Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, February 11, 2021

final count
One of the casualties from my recent monthlong blog outage was the conclusion to my series of posts testing whether or not energy drink Enviga really did burn calories with regular intake.

As it happens, the blog went kaput with just a couple of days/posts to go on my experiment. So I actually did wrap up my 3-cans-a-day diet of Enviga back in December. I haven’t touched the stuff since.

That’s not necessarily an indictment of the product. I got used to the taste of it after putting away 90 cans of the stuff (3 a day for 30 days, which I figured was more than enough for my unscientific testing). But given that I rarely imbibed energy drinks before starting this madness, I definitely overloaded on Enviga during that period. And so it’ll take a while before I feel the urge to pop another one open. In fact, one can remains in my fridge — a Peach flavored one. I think it’ll stay there for a while.

Anyway, on to the results: Did I burn more calories with all the Enviga chugging?

Based solely on weight levels, which to me is a fair indicator of calorie churn, the answer is: No.

By the end of the monthlong trial period, my weight was exactly the same as it was at the start of all that Enviga-ing. I went through period of weight loss and weight gain, some of which are noted within this category of posts. But I can’t see anything that points to the energy drink being an active agent in this. I regularly go through minor (5-10 pounds) weight fluctuations; it’s a regular part of my physiology and metabolism. Had I not been doing the Enviga, I’m pretty confident that I’d have gone through the same deal.

So, for what it’s worth: My personal Enviga experiment yielded no evidence that it’s really a “calorie burner”, as marketing for the drink somewhat obliquely puts across. Since Coca Cola and Nestlé are now being sued over misleading claims to that effect, I only hope that I don’t get called on the stand as a trial exhibit!

Beyond that, it seems to me — strictly anecdotally — that Enviga isn’t particuarly catching on. I’ve seen a decided decrease in ads for the stuff around New York. It’s still on store shelves, but I’ve yet to spot it out in the wild, i.e. in the grips of passerbys on Manhattan streets. Doesn’t bode well for the longterm prospects. Enviga might not be long for this consumer realm.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/11/2021 08:39:08 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Monday, December 11, 2021

crunchy
I downed my third daily can of Enviga mere minutes ago. Nothing like that pre-bedtime buzz…

Actually, let me refute both components of that above statement, instantly. I’ve been drinking the caffeine-calcium fluid for near a month now, so the jolt it would normally inflict is now very much within my tolerance level (as long as it’s one can at a time). And regardless, I’ll be awake for a couple of hours more, so “pre-bedtime” is a very loose way to describe my current biorhythmic state.

Anyway, as long as I’m in self-confessional mode: I’ve neglected to mention how much fun I’ve been having with the Enviga cans, after emptying them down my gullet. Their skinny-can design makes them quite easy to twist into a mangle of used aluminum. I can’t resist doing so every time. It could be an urge to show off the energy burst that Enviga gives me. Or it could be a manifestation of my underlying resentment over keeping to my three-a-day schedule. Either way, it’s a fun little distraction.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/11/2021 10:52:29 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Saturday, December 09, 2021

cipher
The Enviga continues to flow through me, to the tune of three canfuls a day.

I think I’ve developed some level of tolerance for it. Whereas before, I couldn’t handle drinking more than one can every few hours — necessitating some scheduling of my required three-a-days — I’ve managed to squeeze that down to a few hours, both yesterday and today. I didn’t wind up overly-caffeinated or perceptionally impaired. Must be a good sign! We’ll see if the caloric burn and resultant weight loss follow.

Speaking of which, I’m kicking myself over not dreaming up the “Less Than Zero?” headline used by the Los Angeles Times for its article on Enviga and similar “negative calorie” drinks. It’s an obvious reference to the Bret Easton Ellis novel (if not the ill-fated film adaptation), made all the more fitting by the LA connection.

On top of that, the question mark makes it even more fitting. My personal experiment, as documented here, should reveal if that punctuation is warranted.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/09/2021 09:17:09 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Thursday, December 07, 2021

lawsuit brewing
I continue with the three cans of Enviga each day. In the name of nutritional science, of course.

But for how much longer? Watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest, doubtful of the drink’s negative-calorie claims, is threatening to sue Coca-Cola and Nestlé for false advertising. So conceivably, the product could get pulled off the market, or lose its “calorie burner” tag. Either way, it scotches my little experiment here.

Maybe that’s the least of my worries. What if this series of posts gets cited as evidence in a trial? Just what I need, to get subpoenaed over some weight-loss dispute…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/07/2021 11:12:56 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Tuesday, December 05, 2021

collapsable
Ten more days of me doing daily triple-can shots of Enviga. Not that I’m counting down or anything.

