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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn about energy supply and transformation in the human body

  • Learn about the internal environment of the human body.
  • Understand more about energy use within the human body.
  • Learn about how energy is generated in the body and the different pathways during different states - rest, work, recovery.
  • Learn about the acid-base balance and the function of kidneys to regulate and maintain this.
  • Learn about different substances used as aids to performance.
  • Essential knowledge for health science students.
  • Essential for the fitness trainer, health science and health care professionals, nutritionists 

Prerequisites: A basic understanding of body systems (i.e. Human Biology IA).

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Learn about energy production and use in the human body

The bioenergetics course will help you to develop an understanding of energy and environmental considerations within the human body.

  • Learn more about the biochemistry of energy.
  • Understand about energy flow through the body.
  • Learn what affects energy levels and how these can be managed.
  • Understand how environmental changes affect the human body in the context of biochemistry.
  • Gain knowledge that can be used in biological research.
  • Professional training to provide fundamental knowledge for those working in the fitness industry, health and medical sciences, or the medical profession.


There are 7 lessons as follows:

Lesson 1. Energy and Work
  • Anaerobic energy supply
  • Phosphate energy
  • Lactic acid energy
  • Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
  • Aerobic energy supply
  • Energy requirements for different types of activity
  • Breathing during exercise
  • ATP movement
  • ATP sources
  • ATP-PC system
  • Lactic acid system
  • Oxygen system
  • Aerobic systems
  • Krebs cycle
Lesson 2. Energy Pathways
  • What is energy
  • The nature of energy
  • Units of measurement
  • Production and storage of energy
  • Carbohydrates in an animal or human body
  • Glycogenesis
  • Glycogenolysis
  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Hyperglycaemia
  • Carbohydrate oxidation
  • Glycolysis
  • Hydrolysis
  • Hydrolysis of metal salts
  • Hydrolysis of an ester link
  • Energy production pathways from different foods: fats, carbohydrates, proteins
  • Respiratory quotient
  • Resting quotient
  • Aerobic capacity
  • What happens during exercise
  • Recovery from exercise: alactacid and lactacid oxygen debt, Replenishing muscular glycogen
  • Lactic acid
  • Calculations
Lesson 3. The Acid-Base Balance
  • pH
  • What is acidity
  • The urinary system: Kidneys, ureters, bladder
  • Physiology of the Urinary system
  • The urea cycle
Lesson 4. Osmosis and Diffusion
  • Diffusion explained and examples given
  • Nature and types of diffusion
  • Movement of molecules through cell membranes
  • Endocytosis
  • Membranes and their structure
  • Osmosis
  • Osmosis and filtration
  • Membrane transport: simple passive, active and facilitated transport
  • Chemical potential
  • Osmotic pressure
  • Reverse osmosis
Lesson 5. Atmospheric Pressure
  • Altitudes
  • Introduction to atmospheric pressure
  • Partial pressure gradients
  • Effects of change in pressure
  • Equalising when diving
  • Gas solubility
  • Breathing at different atmospheric pressures
  • Calculations
Lesson 6. Temperature Regulation
  • Introduction
  • Effect of temperature changes on the human body
  • Conduction and convection
  • Lowering temperature: sweating, vasodilation, metabolic reduction, hair, behaviour
  • Raising temperature
  • Vasoconstriction
  • Increased metabolism
  • Behaviour
  • Effect of temperature on enzymes
  • Eccrine glands
  • Apocrine glands
  • Energy production
  • Factors affecting individual BMR: growth, body size, food, thyroid gland
  • Fever: mechanism of fever, shivering, other temperature disorders
  • Grades of fever
  • Signs of fever
Lesson 7. Ergogenic Aids to Performance
  • Introduction
  • Drugs: steroids, amphetamines
  • Oxygen
  • Vitamins
  • Water
  • Other foods: carbohydrates, protein
  • Creatine
  • Caffeine
  • Antioxidants

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain how energy is used in the human body to create work and power.
  • Explain energy pathways during resting, work and recovery.
  • Explain the significance of the acid-base balance in the body.
  • Explain movement of materials in and out of living cells.
  • Explain the effect of changing atmospheric pressure on the body.
  • Explain temperature regulation in the body.
  • Explain ergogenic aids to body performance during activity/exercise.


Here are just some of the things you may be doing:

