The Anti-Energy Drink Biz: Chug & Chill

  • Drink Up to Slow Down

    The Great Recession has made it hard for many to relax and slow down. Beverage makers are catching on to this trend, making drinks that aim to calm. Here are some of the anti-energy drinks, what they claim to do and how it all works. Photo Credit: virtualphotographystudio
    Drank
  • Drank

    Company’s claims: “Drank is formulated to relax the body, mind and soul,” says its distributor, Innovative Beverage Group.  In fact, it’s “the perfect lifestyle beverage for those who can appreciate extreme relaxation,” the company claims. Ingredients: Melatonin to regulate sleep cycles, valerian root for anxiety and restlessness, rose hips for vitamin C and antioxidants to reduce stress. Our take: If this also works to relax the soul, we hope it doesn’t fall into an eternal sleep if one drinks too much. Price: $40 for a 12-pack of two-ounce Drank Deuce shots, $55 for a 24-pack of 16-ounce cans. Photo Credit: Drank
    Malava Kava
  • Malava Kava

    Company’s claims: California-based Malava Beverages claims that its juice cocktail “relaxes, calms, clarifies, refreshes,” and promotes a sense of well-being. Ingredients: Malava Relax comes in orange-mango, pink lemonade and caffeine-free black tea and contains the herbal supplement Kava, plus vitamins. The “lite” version of the Relax drink uses Splenda as a sweetener and comes in cranberry-grapefruit, sangria and pomegranate-blueberry flavors. Our take: An ingredients label wasn’t available online, but with these fruity flavors, we wonder whether it works partly because you get a sugar rush, then a sugar crash. Price: About $1.89 for 16.9-ounce bottle. Photo Credit: justgrimes
    Ex Chill
  • Ex Chill

    Company’s claims: Take a swig, “put your feet up and daydream,” says beverage company Ex Drinks, which targets the overworked in its advertising. Ingredients: B vitamins including B3, B5, B6 and B12 for brain function, natural fruit flavor, chamomile used to treat anxiety and insomnia, valerian as a relaxant and lemon balm for its purported calming effect. Our take: Ex Drinks stresses that its product is so safe that it’s sold in France, where competitor’s drinks containing taurine are banned. Price: $48 for a 24-pack of 8.4-ounce cans. Photo Credit: Ex Drinks
    Mini Chill Relaxation
  • Mini Chill Relaxation

    Company’s claims: This little shot promises a fast-acting, long-lasting mood enhancement and focus and a “hangover-free way to unwind,” according to the beverage maker Stevenson Products. Ingredients: Mini Chill contains valerian root to reduce stress, aminobutyric acid for anxiety and L-Theanine to make you feel more relaxed and put you in a better mood. Our take: All of these drinks claim to be a hangover-free way to unwind, but we’re interested in conducting tests to see whether it’s actually better than booze. Price: $36 for 12 two-ounce bottles Photo Credit: Mini Chill
    Jones Gaba
  • Jones Gaba

    Company’s claims: Jones Soda Company says its Gaba drink “helps those with plenty of energy feel relaxed, centered and focused,” lowers blood pressure and heart rates in athletes and reduces anxiety and stress in students, leading to higher test scores Jones adds.  It may even improve the quality of your sleep and help you deal with phobias. Ingredients: The drink is named after Gamma-aminobutyric acid, an amino acid found in brain cells that can help promote calmness and relaxation while decreasing brain waves that cause nervousness and anxiety, Jones says.  The company’s own version of the amino acid comes from Lactobacillus hilgardii, which is the bacteria used to ferment vegetables in the traditional Korean dish kimchi. Our take: We’re not sure which sounds worse: brain cell substances in soda or kimchi bacteria in soda. Price: $32 for a 12-pack. Photo Credit: Jones Soda
    Slow Cow
  • Slow Cow

    Company’s claims: The makers of this anti-Red Bull don’t aim to put you to sleep. It’s a relaxation aid that may even improve your learning abilities and memory and increase levels of feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain, the company says.  And coffee drinkers can rejoice: It also helps in diminishing the side effects of caffeine. Ingredients: L-Theanine, an amino acid found in tea; chamomile, which has been used for hundreds of years for things like anxiety and insomnia; passiflora, which can act as an anti-depressant and mild sedative. Linden and hops also have a calming effect on the body, Slow Cow claims. Our take: Slow cow says the drink is “particularly recommended for people who have an outgoing spirit and are ready to take on any awaiting tasks,” so if you want to be more of a killjoy, this may be your drink. Price: Talks are ongoing for U.S. distribution, according to the Canadian beverage maker.  It doesn’t appear to be sold online. Photo Credit: Slow Cow
    OmegaChill
  • OmegaChill

    Company’s claims: The clean, clear, refreshing taste of OmegaChill hydrates and revitalizes your body, according to the product’s Web site. It aims to regulate cholesterol levels and support blood circulation as well. Ingredients: While oil and water don’t usually mix, OmegaChill is water enhanced with Omega-3 fatty acids to promote heart and brain health, says bottler Zymes, which uses its own technology that helps water-insoluble substances become soluble. The drink also contains vitamin C to boost the immune system and your energy, vitamin E as an “anti-aging nutrient” and B vitamins for a healthy immune system and for brain function. Our take: Omega-3 fatty acids forced to mix with water doesn’t sound too appetizing. Price: Distribution plans are still in the works. Photo Credit: OmegaChill
    Vacation in a Bottle
  • Vacation in a Bottle

    Company’s claims: ViB claims to “calm your mind, and let you unwind,” and “take your mind to a perfect paradise and your body to a peaceful happy place.” Ingredients: The first two ingredients in this drink are water and sugar. But the active ingredients include amino acids including L-Theanine to reduce physical stress and L-threonine, which has been used to treat spasticity. Our take: This sugary stuff was developed by the people responsible for the Marshmallow Shooter, another invention that may appeal to the childlike adult. Price: ViB is still in distribution talks but it is especially interested in selling the product in Vegas, the company says. Photo Credit: VIB Holdings
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