How many times have we all wished there was a simple pill that made you fitter, faster, smarter or stronger? We don't know about a drug that'll tack some points onto your IQ (not yet, at least), but scientists at Harvard Medical School claim they have created a complete workout in pill form.
According to researchers, they found a way to isolate irisin, a natural hormone in muscles that makes your body burn calories and produce more "brown fat" (good fat that actually aids in weight loss). When you're exercising, your body produces more irisin, upping your calorie consumption, but if you get it in pill form, your body reaps one of the biggest benefits of exercise without sweating it out on the treadmill.
On top of fighting obesity and diabetes, irisin could potentially fight certain cancers and other disorders that don't have cures, but improve with exercise. Bruce Spiegelman, who led the study, says, "Another potentially important aspect of this work relates to other beneficial effects of exercise, especially in some diseases for which no effective treatments exist." He continues, "The clinical data linking exercise with health benefits in many other diseases suggests that irisin could also have significant effects in these disorders." Because it is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body, there were no side effects when it was tested on mice.
But if you think this is a free pass to skip the gym and gorge yourself on French fries and cheeseburgers, it isn't. He adds, "We’re not trying to replace diet and exercise. That is still important." And if you're trying to build muscle, there still isn't a pill for that.