Rumor: Caffeine-laced workout pants burn fat

Can wearable caffeine perk up your weight-loss plans?

FALSE

Workout pants infused with caffeine won’t directly help in weight loss, expert says

MSN News talked to registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Joy Dubost, as well as dermatologist and director of New York’s JUVA Skin and Laser Center, Bruce Katz, to see if caffeine-laced pants will really help people wake up and slim down.

Hong Kong-based company Hu-Nu claims that its caffeine-infused “Woo Hoo Slim Capris”, which are manufactured in Italy by Revolution Slim, will help people reduce cellulite, burn fat and “increase the effectiveness of exercise and improves sport performance.” Self Magazine writer Amanda MacMillan gushes that her legs “look pretty freaking good” in them. But can caffeine-laced pants actually burn fat, or are they just another clever, but ineffective, workout accessory?

It’s ‘what you do in the pants’

Perhaps unsurprisingly, both Dubost and Katz say that Hu-Nu’s pants will not single-handedly help anyone burn calories or lose weight -- that is, unless someone dons the pants while eating right and exercising plenty.

“In my expert opinion I don’t think (the pants) are going to increase your burning of calories, or loss of cellulite or reduction of fat,” Dubost says. “I think at best it may empower you to feel better or feel you look better. But from an actual measurement standpoint of calories or fat, there’s no evidence that would be the case.”

When it comes to what will help in weight-loss efforts, Dubost says it’s good old fashioned healthy eating and exercise. “Frankly, it's not the pants themselves but what you do in the pants,” she says. “So if you put the pants on and you go and exercise, that’s what’s going to help you with any weight loss, but the pants themselves are not going to.”

‘Like second skin’

Besides containing caffeine, the fabric is also infused with aloe and vitamin E. According to the company’s own claims about the pants, they will “reduce hips circumference, contrast water retention, reduce ‘orange-peel effect,’ lower body fat, fit like second skin.” It’s unclear how long the caffeinated properties of the material will last after repeated wearing and washing. Regardless, the claim of caffeine aiding diets is one that has conflicting bodies of evidence surrounding it, with some studies claiming caffeine can aid weight loss and others concluding it won’t, and may actually hinder weight loss.

Indeed, Katz, a dermatologist who specializes in cellulite, says caffeine aiding weight loss is not supported by science, and pants that are laced with the chemical are nothing more than “marketing.”

“This is pure marketing. It’s strange marketing. It’s creative. It’s imaginative. But it doesn’t do anything,” Katz tells MSN News. “It’s not even possible what they claim. There’s caffeine in the pants, it rubs on the skin, you get caffeine on the skin -- will it do anything? No.”

 

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