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Imagine that it is a Friday night and you are up having a little midnight
snack and watching some television. Feeling guilty for eating at such a
late hour, you begin to flip through the stations when something catches
your eye. It is an infomercial, and usually you just flip right through
these, but for odd some reason you decide to watch this one.
How could you possibly resist not watching? The commercial begins by showing
gorgeous blondes in bikinis, and buff studs in speedos stuffing their faces
with hamburgers, pizza, chips and everything that you know should not be
eaten in quantity (if at all)! The amazing thing is that these “people”
all have society’s ideal bodies. They are toned, tan, and thin in all of
the right places. The commercial proceeds to boast how these women and
men never exercise. They don’t need to because they take Enforma’s Exercise
in a Bottle! Well now they have gotten your attention--look great, eat
what you want and never exercise? It sounds way too good to be true! This
is what miracle product, Exercise in a Bottle, will promise its potential
buyers. But the questions, how does it work, what are they and how do its
ingredients work, does it work, and are there any side effects are all
key questions to be explored before taking Exercise in a Bottle. After
I saw the commercial one night when I was up late snacking with my best
friend, I admit that I was definitely tempted to pick up the phone and
place an order. I even came close to falling into all of the hype and excitement
surrounding this new product when I began my research, but after seeing
a more scientific approach to the product, I have changed my mind.
WHAT IS EXERCISE IN A BOTTLE?
Exercise in a Bottle is the latest trend to make waves on the diet scene these days. It claims to help you burn fat and to give you the all of the benefits of exercising, without so much as stepping foot in a gym. Exercise in a Bottle is an all natural product containing : pyruvate, hydroxy citric acid, chromium picolinate, and ginkgo bilboa. It is distributed by a company called Enforma which produces a long line of “all natural” weight loss products that are advertised over the inter net as well as on TV. Their products are so common that you can find them at most pharmacies and health food stores--that is if they aren’t sold out! Enforma claims that their product, Exercise in a Bottle “will increase the activity of your muscle cells so you can burn the fat already stored in your body.” (http://www.cellular-phone.com/enforma/products.html) When coupled with a product called Fat Trapper (which is supposed to trap the fat the you intake before your body can absorb it), the combo seems foolproof, or so Enforma makes it seem. When people think that it is possible to, not worry about exercising, eat whatever they want and not gain weight, Exercise in a Bottle seems like a miracle, just what American’s have been waiting for. Unfortunately, Enforma’s promises are little more than a sales pitch, and by no means a reality.
HOW DOES EXERCISE IN A BOTTLE WORK?
The combination of all natural ingredients in Exercise in a Bottle work together to make the muscle cells in the body excited. This in turn leads to more calories burned, and results in a loss of fat and a drop in body weight. Exercise in a Bottle also helps to knock off pounds by utilizing carbohydrates and turning fat into fuel and using it as energy (http://www.enformanatural.com/enforma.html”). All the user needs to do to magically burn their fat without so much as lifting a finger, is to take two capsules a day, one in the morning, and the other in the mid to late afternoon. Enforma is so sure of the reliability of their product, that they have placed a money back guarantee on all of their advertisements.
“Enforma Natural Products Inc. guarantees results from the Enforma System. If you are not satisfied for any reason, return the product bottles (no matter how much used) within 30 days for a full refund, less shipping and handling. Guarantee begins on the day of shipment”(http://www.cellular-phone.com/enforma/products.html).
Although the 30 day promise may make Exercise in a Bottle seem more
reliable, as with all products, you must be wary of the fine print.
Each bottle and advertisement also contain a label which reads: “These
statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are
not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease” (http://www.enformanatural.com/enforma.html).
By placing this “warning” on their product, the company is basically saying
that what they are promising has yet to have been proven. But, fortunately
for them, this small label is overlooked by many, and Enforma has made
a good business of selling the “all natural miracle pill”.
WHAT DOES EACH INGREDIENT IN EXERCISE IN A BOTTLE DO?
Exercise in a Bottle consists of four natural components : pyruvate, hydroxy citric acid, ginkgo bilboa and chromium picolinate. Each product contributes its own benefits to aid in the burning of fat and loss of weight. (http://st2.yahoo.com/koolatron/enformasystem.html)
This a substance that is already in the body and is derived by combining pyruvic acid with sodium, calcium, potassium, and/or magnesium. Taking Exercise in a Bottle “safely” increases the amount of this salt and therefore causes a jump in metabolic activity and helps to burn more calories. The extra pyruvate also aids the body in using up extra calories and carbohydrates before they are turned into fat.
HYDROXY CITRIC ACID:
This ingredient is a calcium salt which comes from a South Asian tree called a Garnicia Cambogia. Enforma claims that it helps to decrease appetite while it stimulates the cells to use up the extra calories, all the while inhibiting the body’s natural ability to store fats.
Ginkgo is a substance that has become very popular over the past couple of years. It comes from the leaves of a ginkgo bilboa tree and supposedly helps the cells and body to work to their peak efficiency, and give the best performance. So far this has not been proved, nor approved by the FDA, however, people are still taking it, and Enforma claims that is a big part of Exercise in a Bottle procuct.
This is the fourth of the ingredients and perhaps the most controversial. It is a natural mineral which has been said to assist in normalizing and maintaining blood sugar levels and it claims to reduces the food cravings which accompany the process of burning more calories.
