The PhDs at Nestlé’s Swiss “health lab” are inching closer to a drink that burns calories without the time-sucking involvement of any strenuous exercise. They’ve identified a compound called C13, Bloomberg reports, that they say would function like cardio in a can, if the FDA actually approved these cans, by stimulating the enzyme that regulates your metabolism. “Instead of 20 minutes of jogging or 40 minutes of cycling,” one of the scientists explains, “it may help boost metabolism with moderate exercise like brisk walking. They’d get similar effects with less strain.”
The Lausanne-based team argues this miracle drink would especially benefit the elderly and diabetics. They’re hard at work on the next step: rooting around in fruit and plant extracts for natural substances that trigger C13 but do not taste like garbage. Some researchers who aren’t in the billion-dollar food Goliath’s employ, however, say it sounds expensive and that, so far, no metabolic-assisting foods have passed clinical trials. (“[I]f anyone is to explore it, it would be a company like Nestle,” one adds.)
Even testing on what will inevitably be some pretty freaked-out rats is years away, so maybe the best advice is to keep your gym memberships for now. Be warned, though: There may come a day when the substance will come in its own Nespresso-like pod you can load into one of those $500,000 single-serve food pill machines the lab teased in June, and your six-pack and once-a-day multivitamin slurry will always be just one push of a button away.