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by Mike Zazaian October 19, 2006 - 3:54pm, 1 Comment

Green Tea, Berry and Peach, the 3 Enviga varieties available at launch

Coca-Cola plans to roll out a green-tea beverage called Enviga, which uses green-tea extracts, calcium and caffeine to increase metabolism in its drinkers.

The world’s largest beverage company plans to out-health its own diet coke by releasing a beverage that burns calories rather than producing them. Each serving of Enviga will include 90 milligrams of EGCG, a naturally occurring anti-oxidant found in green tea that increases energy production in the human body. And while such ingredients may be new to soft drinks, scientists have been aware of the weight-loss potential of EGCG for years. Said Dr. Rhona Applebaum, chief scientist at Coca-Cola:

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.

Studies conducted at the Nestl√© Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland suggest that individuals who drink 3 cans of Enviga daily show an increase in calorie burning by as much as 60-100 calories. The soft drink will come in three flavors at launch — green tea, berry and peach. Enviga will debut in the North Eastern US this November, and internationally in January of 2007.

Unfortunately for those looking for a healthy alternative to sugar-based drinks, the health benefits of Enviga come at a premium. With a suggested retail price of between $1.29 and $1.49 for a single can, Enviga will target the same segment as other stand-alone energy and health drinks.

But even with such prices, history shows that Enviga will likely carry enormous clout in the soft drink market. When Diet Coke was released in 1984 it instantly became the third-highest-selling soft drink product in the world behind Coca-Cola Classic and Pepsi. With credentials like that it’s impossible to say what kind of impact Enviga will have on an increasingly health-conscious world population.