Is Superhero Strength Real?

You’ve probably heard stories about mothers lifting cars to save their baby trapped underneath–but is that just an urban myth? This week on Reactions we talk about “superhero strength” and the chemistry behind what’s possible.


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Producer: Melissa Salpietra
Writer: Samantha Jones, PhD
Scientific Consultants: David Weinshenker, Ph.D.
Executive Producer: George Zaidan

Adventure Theme – YouTube Audio Library
Hero in Peril – YouTube Audio Library
Saving the World – YouTube Audio Library
7th Floor Tango – Silent Partner

Understanding stress response

Extreme fear and superhuman strength

Gut-Brain Axis

Adrenomedullary response to maximal stress in humans.

Science and Practice of Strength Training


Our brain’s adaptation to stress

Circulating catecholamines

Endorphins in fight or flight

Endorphins and morphine

Ever wonder why dogs sniff each others’ butts? Or how Adderall works? Or whether it’s OK to pee in the pool? We’ve got you covered: Reactions a web series about the chemistry that surrounds you every day.

Produced by the American Chemical Society. Join the American Chemical Society!

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