Frankly, I’m surprised I’ve stuck with the three-a-day consumption. Not that drinking it is such a chore, but it does take some level of personal scheduling to make sure I hit the quota by day’s end. The challenge comes in having each can in the spread-out timeframe I require, because there’s no way I can make up for lost time by chugging two (or, God forbid, three) in one sitting — I’d end up short-circuiting myself, per previous experience.

I’ve just weighed myself, and I’ve dropped a couple more pounds since last check. I didn’t attribute my previous weight loss to Enviga, and I won’t do so this time either. Given that I haven’t changed the rest of my diet or (non-existent) exercise routine, it’s reasonable to think that the calorie-burning drink is doing its job. But I’ve dropped a couple of pounds in the past for no seeming reason, so I can’t say with certainty that this green-tea brew is a factor. I guess I’m going with the highly unscientific premise of two times being a coincidence, and three times being a trend. If I see a third instance of disappearing pounds — say, a week from now — then I’ll be convinced.

In related news: It seems to be getting harder to find cans of this stuff in my usual stops, which tend to be Duane Reade stores. I’ve run into dry spots at a couple of stores, and when I do find them, there’s only a handful of cans in the refrigerated cases. My pessimism told me that maybe the stores weren’t reordering the stuff, due to low demand. But during my last purchase, the saleswoman commented to me, totally unprompted, that she’s seen lots of people scooping up cans of Enviga, accounting for that store’s shortage. A half-full/half-empty situation.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/05/2021 09:30:49 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Sunday, December 03, 2021

drink it straight
As promised last time, I put Enviga to the test as an alcoholic drink mixer. Just think of the possibilities: The same buzz as a Red Bull and vodka, with the added benefit of calorie-burn!

Unfortunately, I found the admixture of Green Tea-flavored Enviga with vodka to be… well, flat. Same for an Enviga and gin cocktail. In both cases, the energy drink didn’t add anything to the concoction — all I could taste was the alcoholic spirit and a little carbonation. I was surprised. I’m no bartender, so maybe a more nuanced mixologist can coax some flavor out of the tea essence.

I did count the cocktails, which took up a whole can of Enviga, as part of my 3-a-day intake. Probably not the optimal dietary consumption. Could the caloric content of gin and vodka counteract Enviga’s burn power? If so, tough; man can’t live by soft drink alone! I don’t anticipate trying it again, given the blah results, so I don’t think the impact will be lasting.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 12/03/2021 07:12:59 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Friday, December 01, 2021

short-timing it
Time for me to backtrack.

I set my last day of Enviga consumption as end-of-year, 2006. December 31st would make it a solid six weeks of the three-a-days, which I figured was ample time for this kind of nutritional experiment.

I wrote that before I was made aware of the Enviga clinical study abstract, which reveals the corporate testing period on the calorie-burning effects as being a mere three days. With a month in between for crossover tests, whatever that means. I’m pretty sure it means that six weeks on my part would be overkill.

So, new end-date for me. I’m going to make it Friday, December 15th — two weeks from today. It’ll make it an even 30 days for Enviga to work its chemical craziness on my bod.

It remains to be seen how I measure the effects at that time. I don’t have a doctor monitoring this; I suspect most physicians would have nothing to do with this. Up to this point, I’ve been tracking weight gain or loss — which is only an indirect way to detect increased caloric burn. It’s the best I’ve got, though. I haven’t felt any other effects yet, so we’ll see if anything else might develop that would be revealing.

Now that that’s all out of the way: I think it’s high time to sample Enviga as a cocktail mixer. Not tonight, but certainly tomorrow. If anyone has any drink ideas, feel free to shoot them on!

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/01/2021 07:28:28 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Wednesday, November 29, 2021

on the clock
Last time out, I said that I’d set an end-date for this little Enviga-chugging experiment. I mean, I can’t go on downing three cans of this stuff every day.

Ideally, I’d match the time spent in the clinical trials that Coca-Cola and Nestlé conducted during product testing. Unfortunately, I don’t have a source for that information; I’d be shocked if it was longer than a month. If anyone can clue me in, feel free to inform me.

In lieu of that, I’m setting the end of the year — January December 31st, 2006 — as my final day of this Enviga regimen. That would make it a six-week run, ample time to see if the calorie-burning claims of the drink are valid. It also means, naturally, that I’ll likely be bringing in 2007 with an Enviga in hand; I’m willing to sacrifice my traditional champagne in the name of science!

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/29/2006 11:07:21 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Monday, November 27, 2021

to savor a flavor
I hinted before that I was getting tired of the fruit-flavor enhanced versions of Enviga.

Now that I’m edging up to two weeks of imbibing the stuff, I can confirm: I’m pretty tired of the Peach and Berry flavors. Especially Peach, because for a stretch it was the only one I could find most days, and so I think I ODed on it quickly.

