Friday, October 13, 2006

Buzz Around 'Enviga' Energy Drink From Coke, Nestle Omits High Sugar Content

Coke says drinking their new Enviga is as healthy as "taking the stairs"

"This is the biggest thing to hit the health market in a decade!"
"Nothing is as unique as this new product!"
"A healthy revolution has begun with the release of this product!"

Just when you think you've heard every marketing and sales pitch possible, along comes buzz about some new product that has everyone talking. This time, it's a new joint venture from two of the big boys--Coca-Cola Company and Nestle--and the product is called Enviga, a carbonated green tea beverage that purports to burn as many as 100 calories a day just from drinking three 12-ounce cans.

Expected to hit the U.S. market in Jauary 2007 with a ton of marketing dollars behind it, Enviga is the latest in an ever-growing line of new beverage products that are on store shelves today. With high hopes from both Coke and Nestle (who has already dipped their toes in the diet and health market by purchasing Jenny Craig for $600 million this year), corporate executives at both companies are very interested in tapping into the market's apparent need for drinks loaded with green tea and caffeine--widely known as an "energy drink."

The negative calorie effect, often referred to as thermogenesis, of Enviga happens when the green tea extract called epigallocatechin gallate speeds up the metabolism and increases energy expenditure when combined with caffeine. Coke scientist Dr. Rhona Applebaum said this new creation is the "perfect partnership of science and nature."

"Enviga contains the optimum blend of green tea extracts (EGCG), caffeine and naturally active plant micronutrients designed to work with your body to increase calorie burning, thus creating a negative calorie effect," Dr. Applebaum explained. "It makes this product stand out as unique. Enviga brings the benefits of green tea to the forefront in a convenient and accessible, great tasting beverage."

Researchers at Nestle say EGCG is a naturally occurring antioxidant in green tea and this new product provides 90 mg of EGCG in each serving. Guzzling down just three cans of Enviga sets off a chain reaction inside the body of "healthy subjects in the lean to normal weight range" that results in 60-100 calories burned.

So what about overweight and obese people? What kind of calories can they be expected to burn drinking this so-called healthy energy drink, Dr. Applebaum? Is Enviga truly "healthy" for people who are trying to lose weight and get healthy or is it meant to consumed only by those who are already in the healthy range? These are important questions that need to be asked before you go start spending your money on this product.

Coke does say they believe Enviga should be promoted to those who are following a physically active and nutritionally healthy lifestyle, according to Coca-Cola senior vice-president of marketing John Hackett.

"We've seen a shift in consumers' attitudes toward diet and health and wellness, with more consumers seeking product choices that support active lifestyles, rather than just eliminating things from their diet," he exclaimed. "Enviga is a great tasting beverage that invigorates your metabolism to gently burn calories, and it's a positive step people can take as part of a balanced lifestyle--like taking the stairs."

Oh please, Mr. Hackett! Drinking Enviga is as good for you as "taking the stairs?!" Not hardly, my friend, but nice hyperbole to get your point across. Again, I am concerned that people will erroneously think this new health beverage will be good for them because of the aggressive marketing that will be used to convince them of that. As someone who has struggled with being morbidly obese weighing in at over 400 pounds in my life, it saddens me to think that millions of people will be fooled into believing the hype about Enviga and shell out their hard-earned money to try it.

This new Nestea energy drink from Coke will come in green tea, berry and peach flavors and sold in tall skinny 12-ounce cans at around $1.50 a piece.

Enviga isn't the first beverage product to lay claim to the calorie-burning effects of mixing EGCG with caffeine. Jana Skinny Water was released to the active lifestyle market as well. But there is a clear difference between the Jana product and this new Enviga--Jana is WATER and Enviga is NOT!

There is absolutely no claims by Coke or Nestle that their much-balleyhooed new product will help with weight loss since it is so packed with sugar and or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), both of which are detrimental to any healthy lifestyle like livin' la vida low-carb. So what's the point in drinking something like this, hmmmm? If you wanted to drink sugar, then just have a Coke. Are they really thinking people are too stupid to know that all that sugar they will get in Enviga is not good for them? I guess they are!

Here's a thought: why not just brew up your own fresh green tea yourself? It's a whole lot cheaper and you get the same benefits that you would out of this Johnny-come-lately product from Coca-Cola and Nestle.

Just a little something for you to think about when you start seeing the advertisements about Enviga in 2007. While it will be pushed as the next great product for your healthy lifestyle, you'll know better now, won't you?!

10-15-06 UPDATE: Blogging friend and sugar foe Connie Bennett also discusses this subject of Enviga at her popular SUGAR SHOCK! blog today.

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Blogger Newbirth said...

Most energy drinks have tons of sugar. My favorite drink is Diet Rock Star, which no sugar, minimal carbs, and plenty of herbs, vitamins, and CAFFEINE. Sometime I have one after a very tiring workout. I never have energy drinks with sugar.

10/16/2006 1:11 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

EGCG is indeed recommended as a beneficial supplement by Ronald Hoffman, M.D., whose judgment I trust. Aside from his practice as a doctor, he is an avid medical researcher. If you are interested in finding out more, see (Note: I have absolutely no connection to Dr. Hoffman. I just listen to his radio show and periodically visit his website.)

Dr. Hoffman recommends taking EGCG as a supplement in a capsule partly as a healthful means of optimizing metabolism for weight loss.

Taking EGCG as an additive in a carbohydrate-laden beverage is, of course, madness. And anyone who buys into the Coke/Nestle marketing is nuts. The marketing is indeed insidious, but let us educate ourselves and spread the word.

10/16/2006 12:19 PM  
Blogger RenĂ©e said...

hi jimmy :) I know this is an old post, but since enviga has hit the market I thought Id share my experience with you.

theres no sugar in the Envigas I buy. They are made with aspartame, and are really delicious! They fit into my low carb lifestyle perfectly. And they taste great in Berry, regular and peach flavors.

They run about 1.99 or 6.99 for a 6 pk where Im at.

They do have as much caffeine in them as one cup of coffee and also provide 20% of RDA calcium.

at least this is what the cans I drink say :)

6/08/2007 6:55 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS, Renee! I've blogged about Enviga since this column, so check out my thoughts about it there. SEE YA! :)

6/08/2007 7:28 PM  

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