Nestle Working On "Exercise In A Bottle"

Exercise In A BottleExercise In A Bottle

What if you could get the benefits of exercise without stepping foot in a gym, on a track, a court, without waking up early to get in your run, make your yoga class, go for that bike ride? What if you could just drink something and get the kind of calorie burn you would if you put in a couple thousand meters on the rower? Nestle scientists may not be far off from developing that "magic potion."

Nestle isn't going to halt its production of KitKats or Crunch bars, but the company is making a push into the nutrition science arena. Increasingly, consumers are becoming wise to the fact that packaged foods aren't the best (read healthiest), and Nestle is working to develop foods that are healthier and do more than end the rumblings of an empty stomach.


Kei Sakamoto, head of a group of researchers at Nestle, and his team examined how the enzyme AMPK regulates metabolism. "AMPK is a key protein in every single cell in your body and is naturally activated by exercise. It monitors your energy status, like a fuel gauge in a car, and tells you to fill up when energy is low," Sakamoto said. 

Of course, your body needs energy to perform the smallest of tasks, like secreting a hormone, and AMPK is like the master switch that regulates your metabolism. What Sakamoto and his team are doing is exploring natural substances that influence this mechanism.

Working OutWorking Out

That's where the whole "exercise in a bottle" concept comes in. Nestle's team of researchers found that a compound, called C-13, can stimulate AMPK. Basically, this compound can trigger the body to burn fat as if it had just undergone a bout of exercise. However, this discovery is just that--a discovery. The research team at Nestle hasn't developed any sort of "magic juice" to burn the fat just yet, but they hope that's the next step.

This product isn't going to be the junk food junkie's cure or the couch potato's savior. It is being developed to help those with metabolic disorders--those who have a hard time exercising because of limiting factors (a "How I Met Your Mother" marathon isn't a limiting factor).

It is also important to note that scientists haven't found this Holy Grail of dietary supplements yet, and it may be the case that this discovery leads to a product that fails the clinical trials, just like others before it. Furthermore, if C-13 becomes the active ingredient in the most awesome dietray supplement yet, it won't give a person all the benefits of exercise, like improved cardiovascular functioning and greater muscle tone (just to name a couple).

Sakamoto himself said, "Exercise has so many different effects--a cognitive role and physiological function--we'll never be able to mimic all those effects in a single product." 

Source: Nestle Institute Of Health Sciences