With that flame logo and energy-sounding name, one might think that Enviga was the new moniker for an old gas company. In fact, Enviga is a new green tea and caffeine beverage from the Coca Cola Company that claims to “help burn calories by gently increasing your metabolism.”
Their website says that since “each can of Enviga contains only 5 calories, you end up burning more calories than you consume – so for the first time you can actually ‘drink negative.’”
That claim is reminiscent of the old joke about a man boasting that his car was so fuel efficient that he actually had to stop every few miles to dump out excess gasoline.
The website also says that according to their own study, [Coke has just removed the abstract of their unpublished study from the Enviga website] the average person burned 106 extra calories drinking three cans of Enviga a day.
*MOUSE PRINT: The study was very small, consisting of only 32 healthy people, of normal weight, aged 18 – 35. (Wouldn’t this product appeal more to overweight people, and where is the study for that?) The results actually showed that there was no difference in fat oxidation (fat burning) between those drinking Enviga versus a placebo. But it did show that “energy expenditure” was significantly higher for the Enviga drinkers.
Coke is very careful in the way they word their claims, never saying anything about weight loss. Instead they say this drink “is a simple way and positive step you can take toward a healthy balanced lifestyle.” The back of the can even cautions that drinking more than three cans a day of Enviga will not have any additional effect.
A company representative who was interviewed on the Today Show (watch video) danced around the answer to Matt’s question — if this is not a weight loss product, how does invigorating one’s metabolism lead to better health?
The real problem with a product subtitled “the calorie burner” is the reasonable inference that consumers will draw from such a claim — that you can drink this product and lose weight, and the more you drink, the more weight you will lose.
There is no doubt that Enviga will be subject of many articles and debates, [see Wall Street Journal piece], as it is rolled out in select cities next month, and nationwide in January (at $1.29 a can).