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Reactants of a chemical reaction need to gain energy before they can undergo the reaction. This required energy is called the activation energy of the reaction and it is needed to break bonds within the reactants. At a later stage in the reaction energy will be released as new bonds form.

The majority of biological reactions are exothermic. In exothermic reactions the energy released by the new bonds formed is greater than the activation energy. In other words, the reaction releases energy.

Enzymes make it easier for reactions to occur by decreasing the activation energy required in the reactions that they catalyse.

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