Aerobic Respiration vs. Anaerobic Respiration

Aerobic Respiration vs. Anaerobic Respiration

The molecular process that breaks down glucose, produces waste products, and energy is called respiration. There are two kinds of respiration: Aerobic and Anaerobic. Living organisms use energy released by respiration for their life processes.

Aerobic respiration takes place in the presence of oxygen, produces a large amount of energy. Carbon dioxide and water are produced as the waste products.

Anaerobic respiration takes place without the use of oxygen, produces small amounts of energy. Alcohol or lactic acid or other compounds are produced as waste products depending on the kind of cells that are active.

The type of energy needed for a long-distance race versus a short-term wrestling match can also help explain the difference between aerobic and anaerobic respiration. For a long-distance race, aerobic respiration takes place producing a large amount of energy. For a short-term wrestling match, anaerobic respiration takes place and will produce small bursts of energy.

The race is a cardio exercise, and the heart must maintain a steady rate of about 60 to 80% of its maximum, and there must be enough oxygen to sustain muscle power. On the other hand, an intense, short workout like a wrestling match requires the heart rate to increase to more than 80% of its maximum, and there must be enough oxygen for an immediate source of power.

In brief, aerobic respiration allows for long-term energy needs, and anaerobic for short-term energy needs. Of course, most sports and activities use a combination of aerobic and anaerobic respiration.

There are also other technical differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration. For aerobic, the cells involved include those in most organisms and body cells; however, anaerobic may occur in muscle cells and red blood cells, and is some types of bacteria and yeast.

Lactic acid is produced during Anaerobic, and none is produced during aerobic. A high amount of energy is produced in aerobic respiration with 38 glucose molecules, and low energy with only 2 glucose molecules during anaerobic.

In addition, the reactants for aerobic respiration is both oxygen and glucose, yet for anaerobic the reactant is just glucose. The reaction site in the cell for aerobic is in the cytoplasm or mitochondria, and just in the cytoplasm for anaerobic respiration.

Both aerobic and anaerobic respiration involves a first stage called glycolysis. The additional stage in anaerobic is fermentation, but in aerobic there is the Krebs cycle and electron transfer chain. Finally, combustion is complete in aerobic respiration, and incomplete during anaerobic respiration.

In summary, when thinking of aerobic respiration, relate it to aerobic exercises, which involves the need for a large amount of energy over a long time period. Oxygen is present and carbon dioxide and water is produced as waste products. For anaerobic, short burst and small amounts of energy produced, oxygen is not present, lactic acid and other compounds are produced as waste products depending on the kind of active cells.

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