'Exercise in a Bottle' Sounds Like a Dream Come True, but There's a Catch

magic drinkScientists are developing "exercise in a bottle" -- a drink that will burn fat without your having to lift a finger! Derr, besides the fingers you use to lift the bottle to your mouth. Could this be the magic elixir couch potatoes have been dreaming of? I don't see any way this could possibly backfire ...

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Ha! Of course this is going to backfire!

But first, let's hear the good news. Researchers at Nestle are working on a drink that contains an enzyme compound that mimics the fat-burning effect of exercise. It's not supposed to be a replacement for exercise. It's just supposed to help you burn more fat and sugar with very moderate exercise. Womp womp!

Here's how Nestlé scientist Kei Sakamoto explained it to Bloomberg News:

The enzyme can help people who can’t tolerate or continue rigorous exercise. Instead of 20 minutes of jogging or 40 minutes of cycling, it may help boost metabolism with moderate exercise like brisk walking. They’d get similar effects with less strain.

Alas, this beverage is not going to be your new get-out-of-exercise-jail-free card. That kind of magic still hasn't been invented. But I can see it showing up on the grocery store shelves and selling like hotcakes anyway, out of pure wishful thinking.

And then, you know what will happen ... We'll end up overcompensating with extra calories. "Hey, I can have just a few more fries today, because I'm drinking the magic fat-burning drink. Free calories!" It's like that sad joke we all make about diet soda canceling out ice cream, only the joke will still be on us.

Not to mention, there is no substitute for the REAL benefits of exercise: The raised serotonin levels and the muscles you work hard to build.

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And as far as I'm concerned, those benefits of exercise far outweigh (heh) the benefits of burned calories and fat.

But I get it. There are people who need to move more, but have a hard time doing so for various reasons. Any little incentive to help them is fantastic. If scientists succeed in creating this drink (and that's a big IF), I hope it gets treated as a kind of medication and not another silly diet supplement.

For the rest of us, like it or not, there are some good reasons why the benefits of exercise are so darn hard-won.

What would you do if this drink were really on store shelves -- would you use it?

 

Image via Robcardorres/Shutterstock

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