30 Apr


VALUE OF FOOD:The food that we eat contains what’s called as potential energy. Potential energy, by definition, is energy that’s stored in a physical system and has the potential to be converted into work. And the work part is called kinetic energy. As discussed in previous units, our food is a rich source of potential energy. It’s the chemical bonds within our food that contain this energy, and when these bonds are broken, we’re able to transfer this energy to ATP regeneration and, eventually, the ability to do work in the body.

potential energy: Energy stored within a physical system.

kinetic energy: The extra energy that something contains due to motion.

With most energy systems, the standard unit of measure for potential energy is the joule. Technically speaking, one joule is the amount of energy it takes to move an object that weights one newton (0.445 pounds) across a one-meter distance. In our everyday lives, however, other energy measures are more familiar to us, including Calories, kilowatt-hours, etc. That’s right, although some scientists use joules and kilo-joules (1000 joules) to describe the amount of potential energy in food; it’s still most common to measure this energy in Calories. Of course, there is a direct relationship between Calories and joules; one Calorie is equal to 4.18 joules. Therefore, if you eat a 1000-Calorie diet, you’re actually ingesting food that contains 4180 joules of potential energy.

joule: Unit of energy; four joules equal one calorie.

Calories: The amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius.

Technically speaking a Calorie is a unit of heat measurement. Specifically, a Calorie is defined as the energy needed to increase the temperature of a kilogram of water by one degree centigrade. However, historically, there has been

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