For all who have wondered if they could enjoy the benefits of exercise without the pain of exertion, the answer may one day be yes â€” just take a pill that tricks the muscles into thinking they have been working out furiously. Researchers at the Salk Institute in San Diego reported that they had found two drugs that did wonders for the athletic endurance of couch potato mice. One drug, known as Aicar, increased the miceâ€™s endurance on a treadmill by 44 percent after just four weeks of treatment.
A second drug, GW1516, supercharged the mice to a 75 percent increase in endurance but had to be combined with exercise to have any effect.
â€œItâ€™s a little bit like a free lunch without the calories,â€ said Dr. Ronald M. Evans, leader of the Salk group.
I work out regularly, and more-or-less enjoy it, but I’d replace it with a pill if I could.