Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
First Semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

Acquisition of knowledge related to the metabolism of the main energy substrates such as carbohydrates, fatty acids and amino acids. Energy balance of the anaerobic and aerobic mechanisms activated in skeletal muscle in different types of physical activity in humans.

- Ability to apply biochemical knowledge of bioenergetic mechanisms activated in the various organs and tissues during physical activity.
- Acquisition of communication skills in the exposure of the biochemical mechanisms of energy production of the skeletal muscle and metabolic correlations between organs and tissues involved in energy metabolism.
- Acquisition of a cognitive autonomy aimed at deepening and bibliographic updating of the issues addressed during the course.


Basic knowledge of Human Biochemistry.


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.

The course of Biochemistry and Bioenergetics of the Physical Exercise illustrates the main energy substrates used by skeletal muscle in human in relation to the different types of physical activity. The mechanisms of anaerobic and oxidative energy production and their energy balance are studied in depth.

Teaching Methods

The course includes classroom lectures. Students can take advantage of electronic version of the didactic material used during the frontal lessons.

Critical reading of the recent bibliography on the topics covered during the classroom lessons.


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

At the end of the course, a final verification test of learning knowledge by carrying out a written task consisting of 20 questions, including 16 multiple choice and 4 open tracks on the course topics. The evaluation of the written test will be take into account the differential scores between the multiple choice and open answer questions. The teacher reserves the right to remodel the number and type of questions of the self-assessment test and final verification based on the teaching needs.
The final exam consists in verifying the acquisition of knowledge on the contents of the exam program. The final grade will take into account the evaluation of the final test and the oral examination.

More information

At the beginning of the course, a self-assessment test will be carried out on previous knowledge on human biochemistry by carrying out a written task consisting of 20 questions, including 16 multiple choice and 4 open tracks.