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In a story I am working on, there are several people with “godly” powers, but those are very discrete and do only exactly what their name says. For example:

  • Omniscience. You can see, hear, feel, smell, and touch everything on the world at the same time, but it doesn’t mean you have the “processing power” to comprehend all that at once.
  • Perfect memory: An absolute eidetic memory, but it doesn’t come with the capability to sift through all the info in your head any faster than a normal mind.
  • Super mind: Contrary to the last two, this one would have a very powerful brain, but not extra capabilities.
  • Immortality: You would not die. Period. That would not make you stay young, or regenerate deadly wounds, heal diseases, etc…
  • Endless Youth: You would be “young” for all your life, but eventually die of old age looking like in your early 20s.

You get the idea, they are a very vertical slice of a divinity’s power that does ONLY what’s advertised. I have pretty clear limitations on most of them, but there is one that’s nagging me.

Unlimited energy.

At first I thought a normal human with unlimited energy resources would not get tired, so could stay always awake and run full sprint for days if needed, and didn’t necessarily need to eat anything, eventually getting 0% body fat. But now I think it’s nothing like that.

We are handwaving an unlimited energy pool, yes, but we want to keep everything else as “realist” as possible. Yes a man with unlimited energy could run for longer than others, but eventually his body would give up. This man should also need to sleep, if not to restore energy and rest, to let his brain “cool off”, maybe? Also he would need to eat… Yeah he doesn’t really need the calories, but I’m guessing this man would need some intake to help his growth, healing, or simply to have material to grow other cells with.

What kind of limitations would this man have?

How much could he stretch his body’s resistance before it giving up? For example: how long could he be sprinting as hard as he can? Or how long could he be awake (if it depends at all on “energy usage”, I know sleep is needed even if you spent your day looking at the ceiling and thinking of nothing)?

I guess one of his problems would be heat too. Doing exercise heats you up. We sweat and pant to get rid of extra heat, but we rarely get enough energy to keep exercising until we have a heat stroke, unless it’s very hot to begin with. Depending on his limitations, this man might put himself in danger of that more often than he would like.

I know very little of human physiology (other than being human myself) but as I’ve come to understand strength, elasticity, resistance, etc, improve in our bodies while we rest after making an efforts that’s more demanding than we usually do. In a way, we break ourselves and when we get fixed we are better than before (much like Saiyans!). Given that our Duracell® man can bring his body to the limit quite easily, how would that work? Would he see vast improvements over a short time working out? Or would the tears in the muscles be too much to his healing capabilities eventually if he keeps turning it up to eleven?

How right I am about his food needs? I guess he would need to drink as much as anyone, but what about food? Would he be able to fast as much as wanted/needed without repercussions? Or would he need to eat as a regular person? My nutrition knowledge is not quite up to standard here so any help is welcome.

(1) - How much “better” than a regular man would he be? In any way you can think, if at all.

If you have any other interesting things to say about things I haven’t thought to ask, please do say them. Any help is welcome. Also, I’ll be checking comments and updating the question with extra info if it’s needed. Thank you all!

Edit: (1) I took away this question because it's been said that it's too opinion based, and after further inspection I agree.


I didn't want to specify exactly what energy means because I do not know enough to make assumptions on the issue, but I think "endless energy" would mean that the man does not need a source of calories, he would make as many as needed. Then again don't take this as an invariable truth, if you find this makes no sense or there are better explanations, please do tell. As said, I'm not an expert on nutrition or biology.

I seem to answer myself most of the time, but it was mostly me trying to illustrate what I know (or what I think I know) on the issue. What I need is mostly to know if what I am guessing may be right, and if not, what would be a more reasonable answer. In the end, I won't bore my readers with hard science, but I would want to know what I can expect of a character with that capability, so me knowing the hard facts would help greatly.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Aify, T3 H40, Hohmannfan, evilscary, Burki Apr 26 '16 at 11:19