DOES IT WORK?
Despite all of the claims and arguments that Enforma makes for it’s
product, scientific research basically disproves everything that Exercise
in a Bottle is supposed to do. There have been many studies done
on the ingredient Chromium Picolinate (CrPic) which is found in Exercise
in a Bottle, and none of them have resulted favorably to Enforma’s claims.
An article by Joseph LJ., Farrell PA., Davey
SL., Evans WJ., and Campbell WW., which appeared in the May 1999 issue of Metabolism : Clinical and Experimental, discusses anexperiment performed on a group of older, slightly overweight men and women. They were placed into random groups for a double-blind experiment. One group was given a placebo and the other was given 17.8 micromols of CrPic daily. Both groups took the pills for twelve weeks while practicing identical resistance training programs. At the end of the experiment no difference was noted between the two groups. “High-dose Chromium Picolinate supplementation had no effect on any measure of glucose metabolism during resistance training”(1)
Another similar study showed the same results. NCAA Division 1 wrestlers from University of Oklahoma also tried out a double blind experiment. During the preseason, a random sampling of the wrestlers were given 200 micrograms of CrPic daily and the other group was given a placebo. The experiment lasted for the first fourteen of the sixteen weeks of the preseason. Although all of the wrestler’s aerobic power improved significantly, there was no difference seen between the two groups. “CrPic supplementation coupled with a typical preseason training program does not enhance body composition or performance variable beyond improvements seen with training alone”(2).
A third study found in the Journal of Applied Physiology in January
1999, suggests that the supplementation of Chromium Picolinate can even
inhibit the bodies performance. A group of me ages 59-69 were placed
on a resistance training program two times a week for twelve weeks.
Once again the experiment was double-blind and one half of the subjects
were given CrPic while the other was given a placebo. At the end of the
twelve week period, the group who had been given the placebo had a slightly
higher increase in fat-free mass, whole body muscle mass, and vastus
lateralis type II fiber area.
The experiment concluded with thoughts that large amounts of CrPic really have no effect on “muscle size, strength, or power development or lean
body mass accretion in older men...”(3).
This information could very well lead one to believe that Exercise in a Bottle does not work as the company claims. It not only didn’t have an effect on older overweight men and women, but also showed no signs of hopeful results for young wrestlers. Seeing as the most important ingredient in Exercise in a Bottle has been scientifically proven to be a fraud, it is safe to assume that the actual product itself does not work either. Exercise in a Bottle is just another weight loss gimmick that companies produce to make big money, and to create an excitement on the dieting scene.
This information that I have found, I believe, is enough to make anyone nervous about taking Exercise in a Bottle, or any over-the-counter weight loss pill containing Chromium Picolinate, for that matter. It is just like the old saying, “Don’t belive everything that you hear.” People on TV just want your money, so be wary of products that are much too good to be true. I am sure that someday there will be a product that has the results of exercise captured in a bottle.
Actually, there is one small ray of hope behind the idea of exercise in a bottle. Researchers at University of Texas medical Center in Dallas have made an amazing breakthrough and have ingeniously located a “genetic switch”. This “switch” is what tells us whether or not a muscle fiber will develop into one which has strength and endurance. (www.swmed.edu/library/consubj/fitness.htm) They believe that by toying with this “switch”, or by using alternative treatments, that they in fact could almost make and distribute a true form of Exercise in a Bottle-one that actually works!
In fact, if this component on which they are working proves to be useful, it would not only help all of the lazy people in the world, but would also help out in many other medical aspects. One of the research doctors commented that if successful, the pill would pose as an alternative treatment for those unable to exercise, could help those with heart disease or failure by restoring endurance to the muscles in the heart, and could even help those with diabetes by adding strength to the muscles which react or are sensitive to insulin. However, the doctor also stated that for now, the product is basically still too good to be true. There is still a lot of research to be done. So, to whomever reads this, keep exercising because it is and always will be the best way to stay healthy and lose weight. There is nothing like good old-fashioned exercise to naturally boost your energy and make you feel better. Don’t rely on and wait around for silly TV gimmicks that are easy to fall for. Get up, turn off the TV and go work out!
1. Effect of resistance wheight training with or without Chromium Picolinate supplemantation on gluose metabolism in older men and women by, Joseph LJ., Farrell PA., Davey SL., Evans WJ., and Campbell WW.. METABOLISM : CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL. 48(5): 546-53, 1999 May.
2. Chromium Picolintae effects on body composition and muscular performance in wrestlers; by, Walker LS., Bemben MG., Bemben DA., and Knehans AW.. MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPROTS AND EXERCISE. 30(12): 1730-7, 1998 December.
3. Effects of resistance training and Chromioum Picolinate on body composition and skelatal muscle in older men by, Campbell WW., Joseph LJ., Davey SL., Cyr-Campbell D., Anderson RA., and Evans WJ.. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY. 86(1): 29-39,1999 January.
4. Chromium Picolinate Toxicity; by, Cerulli J., Grabe DW., Gauthier I., Malone M., and McGoldrick MD.. ANNALS OF PHARMACOTHERAPY. 32(4) : 428-31, 1998 April
5. Chronic Renal failure after ingestion of over-the-counter chromium picolinate; by, Wasser WG., Feldman NS., and D'Agati VD.
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