  • Explain biological energy cycles, using illustrations where appropriate.
  • Explain two examples of energy pathways in the body, including an anaerobic and an aerobic pathway.
  • Explain the function of ATP in body energy pathways.
  • Explain the significance of the following terms to understanding body energy pathways:
    • energy
    • work
    • power
    • efficiency during exercise.
  • Explain the consumption of oxygen during different stages of activity, including:
    • at rest
    • warming up
    • peak activity
    • cooling down.
  • Calculate the net cost of exercise in litres per minute, for a set situation.
  • Explain the measurement of efficiency during the exercise carried out in a set task.
  • Explain problems which may occur in physiological processes during running a marathon.
  • Explain in one paragraph for each, the following acid-base terms with relevance to exercise:
    • Buffer
    • Alkali reserve
    • Alkalosis
    • Acidosis.
  • Describe respiratory regulation of pH in the human body.
  • Describe how regulation of pH occurs in the kidneys.
  • Explain the effect of strenuous exercise on body pH.
  • Explain osmosis in a specific biological situation (of your choice).
  • Distinguish between diffusion and facilitated diffusion in the human body.
  • Explain how electro-chemical forces maintain cellular equilibrium.
  • Explain how active transport mechanisms occur at a cellular level.
  • Describe three situations where pressure changes can affect body function, including:
    • scuba diving
    • mountain climbing.
  • Explain the effects of pressure changes on different parts of the body, including examples of changes due to altitude and scuba diving.
  • Explain the effect of a decompression treatment on a diver suffering from nitrogen narcosis.
  • List mechanisms of heat loss in the human body.
  • List mechanisms of heat gain in the human body.
  • Explain the operation of thermal receptors and effectors in the human body.
  • Describe the exercise session which you underwent in your set task, and explain the maintenance of body temperature during that exercise session.
  • Explain how temperature regulation may be different during peak exercise, to what it may be during exercise at 60-70% effort.
  • Explain the effects of steroids on the body, in relation to both performance, and other health factors, during two different types of activity.
  • Explain the effect of amphetamines, and other performance enhancing drugs on the body, during an activity of your choice.
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of amino acid use to enhance physical activity.
  • Explain the use of blood doping to enhance physical performance in a specific activity.
  • Explain ways oxygen can be used to enhance performance in a specific activity.
  • Explain the effect of different vitamins on three different types of performance.
  • Explain the effect of aspartic acid salts on a specific performance.


Study our Bioenergetics course and gain essential knowledge of energy production, transformation, and management. Understand about the energy pathways, and how the body and systems regulate and manage themselves in different states - at rest, work, and recovery.

The course will provide valuable knowledge for those working in areas such as:

  • The fitness industry - as fitness leaders, trainers, and coaches.
  • Health science - in areas such as research.
  • The medical profession.
  • Those working in holistic treatment.


" is very informative and worthwhile. I am glad I started the course. Of the many available from different schools, this offers the best value for money. "
Sonia, Human Biology

"The information given was excellent, but the assignments also made you look further to find answers yourself and I find this a much better way of learning than just being handed all the answers. It has given me a grounding knowledge in human biology which is perfect as I am applying to study Chiropractics at university next year. I couldn’t have asked for more from my tutor. She was very thorough and extremely helpful with any problems I encountered".
Kate, Anatomy



You can enrol on our Bioenergetics course at any time. It is studied by distance learning. As our courses are self-paced, you determine when and where you study, meaning you can fit your studying around your existing commitments.

Students benefit from the help and support of our highly knowledgeable, expert tutors.

You will receive feedback from your tutor on your assignments submitted to the School. In addition, your tutor will be on-hand to provide guidance and support whilst you are studying with us.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about studying with ACS, please get in touch with our expert Science tutors today. They will be pleased to answer your questions and discuss your learning plans with you.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

Jade SciasciaBiologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Professional Education, Cert IV TESOL, Cert Food Hygiene.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy

Check out our eBooks

Aerobic FitnessAerobic exercise is critical for maintaining every aspect of a persons wellbeing. This book shows you the exercise you need to do to keep your lungs, heart and circulatory system fit. Originally published as a printed book by Simon and Schuster. This new edition is improved and available as an ebook. It explains what aerobic fitness is and the exercises you can do to maintain an peak level of aerobic fitness. It is a valuable reference both for fitness professionals, and also for anyone just wanting to improve their own personal fitness.
Human NutritionBoth a text for students, or an informative read for anyone who wants to eat better. While covering the basics, the book approaches nutrition a little differently here to some other books, with sections covering ”Modifying diet according to Genetic Disposition or Lifestyle”, “How to find Reliable Information on Nutrition” and “Understanding how Diet relates to Different Parts of the Body” (including Urinary, Digestive, Respiratory and Circulatory System, the Brain, etc). This ebook was written to complement the ACS Nutrition I course, and provides a solid foundation for anyone wanting to grasp a fundamental understanding of Human Nutrition.
How to be a Life CoachLife coaching is a relatively new profession - although coaches have been around for a long time in the guise of trainers, instructors, managers and tutors for various professions and disciplines. Life coaching is not easily defined, but it is a type of mentoring which focuses on helping individuals to achieve what they would like to achieve and thereby to lead more fulfilling lives. Unlike other forms of coaching, it takes place outside of the workplace and is concerned with all aspects of a person’s life.
Human BiologyFor any new student of human biology, being confronted with thousands of unfamiliar words can be overwhelming. It can also be difficult to identify which words you need to learn first. This book presents words that have been carefully selected as the most important for new biology students to learn and understand. It also provides more information about each word than is often found in traditional dictionaries, giving students a more in-depth understanding of the word's meaning. The book is intended as an aid to all new students of human biology.