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What is ATP energy?

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Quick Answer

Energy that is produced in cells by a molecule called adenosine triphosphate is called ATP energy. ATP energy is essential for many living processes, including muscle contraction and nerve impulses. In order to provide continuous energy to cells, ATP molecules must have continuous access to foods that contain energy.

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Full Answer

ATP is a molecule that generates energy by breaking down food in cells. Aside from muscle contraction, ATP is essential for creating nucleic acids in the body. Nucleic acids store DNA, and they are vital for healthy cell functioning.

The ATP molecule is made from a mixture of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and oxygen atoms. The bonds between some of these atoms contain large amounts of energy. When the bonds are broken, the excess energy is used to power the cell. Some of this energy can also sometimes be released as heat.

Once an ATP molecule has generated energy, it becomes adenosine diphosphate. In order to regenerate into ATP, the molecule uses fats and carbohydrates found in foods. The energy from the food recreates the bonds that were broken through a complex chemical process. This is why a constant supply of carbohydrates and fats is essential for a cell to survive.

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