Wondering Why?

Why Do Cells need Energy?

Why Do Cells need Energy?

Cells are living entities that consist of protoplasm which is the indication for life in the cell. Several cells constitute to form our body. Every organ in our body is made up of its own type of cell. For example heart has cardiac cells, lungs have its own type of cells, and kidney has its own cells and so on. But each of these various cells performs certain function in order to make that organ work properly. Plant cells or animal cells have to perform many processes. They carry out processes like protein synthesis, DNA replication, respiration, transport of synthesized proteins to the extracellular region, create immunity and so on.

The food that a cell needs is glucose. This glucose breaks down into energy type called Adenosine tri phosphate or ATP. Glucose is broken down to produce energy in the mitochondria as ATP molecules. Cells need energy to keep up life in us. The cells make use of the energy to allow us to breathe, to keep our hearts pump blood continuously, muscles to contract and many other important processes. The cells store the energy in the form of ATP and when it needs energy ATP is broken down into ADP or Adenosine di phosphate.

ATP constitutes Adenine molecule, a ribose sugar molecule and three phosphates. The storage and break down of energy in ATP is carried out by enzymes.

ATP à ADP + P + Energy


The anabolic and catabolic reactions of metabolism make use of energy to carry out the reactions. For example, if a person exercises, his body cells need more energy especially his muscle cells. There are phospho creatinine molecules present in the muscles that donate one phosphate group that is accepted by ADP to form ATP. This ATP formed provides power to his muscles in order to do work. If this phosphocreatinine system does not provide enough energy, then anaerobic glycolysis occurs to provide the necessary energy to the muscles to provide power to the person doing his exercise. So, cells need energy to perform their various functions.


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