We report that established simple lithium (Li) ion battery cycles can be used to produce nanopores inside various useful one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures such as zinc oxide, silicon, and silver nanowires. Moreover, porosities of these 1D nanomaterials can be controlled in a stepwise manner by the number of Li-battery cycles. Subsequent pore characterization at the end of each cycle allows us to obtain detailed snapshots of the distinct pore evolution properties in each material due to their different atomic diffusion rates and types of chemical bonds. Also, this stepwise characterization led us to the first observation of pore size increases during cycling, which can be interpreted as a similar phenomenon to Ostwald ripening in analogous nanoparticle cases. Finally, we take advantage of the unique combination of nanoporosity and 1D materials and demonstrate nanoporous silicon nanowires (poSiNWs) as excellent supercapacitor (SC) electrodes in high power operations compared to existing devices with activated carbon. © 2010 American Chemical Society.