Fat-burning fizz: new soda promises to burn calories

By Taylor Hemness - email

Step inside the Shell station on South Broadway in Tyler and you'll have a pretty good idea about the popularity of energy drinks.

"We carry 43 different varieties, and pretty much a third of our sales, drink sales that is, are energy drinks," said manager Tia Figueras.

And a lot of the people that buy those drinks are repeat offenders.

"I have a guy, he only drinks the Rock Star, and he buys two every single day," said Figueras.

But if that guy were to start buying a drink called Celsius, he could burn a couple hundred calories a day.

At least, that's what the product claims. The drink's website says that one 12 ounce can, which contains 10 calories or less, can burn more than 100 calories over a 3 or 4 hour period. And according to Celsius CEO Steve Haley, most people have three questions when they hear about it.

"Does it really work, what does it taste like, and then it starts going does it make you jittery or not, or how long is that rise," Haley said.

The company has commissioned multiple studies that say it works, and there are several different flavors. But the jitters questions is where it gets interesting.

Each can has 200 milligrams of caffeine. That's roughly the equivalent of four cans of Mountain Dew. And local dietitian Elaine Aragon says that much caffeine can be dangerous for people who don't know enough about their health.

"It is a popular drink for the young and college students because of the boost of energy it gives," Aragon said.

"Those are the biggest concerns because we don't know if they have heart disease, so if they have an underlying heart condition and don't know it, they're at risk because of the high volume of caffeine, and what it can do to their hearts."

But the company acknowledges that there are certain people who shouldn't drink it, including pregnant women, and young children. They also have advice on how many you should drink per day.

"There's a lot of people that drink a lot of soft drinks, and this isn't for them," Haley said. "You're not going to drink a celsius every hour. It should be every 3-4 hours, you might one one, or or one or two a day, we have people drinking three, but that should be the limit."

There are no stores in East Texas that carry Celsius yet, but it is available online. One case of 24 cans will cost you about $48.00.