How is energy produced for racehorse?


Horses use small molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to stimulate muscle contraction during exercise. However, very little ATP is stored in horse muscle. There are numerous metabolic pathways that can produce ATP as quickly as they use it. These routes use a variety of fuels to produce ATP, and the primary purpose of feeding a racehorse is to optimize the storage of these fuels; thus, to ensure that the muscle continues to contract without getting tired. The most important fuels for a racehorse are glycogen (a set of glucose molecules) stored mostly in muscle and to a lesser extent in the liver, and fat stored mostly in adipose tissue. Therefore, the most important fuel of racehorses during the race is muscle glycogen storage.


Ration energy

The energy of the ration is usually expressed in megacolories (Mcal) or megajoules (MJ) digestible energy (DE). DE refers to the amount of energy the horse provides in the diet. DE requirements are calculated on the basis of the horse's grooming requirement and the additional energy expended during exercise. An adult horse that is not exercising needs about 16-17 Mcal DE per day. The requirement of a racehorse is at least doubled.


Racehorse baits

In the last decade, it has been abandoned to use only cereals, especially for racehorses. Instead of these, specially formulated ready-made feeds are preferred. The main purpose of ready-made feeds is to use alternative energy sources such as fat and fermentable fibers to reduce the proportion of energy provided by starch. When fed with an appropriate amount of feed, they meet all the nutritional requirements of racehorses, including vitamins and minerals, as well as energy.

A sweet feed consisting only of grains and molasses provides 60-65% of its calories from starch and sugar. A well-formulated racing feed limits the caloric contribution of starch and sugar to less than 50% and provides 20-30% of calories from fat. These feeds generally contain 6-10% fat, together with fermentable fiber sources such as beet pulp.



“Not every ready-made feed may meet the needs of your racehorse, individual nutrition is always essential! “