Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Master's Degree Programme on SPORTS SCIENCE, PREVENTION AND WELL – BEING
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Year of study: 
First Semester
Hours of front activity: 


Course description

The course Biochemistry and Bioenergetics of Physical Exercise includes the metabolism of the main energy substrates such as carbohydrates, fatty acids and amino acids used in physical exercise. The course deepens the energy balance obtained by anaerobic or aerobic mechanisms of skeletal muscle in human.


Basic knowledge of General Chemistry, Biology and Human Biochemistry.


Biomolecules: outline of structure and functional properties.
Flow of energy in living organisms: principles of bioenergetic and thermodynamic relations.
ATP and energy-rich compounds. Structure of skeletal muscle tissue. Energy substrates of skeletal muscle.
General concepts of metabolism: anabolic, catabolic and amphibolic pathways.
Skeletal muscle metabolism: classification of muscle fibers and biochemistry of contraction. Skeletal muscle bioenergetics: energy sources and mechanisms of ATP synthesis.
Anaerobic-alactacid mechanisms: phosphocreatine and myokinase.
Anaerobic-lactacid mechanisms: glycolysis and fate of pyruvate. Lactic fermentation. Monocarboxylate transporters (MCT). Utilization of the lactate. Cori cycle. Methods of measurement of blood lactate. Oxygen debt.
Glycogen: structure, function and metabolism. Role of muscle glycogen in function of physical activity and energy balance.
Aerobic mechanisms: the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and its regulation. Krebs cycle and energy balance. Triglycerides and adipose tissue. Mobilization and delivery of fatty acids. Activation of fatty acids and the carnitine mitochondrial transport system. Beta-oxidation of fatty acids and energy balance. Outline of amino acid oxidation: transaminases and urea production. Mitochondria, membrane transporters and shuttle systems.
Oxidative phosphorylation reactions; electron transport chain and ATP synthesis. Mechanism of ATP synthesis and ATP synthase complex (FOF1). Energy balance. Uncoupling proteins and agents.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and health. Physical activity and ROS production.

Reading and commentary of scientific articles on applied aspects of Bioenergetics in Sport Sciences.

Teaching Methods


NELSON D.L., COX M.M., “Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry”, Macmillan Education Eds.

MOUGIOS V., "Exercise Biochemistry" Human Kinetics Eds.

MORAN L.A., HORTON R.A., SCRIMGEOUR G., PERRY M.D., “Principles of Biochemistry, 5/E”,Pearson Education Eds.

Learning assessment

The final examination consists of an oral exam on all the contents of the course. During the course, students will conduct seminars on specific topics chosen with the teacher.
The final evaluation will take into account both the oral examination and the seminars carried out.

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