ATP / energy

ATP / energy

Very good article on ATP production:

Production of ATP

Good explanation:

ATP = energy. More ATP = more energy.

Cells primarily “burn” glucose and fatty acids to make ATP, but amino acids – especially alanine and the branch-chained amino acids – may also be used as fuel during intense exercise, hard physical labor, starvation, or even during periods of low blood sugar between meals.

Once inside the cell, these fuel molecules are processed through three interlocking ATP-energy production cycles: the glycolytic cycle, the Kreb’s or citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain.

The first cycle “burns” only glucose. It passes its products on to the second cycle and that in turn passes its products to the third cycle.

  • If the glucose is metabolized in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic glycolysis), then one molecule of glucose generates two molecules of ATP-bioenergy. If the demand for energy is greater than this, cells will have to resort to fermentation to produce energy. This releases more waste products = sore muscles.
  • If glucose is “burned” with oxygen (aerobic glycolysis), then one molecule of glucose yields a maximum of 36 ATP (or 38 ATP and 2 are used up, leaving 36 ATP).

The anaerobic production is only about 5% as energy efficient (2/38) as the combined aerobic energy metabolism “tri-cycle.”

Displaying ATP production the three cycles - no background.gif

What is needed?

Well, lots of nutrients actually. A few key nutrients though are mentioned in “The energy program at a glance” below, some comments:

  • Always take all the B vitamins if you’re going to supplement some of them.
  • B6, take it as P5P
  • Don’t take folic acid, take folate
  • The list doesn’t mention B12, but a lot of people are deficient and it is vital for ATP production. Take the methylcobalamin form.
  • Magnesium
  • Alpha-lipoic acid = ALA
  • Carnitine: take Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR)
  • Add anti oxidants to combat free radicals that are created during ATP production:
  • Glutathione (take the thing itself or supplement/eat the building blocks)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E


Vitamin B1, B2, B6 5-50mg breakfast and/or lunch
Vitamin B3, B5 50-100mg breakfast and/or lunch
Biotin 150-5,000mcg breakfast and/or lunch
Folic 200-1,000mcg breakfast and/or lunch
Magnesium 100-200mg two to four times daily
Alpha-lipoic acid 50-100mg breakfast and/or lunch
CoQ10 30-60mg breakfast and/or lunch
Carnitine 500-1500mg AM and PM – empty stomach
Vitamin E 100-400 IU daily with fat-containing meal

My experience

Nutrients / strategies that bost my energy levels are:

  • Getting enough sleep. I know this sounds redundant to even say, but a lot of people don’t actually get enough sleep. Lack of sleep disturbs all kinds of processes in your body.
  • Drink enough. But don’t drink too much plain water, because that will deplete your body of minerals. I add a few drops of this, or a bit of real sea salt.
  • Stop eating sugar, white bread, cakes, pasta etc. Keep those insulin levels down. Lots of easy carbohydrates result in more inflammation, making glutathiones work harder than it has to be. Depleting glutathione levels.
  • Taking glutathione, NAC or Acetyl l-carnitine always gives me energy.
  • Keep those bowels moving and move yourself. Anything you can do to get waste products leaving your body faster will help energy production.
  • B6 as P5P helps me, because it helps magnesium. I’ve got mercury toxicity, and my magnesium is challenged by that. It take lots of it and B6 helps it work.
  • The fat soluble vitamins helped me a lot with inflammation. Thereby leaving more glutathione to eat free radicals.

What if it isn’t working?

If you tried the above and/or other things and your energy is still not up, consider your diet, go back to the basics. Fix your digestion, have a look at hormone balance, etc.

If your liver is having a hard time, then cells will have a hard time getting rid of waste products. This impedes ATP production. See liver detox.

If you’ve also done that, then here are a few things you can add to the tri-cycle. These are nutrients that are produced / passed along at crucial points or that provide essential support:

  • Malic acid, taken as L-Malic Acid ( and not as D-Malic Acid), ACV contains this
  • NAD or NADH, this is almost ATP, it provides quick short bursts of energy
  • Creatine, provides oxygen
  • L-Citrulline, provides oxygen
  • D-ribose, this is the form of glucose that can directly be inserted into the tri-cycle. Brewers yeast contains D-ribose
  • Acetyl-CoA, this is needed by the citric acid cycle
  • .. when I think of more I will add …

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