Could mitochondria help athletes to make gains?

31-March-2021 Nature - Outlook

Could mitochondria help athletes to make gains?
The muscles of elite endurance athletes boast high numbers of extra-efficient mitochondria. Unlocking the secrets of these cellular components could yield gains for future Olympians.

by Anthony King

Usain Bolt won the men’s 100 metre final in the 2016 Olympic Games in 9.81 seconds and 42 strides. A few days later, Eliud Kipchoge ran 42 kilometres in 2 hours and 8 minutes to win the marathon. These extraordinary feats pose very different challenges for the human body, but the races began in much the same way.

As the starting pistol fired, Bolt and Kipchoge began to use creatine phosphate, an energy-rich molecule stored in muscle tissue, to generate the energy-carrying molecule ATP. In a few seconds, however, both athletes’ stores of creatine phosphate were depleted, forcing their bodies to break down glucose to provide ATP to contracting muscle cells for a few more minutes.

For the full article go to:   https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00817-2

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