How do we get the energy to run, to work, to live? In fact, how do all animals get energy to do everything they need to do?
The answer: Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP.
ATP transfers energy from the breakdown of food in your digestive system to cellular processes. Think of it as a wallet full of money. Just as a wallet carries money that you spend, ATP carries chemical energy spent by cells.
You get energy from ATP when the third of three phosphate groups is removed, releasing energy in a reaction. To bring back this third phosphate group is a very complicated process done by a large group of proteins in your body. In fact, if just one of these proteins is faulty, ATP will not be produced.
So, next time you're doing a difficult task, know that ATP is hard at work making sure you've got energy!