Biochemistry Primer for Exercise Science - 3rd Edition / Edition 3

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The latest edition of Biochemistry Primer for Exercise Science provides upper-level undergraduate and graduate students with an understanding of the essential concepts of biochemistry—molecular biology, basic chemistry, metabolism, and transcription regulation—in an easy-to-understand format. This text builds on the success of the previous edition by offering new topics, new organization of chapters, greater interpretation and integration of key concepts, and new and improved illustrations that clarify the content.

Biochemistry Primer for Exercise Science, Third Edition is the first volume in Human Kinetics' Primers in Exercise Science Series. With its updated information based on new research and ideas from exercise science and molecular biology and its greater interpretation of biochemistry in the context of the active human, this volume is the only text of its kind in this field. Students trained in traditional exercise physiology can understand basic concepts of energy, but without the knowledge gained from this book they might lack the ability to apply these principles to everyday life.

New information and approaches in this book include the following:

-Reorganized chapters give greater attention to the mechanism behind the concepts. Basic metabolic pathways and mechanisms are outlined and the role of exercise in modulating those pathways and mechanisms is addressed.

-A deeper and more thorough integration of the topics adds context and aids in comprehension.

-New review questions with answers are provided.

-A section on oxidative stress and its implications to lifestyle and health are included.

-A new section covers signal transduction that leads to changes in the expression of genes and in the amounts of specific proteins.

-A thoroughly revamped chapter covers bioenergetics with an overview of energy systems and their role in exercise. This is followed by the more rigorous thermodynamics concepts.
In addition, each chapter addresses the newest, most sophisticated information, discusses future research directions, and contains key points to reinforce understanding. The book also provides a list of abbreviations, conveniently located on the inside front cover, to help the reader become familiar with commonly used biochemistry terms; chapter summaries; a glossary; and a comprehensive reference list to help students absorb and apply the content.

This new edition fully integrates the concepts of biochemistry and physiology of exercise and provides critical information on how genes are controlled. In doing so, it melds the fields of human nutrition, physiology, and biochemistry into a more unifying science, and it presents students with the biochemistry content they need in order to understand the molecular aspects of human physical activity. The text helps prepare students for what lies ahead, and it is a great tool for professionals in related fields who want to learn about the biochemistry of exercise.

Each volume in Human Kinetics' Primers in Exercise Science Series provides students and professionals alike with a non-intimidating basic understanding of the science behind each topic in the series, and where appropriate, how that science is applied. These books are written by leading researchers and teachers in their respective areas of expertise to present in an easy-to-understand manner essential concepts in dynamic, complex areas of scientific knowledge. The books in the series are ideal for researchers and professionals that need to obtain background in an unfamiliar scientific area or as an accessible basic reference for those that will be returning to the material often.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Reviewer:Kenneth W. Rundell, PhD(U. S. Olympic Committee)
Description:This book provides a basic overview of biochemistry and molecular biology as it specifically relates to human exercise. The fundamental concepts of protein structure, protein synthesis, enzymatic reactions, and metabolic pathways essential to exercise physiology are presented in an easy to understand format. The text can be used as a supplemental reference for exercise physiology students, or as the foundation for a pre-exercise physiology course. Although the book lacks detail found in a classic biochemistry text, key components necessary to understand the biochemical principles of exercise are well discussed.
Purpose:The author?s rationale for the text is to present basic biochemistry for exercise physiology and sport nutrition students who lack a strong biology/chemistry background. The objective of the second edition to couple biochemistry with exercise examples and applications is well integrated into the text.
Audience:The primary audience is the upper-level undergraduate and graduate exercise science and sport nutrition students. According to the author, this book is also a valuable reference for individuals in exercise physiology research. Although this text could serve as a valuable reference to the undergraduate student, the depth of material covered is perhaps too basic for the graduate student and working researcher.
Features:The author provides an easy to understand, comprehensive text integrating biochemistry and exercise. Specific examples are presented throughout the text relating modern molecular biology and chemistry to exercise. Additionally, each topic section within the chapters is concluded with a useful "key point" summary, enhancing the readability. The numerous illustrations throughout are clear and provide excellent visual interpretations of the topics. The glossary is appropriate and useful; the text is well indexed. However, the number (62) of references is substantially inadequate for a text of this magnitude.
Assessment:The author has provided an excellent supplemental text for the undergraduate exercise physiology student. The book is an excellent resource on the fundamentals of biochemistry as applied to exercise. Moreover, this book could be used as a text for an undergraduate pre-exercise physiology course. Numerous examples of biochemistry in exercise are provided throughout each chapter that maintains reader interest and the chapters follow a logical progression. The author has done a fine job of making an often difficult to understand topic enjoyable to read. The author?s overall objectives have been met, resulting in a high quality, needed product.
An exercise scientist (U. of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) explains essential concepts of biochemistry (molecular biology, basic chemistry, metabolism, and transcription regulation) for upper- level undergraduate and graduate students with a limited background in biology and chemistry. Also useful as a reference for those working in exercise physiology research. Emphasizes basic elements of carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism during physical activity; an appendix provides a brief review of chemistry for students who need a brush-up. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780736056120
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/31/2006
  • Series: Primers in Exercise Science Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael E. Houston, PhD, is a professor in human nutrition, foods, and exercise at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Besides writing the first two editions of this book, Houston has written more than 100 refereed journal publications dealing with biochemical and nutritional implications to exercise. He has taught biochemistry of exercise for more than 35 years and has conducted extensive research in exercise. In 2003 he received the Honour Award from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. In his leisure time he enjoys weight training and road and mountain biking.

