Primarily, there are two types of respiration: aerobic and anaerobic. There are other types such as fermentation but the processes are distinctly different. Aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration are similar in terms of the processes and what goes on but the former requires oxygen and the latter can happen without oxygen. Both aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration have pros and cons.
List of Pros of Anaerobic Respiration
1. Provides Energy sans Oxygen
Anaerobic respiration makes it possible for cells and tissues to function despite the absence or shortfall of oxygen. When we exercise or indulge in physically exhaustive tasks, we use more oxygen than what we do normally. As a result, the body can be deprived of necessary oxygen and the muscles may just stop functioning unless they obtain energy through anaerobic respiration.
2. Supplementary to Aerobic Respiration
Aerobic respiration may be hindered at specific times. Absence of oxygen, lack of oxygen or just an overconsumption of available oxygen can happen anytime. In such phases, the body would be unable to energize itself unless there is anaerobic respiration. In effect, anaerobic respiration can alter with aerobic respiration, forming a formidable cycle of generating and supplying energy.
3. Immediate Availability of Energy
Anaerobic respiration leads to more ready energy that can be used immediately. Aerobic respiration takes longer in comparison. When there are situations demanding an immediate supply of energy, such as in instinctive reactions or responds to stimuli, it is anaerobic respiration that can provide the more usable energy.
4. Extra Energy
Anaerobic respiration produces certain byproducts, especially in organisms that are not capable of aerobic respiration. The byproduct gases can be another source of energy that can be harnessed.
List of Cons of Anaerobic Respiration
1. Limited Resulting Energy
Anaerobic respiration is limited and has side effects. It produces lactic acid because of the limited quantity of glucose being broken down. Anaerobic respiration cannot provide enough energy in the long haul. In organisms that are capable of both aerobic and anaerobic respirations, it has been found that the latter accounts for less than one tenth of the total energy produced. The production of lactic acid is a concern since the body cannot keep on piling up the byproduct.
2. Lactic Acid Buildup
Since the body has a threshold beyond which it cannot store lactic acid, there is a high risk of lactic acid buildup. This can cause pain, cramps and can lead to many health ailments.
3. Fatigue & Risk of Injury
Anaerobic respiration doesn’t provide any energy for endurance so it is futile while indulging in activities that require sustained supply of energy. Due to limited energy, muscles may suffer from fatigue after a while and metabolic rates are not sufficient to burn fat, which will lead to using calories but not shedding weight. The lack of energy and muscle fatigue can make an organism prone to injury.