Why do small children have such limitless energy?

And more importantly, how do I bottle and sell it?

Is there some physiological reason for this? I have wondered if it weren’t related to their size. For example, heart beats are much faster in smaller animals and are faster in young children than adults.

Googling this lead to a bunch of links from questionable sources and contained such insights as “there’s so much for them to explore!”


Cap’n Crunch.

I think they do have more energy but they also have more “pointless” energy.

I have watched a little kid climb the stairs at the Belmont subway in Chicago. Then he runs down the stairs. Then he runs UP the stairs, then he runs down the stairs. He does this for twenty minutes, while we wait for the train. I remember thinking, “Did I ever have that much energy”?

Now an adult would never do that. They conserve their energy. And humans are not alone. I have seen puppies bounce all over big dogs.

Also kids have higher energy levels, but most of them sleep faster and deeper. I don’t have kids, and I have made the mistake of picking a kid up after taking him out for the day. You never do that. He’s running and happy, you pick him up and within a minutes, he’s totally asleep. Now you’re stuck carrying him all the rest of the way

Also, they’re in better shape in a lot of ways - I used to ride my bike all the time, all day, when I was ten or so. Now I get worn the hell out after fifteen minutes. I was stronger then and in better cardio condition, I just didn’t realize it at the time because I was too busy doing stuff.

Tightly coupled mitochondria, crisp nerve impulses, highly efficient distribution of oxygen and fuel to muscular subsystems.

Plus, they’re not yet weighed down with years of wage slavery.

Well, they haven’t been staring at a computer screen for eight hours.

I mean, back when I was a kid they hadn’t.

Kids seem to have short, high bursts of energy. They can literally run around nonstop for two hours, but they eventually crash. It’s possible that adults have the same relative levels of energy and fitness, but manage it to last the entire day.

But we’re not deliberately conserving the energy. We don’t say to a child, “I could run up and down the stairs with you, but then I’ll be too tired to do my other things”; rather, we can’t run around like kids do even if we tried.

And let’s face it, if you bottled it, it would be declared a controlled substance.

A child of 9 might weigh 30kg to my 90, so only needs 1/3 the energy to accomplish the same amount of movement. Or to put it another way, he can run around 3 times as long on the same amount of energy. So the don’t have more energy, they just use less.

A 30 kg person also has one-third the energy storage capacity of a 90 kg person, so this sort of cancels out.

They suck the energy out of adults. That explains both cases. Adults are tired because kids vampire their strength and energy. If we did not have kids we would live a long time.

There are plenty of adults that can run three miles or bike 30 or more without much trouble. I don’t think there are very many small children that could go that distance or even anywhere near it. Kids have a more random, scattered movement that seems like more is being done.

I think the energy of kids is more suited to play, which is actually the real process of learning to be productive humans. I think the energy of adults is more suited to productivity, which is actually, well, damn, never mind what it actually is.

Children act like they’re accelerated in time or something. They can burn their energy faster but crash sooner, and they get bored very quickly. They’re definitely sprinters rather than marathoners.

All that energy is hard to contain. It’s hard for kids to sit quietly for any length of time. I used to take a friend and her son to dinner. We’d get maybe a third of our dinner eaten and her son would already be done. He was well behaved, but you could almost see the effort it took for him to stay in that chair. The second we got up, he was already half way to the parking lot. :wink:

Ha - At Thanksgiving dinner I offered my niece and nephews five bucks apiece for any child who beat me across the finish line at the St. Patrick’s Day 5K. Figured it would get me serious about running again. Of course, that night I sprained my foot and was on crutches for a month, and then I went and hurt myself race day - anyway, the point is, I had to pay out some cash, but the kids were hilarious. They’d run like fuck-all for thirty seconds and then hey, there they were again. Rinse, repeat.

They were, like, 13 and 11, so it’s not just little kids. :slight_smile: They had plenty of time to prepare, too! I kept asking them if they were training (gave them a program) and they’d say yeah, they ran a LONG WAY - three miles is a lot longer when somebody measures it, ain’t it? Their sister broke her finger the day before, so I only had to pay ten bucks, at least.

Plus the 75 it took to register the little bastards.

Many, many adults are capable of sustaining high levels of physical activity, so it can’t be adults don’t do it because we become physically incapable. Just look at any professional athlete, or physical entertainers such as acrobats.

I think we just fall out of practice, run out of opportunities, lose socially-acceptable conditions for it, and have responsibilities that prevent us from going all out and then crashing wherever and whenever we run out of gas.

I have seen a friend do this. The rest of us were drinking mulled wine on top of ski slope while he was running up and down.

It might have something to do with him being a member of the English national orienteering team.