ZRS contributor Billy Poole submitted a study of secondary dangers during a zombie outbreak, with some interesting results.

Looking beyond the standard concerns, such as other humans, lack of water, etc., Poole focused particular attention on modern lifestyle habits that could amount to a substantial decrease in survival probability when suddenly taken away. What’s on the top of his list of hidden killers? Coffee and other caffeinated products.

When considering the highly addictive properties of caffeine, along with the frequency with which the average person ingests it, Poole’s findings should come as no surprise.

“Once the human body becomes truly dependent upon caffeine for normal daily functions, the absence of regular infusions of that chemical will likely render the subject in a state of incapacitation, totally unable to plan and/or execute any reasonable level of zombie defense.”

When preparing this post our intern Jack recounted a time when his mother deciding that his father was drinking too much coffee. She secretly switched all the coffee grounds in the house to decaffeinated, which almost instantly put his father in a near catatonic state. In bed for days with a “mysterious” illness, he couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t go to work, and certainly couldn’t fight zombies. Jack’s mom finally had to give up, and switch him back to the hard stuff.

Coffee junkies and energy drink fiends everywhere should consider this a warning. All the guns and ammo in the world won’t protect you from a zombie attack when you’re too weak and shaky to aim and pull the trigger.


  1. Wow, insanity must run crazy in this world, zombies is a fictional thing, not gonna happen, ya I love watching the walking dead, Im addicted to it, but come on all its just tv, your letting your minds run wild, get reall peeps rofl.

  2. Sounds like total bs to me

  3. i dont think this is a big deal even for caffeine addicts, i mean when the scramble starts i doubt many people will be running into the stores grabbing cans of coffee. its easy enough to raid houses and stores for coffee and cook it on a fire or camp stove. im sure theres enough coffee in the world to last for years.

  4. well I’ll be ok, it’s the beer I’m going to miss.

  5. I read an article years ago about refugees, and when supplies were distributed, coffee was more valuable than bread or water. No doubt people would be fighting over caffeine in a zombie apocalypse. Caffeine gives me anxiety, so I don’t drink it, and it’s probably the last thing I’d want. But I’m an anxiety smoker… I went years without smoking until a traumatic event, and I needed to smoke. Somehow the nicotine just made me feel OK. I kicked it again later, but in the apocalypse, I’m pretty sure I’ll be needing a smoke again.

  6. and no way addiction to cigarettes only lasts 3 days. People try and fail for years to quit. Its all about mental addiction, and ill bet a smoker is going to want a cigarette in stressful times before a coffee drinker needs a cup of joe

  7. Idk why that guys dad got so sick, but I’ve never heard of these side effects from caffeine before. I’ve heard of migraine’s, and obviously some sleepiness, but I dont believe it takes long before those side effects ware off. I drink coffee by the gallons each week during school, but during breaks I stop cold turkey. I dont become incapacitated lol this seems a little extreme. I would say kick the smoking/drinking/drug habit first. when you are stocking up on food, those unnecessary items can take up space for food and water, and no guarantee you will find any.

  8. That’s fine. I don’t drink coffee anyways. Too strong for my stomach. So, up yours middle class workers! I’ve got something you guys dont!

  9. The physical addiction of cigarettes lasts 3 days.

    The physical addiction of caffein? About 2 weeks.

    I recently quit smoking specifically to prepare myself for the upcoming zombie apocalypse, and have been working on tapering down my caffeine without getting fired or disowned. I have noticed strenuous physical exercise helps, so maybe this isn’t quite so much of an issue?

  10. The way I look at it, i’ll stock up on the important stuff, guns, ammo, food, stuff to purify water. And then when everyone is running around all crazy trying to get their hands on what little of that stuff is still in the stores i’ll be scrounging for my caffeine and tobacco.

  11. I think the zrs left out an even bigger addiction, H.F corn syrup. Twice as addictive as caffeine, with similar if not worse withdraw symptoms.

  12. That’s why I have a stockpile of coffee the far exceeds my ammo supply!

  13. This is always my biggest concern! I keep imagining I would go crazy without coffee, and kill everything I can based on that anger.
    So I hope

  14. how are people gonna quit smoking?
    nicotine withdrawals, delirium tremors, drug addicts… I’m glad I’m not addicted to anything but researching more survival tips. Thanks ZRS…for my new addiction haha

  15. Agreed, Andrew, but consider the equally addictive substances we need to get detoxed from besides caffeine: refined sugar (and chocolate, for some). Stocking up only gets you so far.

  16. I had a three can a day Coca Cola habit and managed to kick it when it affected my health, I don’t recommend doing it on the run. Ask anyone who smoked before going into boot camp and not being able to smoke for three months. If you have a habit that you can’t break, you might want to think about stocking up or trying for something of an alternative. I’m not sure if Juniper berries have any caffeine, and I know that acorn coffee and mashed up dandelion roots don’t work. You may want to search for a substitute that will grow in your area and start planting now.

    • Energy drinks. If nothing else, stock up on these. Or the starbucks can/bottle drinks.

      And i don’t know if they still make these, but caffeine pills.

      Guarana or taurine are also natural caffeine…I forget which one. But you might be able to grow them, but don’t ask me where to get the seeds for those things.

    • I had the soda problem, daily routine
      1 can upon waking
      About 5 or so cans later it was night time and time to sleep

      If no caffeine massive headaches till I had some
      Took a stomach flu in order for me to break the habit, haven’t had any in a month now

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