs to be functioning optimally.
Symptoms of a Dysfunctional Cycle
The Krebs cycle is not the only method of energy production within the human body, but it is important when you need sustained endurance energy, like when you’re running a marathon for example. The abundance of energy generated by this cycle is essential for your body to withstand long periods of physical activity, and regardless of fuel source, if the Krebs cycle is not functioning right, neither will you!
An underactive Krebs cycle can cause depression, muscle weakness, fatigue and even lowered immunity, but with a few simple lifestyle changes you can turn all of these symptoms around in a very short space of time. Exercising regularly will also be helpful, but be sure to take regular breaks and enjoy Microgaming no deposit bonus casino games, too!
Optimizing Your Krebs Energy System
The first thing to consider when looking to optimize your Krebs cycle is the macronutrient composition of your diet. Depending on what you eat, your cells will produce endproducts that either impact your performance or enhance it. Pyruvic acid is a great natural compound to support this cycle, as are phosphates (found in pumpkin seeds and scallops), carnosine (found in fatty fish like salmon), and bicarbonates (like sodium bicarbonate and the fermented tea drink kombucha).
To keep the cycle burning carbohydrates and creating energy efficiently while also preventing fat gain, there are a few other measures you can take. They include eating an adequate supply of complex carbohydrates to keep your blood glucose stable, eating enough protein and fibre to slow carbohydrate digestion, and eating the medium chain fats found in coconut oil. These are converted into ketones for energy, helping to enhance fat oxidation in the process.