Is it possible to calculate (or approximate in a reasonably scientifically credible way) the metabolic rate of Superman (be it in his prime, or at least at when he still keeps his ability to fool anyone into thinking he's simply a reporter)?

Is there by any chance his metabolic rate is proportional to the amount of sunlight he receives?

  • 1
    What is your actual question? At the moment you just seem to have three or four vaguely-related sentences smooshed together. Mar 19, 2015 at 10:56
  • The phrase "what is your thought on this?" is kind of a red-flag to me; this site is meant for questions with concrete answers, and this is more of an opening for a discussion. If you can rephrase it to be more conclusively answered, you may have better luck. I.e., "Can Superman exist solely on Solar Energy, or is there canon info indicating his additional metabolic needs?" or something similar; it restricts the scope to the specific information you are seeking.
    – K-H-W
    Mar 19, 2015 at 17:39
  • And come to that, what is a metabolism rate? What’s your metabolism rate? Mar 19, 2015 at 17:44
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    @PaulD.Waite hi there I had heed your comment/advise and edited my question, metabolism is a biological process unique to cellular organism to convert "yummy" into "I'm letting loose!" and erm... my metabolism rate is sligthly lower than 2000 calories a day because typing is really tiring. good day
    – user6760
    Mar 20, 2015 at 1:10
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    Since the question is closed, I'll answer here. Its complicated, and exact numbers can't be given, but His calorie intake via sunlight, completely overshadows (pun intended) his resting and acting calorie needs in most situations by some absurdly high number. His metabolism allows a near perfect conversion of sunlight into energy, with no need for moderation.
    – user16696
    Mar 20, 2015 at 1:40

2 Answers 2


Superman doesn't need solar energy to survive.
There are several instances of him not being in contact with sunlight and living, but without his powers.
Solar power only gives him his immense strength (and the ability to fly and freeze breath and what not). For example, in the Justice League episode, "Hereafter", he's on earth in a different time. That is the time when the sun has gotten extinguished. We see him becoming all human, he even survives wolves, drives a car, as humans do.
So basically, superman is like a human that gets supercharged with solar radiation.

  • Wouldn't that be a great new idea? Supersolarman, Solarsuperman, The man of steel powered by light? That would be a great series. (But in the vast DC universe I guess something like this already exists)
    – Julian
    Mar 19, 2015 at 9:18
  • @Julian I guess someone would make a suit or something with highly efficient solar panels on it, and somehow concentrate the energy into environmental friendly fuel for the suit. Something like Solar-man! :D I know of no such hero in DC/Marvel universe yet
    – Ranveer
    Mar 19, 2015 at 10:46
  • And then have his companion, a wind and water powered unicorn who can shoot from his horn and poops rainbows. Sorry for the spam :)
    – Julian
    Mar 19, 2015 at 12:27
  • interesting a walking/flying solar panel with a lot of justice and now is looking for a sidekick who or whatever that is. good day
    – user6760
    Mar 20, 2015 at 0:55

You're not the first to wonder about Superman's "super-metabolism". In fact, the issue was poked fun at during the first episode to Lois & Clark.

Lois arrives at Clark's apartment to pick him up for work, and catches him dressed in nothing but a towel. While waiting for him to get dressed, she notices that his fridge is full of nothing but junk food and makes the following observation:

LOIS: Explain something to me.

CLARK: What do you mean?

LOIS: Um... well, you eat like an eight-year-old, yet you look like Mr. Hardbody. What's your secret, and can I have it?

CLARK: (looks perplexed, shrugs)

LOIS: (sighs, heads towards door) We'd better go.

CLARK: (smirks at the underlying compliment)

  • agreed however based on the extract of conversation between the two I think either the fridge and its content are simply a disguise and in fact he might not need food at all or in my humble opinion his >100% efficiency metabolism rate only second to matter-antimatter propulsion engine(stuff of sci-fi).
    – user6760
    Mar 20, 2015 at 0:52
  • You might be right, but IIRC he is shown actually eating some of the junk food in the same episode. Also, in a later episode, his parents made a joke about how much it took to keep him fed as a teenager.
    – Omegacron
    Mar 20, 2015 at 13:36

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