The concept of “functional underwear” is not a new one in Japan, but it’s apparently becoming ever more popular and manufacturers are embracing its marketing potential.
But lest you think this calorie-burning underwear is some magical invention that will miraculously trim your fat while you sit watching TV all day in your tightie whities, that is unfortunately not to be. According to the Goldwin company, Japan’s foremost manufacturer of this product, their underwear includes an elastic resin printed on top of the normal fabric. Supposedly, the extra burden “imposed” on the muscles by having to stretch the resin as the body moves, which is what allows for the extra calorie burn. So yes, you still have to move around for your underwear to do its job.
And how effective is the burn? A 65-kilo (143 pound) man walking 90 minutes a day will burn an additional 210 calories a week. A 12-ounce can of Coke contains about 140 calories so that’d be the equivalent of a Coke-and-a-half a week. When you look at it that way, it doesn’t sound all that impressive. In fact, that’s a lot of walking (630 hours a week) just to work off an extra Coke-and-a-half.
Still, the fact that the Japanese would even think to invent something like this is still pretty damn awesome. And this underwear has one other function that in itself is awesome—it has the ability to “absorb the body odor of middle-aged and elderly men.” Shine on, you crazy diamond!