What is respiration and why is it needed?

Respiration is the process of using energy stored in complex organic molecules (such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins) to make ATP.

ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) is a molecule and is called the 'universal energy currency of the cell'.

It effectively stores the energy released by respiration and when it is broken down it in turn releases this energy to meet our metabolic needs (ie all the chemical reactions taking place in our cells to drive all the biological processes).

These include:

1) Transport of ions e.g. in neurones for the transmission of impulses particularly against their natural concentration gradient (active transport). 

2) Transport of molecules inside and outside of cells. 

3) DNA synthesis and/or replication.

4) Activating/modifying chemicals e.g. by adding from phosphate groups taken from ATP.

5) Movement both at a cellular level and of the whole organism. 

Aneesh S. 13 plus  Maths tutor, GCSE Maths tutor, 11 Plus Maths tutor...

1 month ago

Answered by Aneesh, an A Level Biology tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


PremiumThomas W. GCSE French tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Biology tuto...
View profile
£30 /hr

Thomas W.

Degree: Biological Sciences (Bachelors) - Oxford, Pembroke College University

Subjects offered: Biology, Science+ 3 more


“Hi, I’m Tom, a third year Biology student at Oxford University. Tutoring experience: I have tutored A-level Maths, Chemistry and Biology in 1:1 tutorials at my Sixth Form College to Year 12 students. I have also given private tutor...”

Isabelle H. A Level Biology tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, Mentoring -Med...
View profile
£20 /hr

Isabelle H.

Degree: Medicine (Graduate Entry) (Bachelors) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered: Biology, .UKCAT.+ 2 more

-Personal Statements-
-Medical School Preparation-

“About me- I'm a 2nd year graduate entry medical student at the University of Nottingham, having previously acheived a 1st class honours in BSc Medical sciences at the University of South Wales. I love science and medicine and am reall...”

MyTutor guarantee

PremiumHannah G. A Level Chemistry tutor, A Level Biology tutor, GCSE Chemis...
View profile
£26 /hr

Hannah G.

Degree: Chemistry (Other) - Liverpool University

Subjects offered: Biology, Science+ 1 more


“First year Chemistry undergraduate, looking to help you achieve your full potential in Chemistry and Biology. ”

About the author

Aneesh S. 13 plus  Maths tutor, GCSE Maths tutor, 11 Plus Maths tutor...
View profile

Aneesh S.

Currently unavailable: until 21/11/2016

Degree: Medicine MBBS BSc (Bachelors) - University College London University

Subjects offered: Biology, Maths+ 1 more


“Let me introduce myself: I'm Aneesh, a second year medical student who has just completed his second year at University College London. Through my own experience of benefitting from many outstanding teachers, I know firsthand the dif...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Aneesh

A cylindrical beaker has a height of 16 cm and a diameter at its bottom of 10 cm. What is its volume? Give your answer to 2 decimal places.

Arrange the following decimals in order of size: 0.45, 1.09, 0.3, 0.08

Outline the process of protein synthesis in a cell.

The following sequence reads: 8, 5, 2, -1. What are the 4th and 50th terms of this sequence?

Other A Level Biology questions

How does the citric acid cycle work, and what is oxidative phosphorylation?

What is homeostasis?

What are the differences between mitosis and meiosis?

What is a randomised controlled trial?

View A Level Biology tutors


We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss