Broadway actor Sarah Meahl and her “Bad Cinderella” castmates have an unusual pre-curtain ritual — drinking Celsius energy drinks out of crystal goblets.
It’s a “fun pick-me-up before the shows,” Meahl told The Post — “light and refreshing enough to have before a ton of physical activity.”
Promoted as an effective and healthy energy drink, the catchy white cans of joy, sold in flavors like Watermelon, Kiwi Guava and Cola, are flying off shelves at bodegas and fitness studios across the city, a quick hit of energy at $5 a pop for everyone from college students trying to pull through finals to dancers preparing to make it through a week of shows on the Great White Way.
But there’s another reason the brand of sparkling beverage has so many fans — Meahl among them.
“It also speeds up your adrenaline (making everything more fun) and speeds up your metabolism. Paired with exercise I feel like I just burned one million calories,” she confessed.
Celsius, which reported that stock in the company had risen to an all-time high last year after a nearly 95% expansion in revenue, according to proactiveinvestors.com, seems to have hit the sweet spot with the large number of Americans desperate for caffeine and those desperate to lose weight fast in the age of Ozempic and other get-thin-quick shortcuts.
Now, some unscrupulous social media users are even claiming — falsely — that the drinks actually contain Ozempic.
The rumor is believed to have begun as a dramatic way to highlight the drink’s potential to help with weight loss by suppressing one’s appetite, but has spiraled as many buy into the myth.
The search term, “Does Celsius have Ozempic,” now has 1.6M views on TikTok, while “Celsius weight loss” has 639.8M views on the app, thanks to thousands of videos of both people making and questioning the claim — and others joking about how they began bulk ordering and chugging the drinks because of the claims.
While Celsius confirmed to The Post that the energy drinks do not have Semaglutide (the drug sold under brand names Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus), the brand advertises that they have been scientifically proven to have thermogenic properties which “increase metabolism and make the nervous system more active” in turn allowing “your body to burn more calories and body fat than you normally would with exercise alone.”
A spokesperson confirmed they are in touch with TikTok.
The ingredients include green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), caffeine, guarana seed extract, taurine and ginger root extract, which all work together to suppress one’s appetite and boost the metabolic rate. A 12 oz. can has just 10 calories.
Taurine is having its own moment in the spotlight, after a recent study from Columbia University showed that the nutrient, found in other energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar, appear to have health benefits such as a slowing of the aging process and longer lifespans.
But Kais Rona MD, weight loss and surgery specialist, preached caution, warning The Post that energy drinks are marketed as dietary supplements — and therefore have different and more relaxed Food and Drug Administration regulations than food or drugs.
“A lot of times we don’t really know what’s in these dietary supplements, because they’re not actually regulated by the FDA,” he said.
Celsius has already found itself in hot water for “misleadingly” labeling the drinks in a class-action lawsuit noting that the company advertises the drink as having “no preservatives” — despite containing citric acid.
The company argued the citric acid was used for flavor instead of as a preservative, but wound up settling the suit.
Despite any legal troubles, Celsius has continued to expand as its popularity rises.
Lisa Young, Ph.D., R.D., a nutrition professor at New York University, isn’t the least bit surprised.
She told The Post that dieting culture is “problematic” and often promotes “short-term boosts” for weight loss rather than products and solutions with lasting effects.
She claimed that the country is having an “obsession” with weight loss drugs, as people appreciate the immediate results that they see on the scale without having to change their lifestyle. Young noted, however, that “they will only work if you stay on them forever.”
Experts recommend meeting with a certified physician to begin a weight loss journey and discuss the best plan of action for one’s health and lifestyle.
“People have to realize that unless they create and cultivate lifestyle habits that they can sustain, you know, drinking this drink that might boost your metabolism temporarily but is unlikely going to promote long-term lasting effects,” Young advised.