'Exercise pill' can mimic the benefits of a workout without needing to go to the gym

'Exercise pill' can mimic the benefits of a workout without needing to go to the gym

An expert discusses the best exercises to do

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 21/05/2024

- 11:00

Updated: 21/05/2024

- 11:03

A pill could be used to mimic some of the physical benefits of exercise, according to a study

Exercise is vital for building muscle, improving heart health and boosting energy.

However, a recent study suggests some of these results can be achieved without needing to go to the gym.

This is according to scientists who have developed a new compound that could recreate some of the physical benefits of exercise, such as enhanced metabolism and improved muscle performance.

This could be used to create a supplement pill in the future, focusing more on helping those with weakness due to illnesses like heart disease and old age, rather than used to replace exercise.

Men walking / person taking supplement

The pill could mimic some benefits of exercise


Those whose muscles have been weakened due to cancer or muscle atrophy could also benefit, and it could counter the loss of muscle that weight loss drugs bring on.

The study's principal investigator Bahaa Elgendy said: "We cannot replace exercise. Exercise is important on all levels. But there are so many cases in which a substitute is needed."

While this could be available in the future, the pill will not be widely available anytime soon as it has only been successfully used in rodent cells so far.

The compound works by activating specialised proteins that are oestrogen-related receptors in the body.

Such proteins regulate the impact of exercise on our muscles. In the rodent tests, the compound increased a fatigue-resistant type of muscle fibre and the endurance of the rodents improved when running on a treadmill.

This comes as another weight loss drug could launch "at the very least within this decade".

Amycretin is the work of Wegovy developer Novo Nordisk and is a new development in the world of weight loss drugs.

Woman taking supplement

It could be made into a supplement to help with various conditions


Amycretin showed incredible results during trials. After 12 weeks of taking the drug, patients lost around 13.1 per cent of their weight, compared to 1.1 per cent using a placebo drug.

This is a much more dramatic result than those using Wegovy over a similar time frame, as they lost around six per cent of body weight.

The drug mimics the appetite-reducing gut hormone GLP-1 and amylin, meaning people are less likely to overeat.

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