The problem is, I’ve stocked my fridge with those two flavors. That one six-pack (not a four-pack, as I erroneously reported earlier) contained Peach; in hindsight, that was an ill-advised purchase. So I guess I’m going to have to pick up Green Tea cans while out and about, and dip into my fridge stock sparingly.

I’ve been drinking Enviga with meals more often, and I do think it’s a better way to go than drinking it sans food. Not sure if that’s good for marketing it as a casual or energy drink. And as I’ve said before, I don’t see how you can down more than three cans of this stuff per day.

Next time up: I think it’s high time I set a timetable limit on this little science project. Not that I’m ready to stop sampling Enviga, but every experiment needs defined boundaries.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/27/2006 10:04:52 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Saturday, November 25, 2021

burning turkey
This would be my tenth day of chugging Enviga. Under neutral conditions, one might assume that the calorie-burning properties of the drink would start to manifest themselves via the bathroom scale.

But… Along comes Thanksgiving. The stuff-your-face-fest surely skews that off, right? Even with the three cans per day flowing through my system, you gotta figure holiday feast would overload the caloric balance, and result in weight gain.

You’d think that, but it ain’t so. As of tonight, I’ve lost about three or four pounds since starting this Enviga experiment.

Here’s the thing, though: This isn’t the first time I’ve come through Thanksgiving with a net weight loss. For whatever reason, I go against the grain when it comes to turkey-day gorging. It’s not like I fast for the holiday — I eat my share, and don’t do any more exercise than usual. But somehow, I elude the fat-packing, and usually come out of it with a mild drop in poundage. Since this is par for my course, I can’t attribute it to Enviga.

So, to sum up: Enviga hasn’t had a noticable effect on me yet. If anything, Thanksgiving didn’t make a dent, one way or another (I didn’t even notice any caffeine reaction to the sleep-inducement that turkey is supposed to have). I’ll keep going with the intake — eventually I’ll determine a time limit — and see what happens long-term.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/25/2006 08:10:41 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Thursday, November 23, 2021

no cranberry flavor?
Today’s showdown: Enviga’s caffeine/calcium jolt vs. the Thanksgiving tryptophan attack.

Which will overtake my physiology? Hopefully, I’ll live through the raging digestive battle. I’ve already downed two of my daily three cans, before nibbling on any of the turkey feast, so I guess Enviga will have the early edge.

Only other development of note: I managed to find the elusive four-pack of this product. Of all places, I located it in a Price Chopper upstate, in Orange County (site of my family’s Thanksgiving extravaganza). I’ll have to keep a sharper eye out for it in Manhattan.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/23/2006 12:29:46 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Tuesday, November 21, 2021

21-can salute
Time for another Enviga update! Since I started this three-a-day guzzling last Wednesday, today marks the first full week of this self-experimentation.

I’m a bit chagrined to report that I didn’t follow my own advice, and yesterday repeated my prior mistake of downing my three-can quota in too short a timespan. Hey, I was thirsty… I felt it hard too: Got lightheaded and nauseous on the way home, and didn’t feel right until after dinner. So, perhaps the solution is to pair Enviga with a meal? Even so, it looks like that three-can limit advocated by corporate is right on the money — I’m not sure I could handle more than that.

The weight-loss has remained stable from the first check on Sunday. I don’t think I can draw any conclusions yet. And with Thanksgiving only two days away, it seems like folly to expect the pounds to continue to slide off. Or not — I’m no doctor, but it seems to me that the jacked-up metabolism this drink is supposed to deliver should help do away with the holiday spare tire quicker. I guess this is the first big test.

Finally, I really wish I could find Enviga in three- or four-packs, instead of just individual cans. I feel like some kind of junkie when I deposit a bunch of cans on the store counter.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/21/2006 08:48:34 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Sunday, November 19, 2021

still burning
I keep on keepin’ on with this 3-a-day Enviga regimen.

For the weekend portion, I decided to diversify beyond the Peach and Berry flavors, and added the “original” Green Tea version into the rotation. Surprisingly, I found the base Green Tea flavor to be more to my taste — it seems the sweetening agents in the two fruit-flavored ones detracted from a cleaner, crisper taste. Still, I wonder if I’ll be satisfied being limited to just the three flavors; and so, I’m pondering what might be a complementary flavoring agent for the Green Tea drink (maybe lemon, or other citrus?).

I’ve also been tempted to try out Enviga as a cocktail mixer, ala the popular Red Bull and vodka. Beyond the caffeine factor, the late fad of tea-infused cocktails in New York makes the notion sound half-rational. Plus, I’d guess it’s standard procedure to use bars as rollout channels for new beverages. What better venue to hook thirsty customers, with or without alcohol?

As for the caloric effects: I weighed myself this morning, and indeed, I’ve dropped a couple of pounds since starting this test. I won’t attribute it to Enviga just yet — I’ve been known to shed weight for unexplained reasons before. I’ll give it a couple more updates to see if the losses really start to accumulate. I can say that I feel a bit more of a metabolic energy rush of late, but that’s to be expected with the extra caffeine intake.

