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Stop Everything: ‘Exercise in a Bottle’ Could Be a Real Thing

Drugs exist for literally everything, but nothing cooked up in a lab can bestow the perks of, say, going for a run or swimming laps around a pool…Right?

Wrong, apparently.

Breakthrough research from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre has determined that it could soon be possible to manufacture drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise.

Researchers analyzed human skeletal muscle biopsies from four untrained, healthy males following 10 minutes of high intensity exercise and discovered that short, intensive exercise triggers more than 1000 molecular reactions. With this information, they’ve developed an exercise blueprint that would allow them to create drugs that target multiple molecules – most drugs only target a particular one – which would effectively imitate what exercise offers the human body.

“Our data clearly show the complexity of the response: it is not one thing, but rather the drug will have to target multiple things. Our research has provided the roadmap to figure this out,” said Professor David James, the head of the research group that undertook the study.

Before you dismiss this as another step towards the lazification of humankind, it’s important to consider that not everyone has the capacity to join crossfit or run a marathon. Or even go for a walk.

“For many people, exercise isn’t a viable treatment option. This means it is essential we find ways of developing drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise,” said James about the inspiration for the study. Obviously, these drugs should be regulated in some way; banning them from athletes or people who log heavy hours on Netflix, for example, would be wise.

Exercise in a bottle. What a world.


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