Get ready for the new gold rush of fat burning ingredients in a bottle. Why exercise, when you can drink a ‘magic’ shake? Nestle is working on what they dub the holy grail of weight loss. A fat-burning additive they can drop into foods to replicate the effects of exercising. A million couch potatoes suddenly rose up in a victory salute.

Before you toss out the treadmill, there’s a whole host of catches with this. Wait, the treadmill is being used as a quasi-wardrobe? Still, read on. At the heart of the research is AMPK, an enzyme that regulates how the body burns fat and sugar. AMPK, or 5 adenosine monophosate-activate protein kinase, isn’t some new discovery. It’s been a favorite target of supplements for years.

The new research comes in how to not only activate it, but control its level throughout. That’s where the Nestle compound, dubbed C13, comes into play. Nestle is billing it as an alternative for people who cannot engage in vigorous exercise. Instead of of the spinning class, drinking a shake with the compound and twenty minutes of walking would have the same effect on your metabolism.

Various doctors are already cautioning potential patients. Research is still in its infancy, and it boils down to there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Or in this case, five pounds. Even with the hyped news of exercise in a bottle, you still have to move to actually get it activated.

If the compound does work, it could be a wonderful bridge to those that are morbidly obese. It could serve as a bridge until they lose the weight to engage in more strenuous exercise. Nestle agrees, saying they could never mimic everything exercise provides.

“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,” Nestle’s Kei Sakamoto said.

Even if the company was able to slightly augment the effect of APMK, it would be a massive market. People are always looking for that shortcut, and this could at the very least give them a kick.

Making the compound activate after a brisk walk would get the collective masses up and moving. Regardless of it being a ‘magic shake’ or people getting up on their own accord, it’s worth it.

Nestle is keeping the research in house, versus farming it out to a pharmaceutical company. The company can sense the cash cow growing in the R&D department.

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