Finally, I’ve added a subcategory for this series of posts, under Food. It seems a bit shillish, I know, even though I’m not getting anything from Coca-Cola or Nestlé for this (if they want to send me a free supply, I’m receptive). But I figure it’ll be easier for organizational/reference purposes. Besides, I don’t utilize WordPress’ categorizational functions enough, so this will be a test run for other such drill-down content presentations.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/19/2006 02:14:12 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Friday, November 17, 2021

chug-a-luggin
As I mentioned, I’ve embarked upon a most enlightening nutritional quest: To see if drinking three cans of Enviga per day will, as claimed by the marketing hype, lead to increased calorie consumption.

I started on Wednesday. I’ll update my progress here on an every-other-day basis; I think daily would get tedious, both for me and anyone actually interested enough to follow this. That schedule would land an upcoming update right on Thanksgiving Thursday. So I’m looking forward to washing down the turkey and stuffing with a cold can of calorie-burning refreshment.

As for the experience so far… I’ve kept to the three-per since Wednesday (as I write this, I’m actually halfway through today’s second can, a Berry-flavored one). While the taste is pleasant enough, I found yesterday that I really need to space out the intake. One in the morning, for that wake-up jolt of caffeine, was fine. But then having the next two within the following four hours was a little much for me — by the time I left the office, I was feeling light-headed.

Lesson learned. I’m not planning on hitting today’s third can until tonight.

I don’t expect to notice any kind of physiological effect just yet (unless that mentioned light-headedness came from a metabolic reaction). I should note, though, that the negative-calorie claim was scrutinized a month ago, and found suspect. So will my whole purpose here be for naught? We’ll see.

Lastly, on procurement of said product: It seems to be fairly easy to find in Manhattan. No luck with the sidewalk newsstands, but retail stores are stocked with it. In fact, I’ve been able to load up at Duane Reade, where the refrigerated cases have manufacturer coupons offering three cans for the price of two — could there be a more perfect fit? Plus, the price is pretty reasonable, at about $1.49 per can. I don’t know if that’s just the intro test-market price-point; regardless, I’ll take it.

That’s plenty for now. Next update on Sunday.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/17/2006 02:26:57 PM
Category: Enviga, New Yorkin', Science
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Wednesday, November 15, 2021

three burns a day
Despite the skepticism I displayed last month over the calorie-burning claims, I knew I would get my hands on the first can of Enviga I came across. How could I resist an ECGC/caffeine/calcium concoction, presented in a stylishly-colorful can?

I found a supermarket display of Enviga yesterday, and grabbed two cans: One each of the Berry and Peach flavors. I’m passing on the plain green tea version, as I’m not a particular fan of the straight stuff. I tried both today, and found them to be quite tasty, indeed.

While examining the shiny aluminum exterior, I read up on the messaging included on it. In addition to audacious claim of being “The Calorie Burner(tm)”, it offered this advice:

Three cans per day of Enviga have been shown to increase calorie burning by 60-100 calories in healthy normal weight 18-35 year olds. Individual results may vary.

Drinking more than three cans per day will not have an additional effect.

Three cans a day, and only three cans a day? I think I can handle that. And since I’m on the outer edge of that 18-35 range, this is my only chance to see if this Coca-Cola/Nestlé hybrid can deliver the goods. Plus, I’m cognizant that this product is getting an early roll-out here in New York, a couple of months before the rest of the country’s store shelves get it; so this is a perfect opportunity for me to give most people a hands-on product-review preview.

So, in the name of science, I’m going to guinea-pig myself on this sparkling chug-a-lug for the next couple of weeks. I still think any burning sensation will be mostly coincidental, but I’ll put it to the test. The only downside I can see is possible caffeine overdose; but if my regular daily tea habit hasn’t achieved that yet, I doubt this new stuff will.

Today was the start: Two cans of Berry, one can of Peach. Looking forward to tomorrow.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/15/2006 11:46:10 PM
Category: Enviga, Science
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Thursday, October 12, 2021

feel the burnIt’s the dream of sugarwater addicts everywhere: Pouring that sweet elixir down your throat, and losing weight as a result.

Okay, tell me another one.

But that’s the story behind Enviga, a joint venture of Coca-Cola and Nestlé. It’s a canned cocktail of sparkling green tea, caffeine, calcium and artificial flavors that somehow jacks up your metabolism, leading to increased calorie burn. Sounds like a cross between Slim-Fast and Red Bull.

I’m sure jittery types will be clutching cans of this stuff all day long. I’ll probably be among them, too. Even though the prospect of some sort of carbonated chemical reaction taking place in my innards is slightly unnerving.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/12/2021 11:56:25 PM
Category: Enviga, Food, Science
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