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ But.. what is "energy"? You can't just generalize that a human needs "energy" to do "x" - that "energy" has to be something, be it calories, amino acids, fats, carbohydrates, etc. Our body stores energy in the format of fat, and that fat is later converted to thermal energy and work - your "infinite energy" has to come from somewhere. Are you saying that they're infinitely fat? Yes, you're "handwaving the unlimited energy pool", but in what form is your energy being pulled out as? Do they get fatter in order to get more energy? Also, "How much “better” is very opinion based. $\endgroup$ – Aify Apr 26 '16 at 6:57
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    $\begingroup$ Be careful with Omniscience. Anyone with that ability as described would either just sit screaming in a corner or be a drooling idiot. Think about what "everything" means. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Apr 26 '16 at 11:14
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, could you please comment on why did you think the question is too opinion-based? It has been put on hold for that reason, and I would like to know what is wrong so I can improve it and make it better. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Helwar Apr 26 '16 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Separatrix I know that, I was counting on it. But thanks for the input anyway :) $\endgroup$ – Helwar Apr 26 '16 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ "Stamina" reflects better what you have in mind than "energy". $\endgroup$ – bilbo_pingouin Apr 26 '16 at 13:25
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Yes a man with unlimited energy could run for longer than others, but eventually his body would give up. This man should also need to sleep, if not to restore energy and rest, to let his brain “cool off”, maybe?

For example: how long could he be sprinting as hard as he can? Or how long could he be awake (if it depends at all on “energy usage”, I know sleep is needed even if you spent your day looking at the ceiling and thinking of nothing)?

Actually you answered yourself. Probably he could be awake or sprint no longer than a normal man. Here energy seems not to be important. However he could be able to run with the speed of a (ultra)marathoner until he falls asleep every day without getting too exhausted (if he had enough water (+proteins, minerals etc. for the longer times); not counting damaged muscles).

I guess one of his problems would be heat too. Doing exercise heats you up. We sweat and pant to get rid of extra heat, but we rarely get enough energy to keep exercising until we have a heat stroke, unless it’s very hot to begin with. Depending on his limitations, this man might put himself in danger of that more often than he would like.

I do not think that this would be a big problem. It is not because of running out of energy that people do not die from heatstrokes.

Would he see vast improvements over a short time working out?

Probably not dramatically quicker improvements, but it would be a bit easier for him. More or less he could build his muscle mass eating mostly proteins and minerals, not "carbs" for energy for training.

If he ate more, he could easily get obese. You may assume that he uses normal energy resources before the infinite resources. If it is not the case, he would be made to eat very little — probably some artificial nutritional products with normal dose of minerals and vitamins and precisely calculated amount of building materials containing energy to replace what has decomposed and not get too much.

Or would the tears in the muscles be too much to his healing capabilities eventually if he keeps turning it up to eleven?

Actually I am afraid that I do not know much more than you. I would assume that if he used his strength to the limits, he would feel tired (in a specific way — with no lack of energy and probably no typical muscle sores) soon enough that he would not permanently hurt himself. Maybe somebody knows more about this, but probably you have to choose the interpretation of the laws of physiology yourself.

I guess he would need to drink as much as anyone

I agree. Water has not much to do with energy.

what about food? Would he be able to fast as much as wanted/needed without repercussions? Or would he need to eat as a regular person?

Actually you said yourself that he would need material for growth and regeneration: vitamins, proteins, essential fat acids... decompose or escape his body with sweat, urine etc., but he would need much less hydrocarbons.

If he always had enough energy in the form of ATP, he would not need much oxygen. He could dive for a long time, until gas balance gets disturbed. His body would not create much carbon dioxide that keeps the correct acidity of the blood. Under water he would also not lose CO2 and you can assume that he would create enough of it when breathing air, but it could be a bigger problem in, say, nitrogen atmosphere — this line of thinking suggests that in the nitrogen etmosphere he should plug his nose to keep CO2. (On the other hand, he would of course still be susceptible to carbon dioxide poisoning.)

Smaller oxygen use also means that he could run without muscle sores, but this in turn could disturb muscle building (if you want such interpretation — I do not have much information here).

How much “better” than a regular man would he be?

To summarise: I would assume he would not need to eat and breath so much, he could also be a bit (and only a bit) less susceptible to fatigue.

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