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Table of Contents


Part I Essential Background

Chapter 1. Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins

-The Nature of Amino Acids

-Characteristics of Peptides

-Structure of Proteins

Chapter 2. Enzymes

-Enzymes As Catalysts

-Rates of Enzymatic Reactions

-Provision of Reactive Groups by Cofactors

-Classification of Enzymes

-Oxidations and Reductions

-Regulation of Enzyme Activity

-Measurement of Enzyme Activity

Part II Metabolism

Chapter 3. Energy Systems and Bioenergetics

-Energy Requirements of Skeletal Muscle

-Energy-Rich Phosphates

-Energy Systems


Chapter 4. Oxidative Phosphorylation

-Overview of Metabolism


-The Citric Acid Cycle

-Electron Transfers

-Coupled Phosphorylation

-Regulation of Oxidative Phosphorylation

-Quantification of Redox Reactions

-Oxidants and Antioxidants

Chapter 5. Carbohydrate Metabolism


-Cellular Uptake of Glucose

-Phosphorylation of Glucose


-Glycogen Metabolism

-Regulation of Glycogen Metabolism

-Lactate Metabolism

-Oxidation of Cytoplasmic NADH


-The Pentose Phosphate Pathway

-Signaling Pathways

Chapter 6. Lipid Metabolism

-Types of Lipids

-Fat Stores

-Oxidation of Fatty Acids

-Oxidation of Ketone Bodies

-Synthesis of Fatty Acids

-Fat As a Fuel for Exercise

-Metabolism During Exercise: Fat Versus Carbohydrate

-Adipose Tissue As an Endocrine Tissue


Chapter 7. Amino Acid Metabolism

-Overview of Amino Acid Metabolism

-Degradation of Amino Acids

-The Urea Cycle

-Fate of Amino Acid Carbon Skeletons

-Amino Acid Metabolism During Exercise

-Additional Roles for Amino Acids

Part III Transcription, Protein Synthesis, and Degradation

Chapter 8. Gene Transcription and Its Control


-Types of RNA

-The Genetic Code


-Regulation of Transcription

Chapter 9. Protein Synthesis and Degradation

-Posttranscriptional Modifications of RNA


-Regulation of Translation

-Posttranslational Processing of Polypeptides

-Protein Degradation

Answers to Review Questions
About the Author

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