In the last years, there has been a huge increase on the consumption of energy drinks. The most famous of these energy drinks are Red Bull and Monster. I must admit I am no fan of such drinks as I don´t like their taste and cannot feel any kind of energy boost after having them. Some of my friends mix Red Bull with Vodka or Whisky, and then it becomes even worse, argh!
I read in a blog the other day that the big hit for 2012/2013 will be the counterpart of energy drinks, the so-calledrelaxation drinks. I never tasted these drinks, mostly because I have never seem any available in Belgium. Some brands of relaxation drinks are Koma Unwind, iChill and DreamWater.
The first drinks were introduced in Japan in 2005, like a lot of strange things in world. By 2010, it was estimated that 127 million liters of relaxation drinks were sold in the world and some estimate that by 2014, the volume will be over 300 million liters. Just for comparison, energy drinks sell about 1.5 billion liters a year.
I have visited the websites of Koma Unwind, iChill and DreamWater.
Koma Unwind claims that “Its special blend of all-natural ingredients such as milk thistle, B-12, valerian root, and melatonin will calm your mind, body, and soul without the help of supplements or prescriptions. It’s the safest way to indulge in a personal hiatus and will give you the ultimate chill without the pill.”
They also claim that it is nice to have a Koma after drinking a Red Bull. It is quite sad that now we need to get energy from an energy drink and then cool it down with a relaxation drink.
In the iChill website, the produce is advertised “Chill Relaxation Shot was developed to help people unwind at the end of a long, intense day. The refreshingly natural blend of Melatonin, Valerian root, Rose Hips and B Vitamins has no calories, no sugar and no carbs. Their unique combination helps you to feel more tranquil and promotes relaxation and deep restorative sleep. The 2 ounce shot is easy to take and usually starts working to relax you shortly after consuming it. On average, people tend fall asleep within 30 to 40 minutes after drinking an iChill.”
Finally the DreamWater website says that “The Dream Water guys stayed up all night… so you don’t have to. They embarked on a journey to perfect an all-natural formula for a sleep and relaxation water – the first of its kind – that would not only taste great but also have zero calories. The result is Dream Water, a new and exciting lightly flavored shot with natural relaxation effects.”.
In another section the composition of the product is mentioned as “*Dream Water contains three natural ingredients that should occasionally help transport you to a sound and restful sleep, including GABA, Melatonin and 5-HTP (Tryptophan) to help one relax.”
According to an article in ABC news(http://abcnews.go.com/Health/w_SleepNews/truth-relaxation-drinks/story?id=14241347), these products do not have scientific claims to work:
Our testing detected about half of the listed 3 mg of melatonin. (The hormone degrades up to 30% a month in liquids.) Even that much may be overdoing it. Dr. Weil says that 0.25 to 0.3 mg may produce a more natural sleep cycle.
“Dr. formulated to make you feel calm, focused, and happy”
The lab tests showed that this drink had only 0.7 mg of L-theanine, nowhere near the 200 mg dose that’s proven effective. Instead, try gyokoru green tea for your L-theanine fix.
“Drink to dream”
This 2.5-ounce shot touts 5-HTP on the label. The amino acid decomposes in liquid, so it’s not surprising we didn’t detect any in our samples. As for the neurotransmitter GABA, we found only 0.3 mg in a serving–insufficient for any relaxing effects.
As you could see, the three products above have two substances in common: Melatonin and Valerian root.I never had problems relaxing or sleeping, so I never needed to try any relaxing product. On the other hand, my girlfriend is nervous of presentations and important milestones at her work. One of the products she consume to sleep well and stay relaxed is based on Valerian root. She is very happy with the results and claim to work well, even though she complaints that it smells bad – well, it´s a root isn´t it?
Maybe the important thing here is not the substances themselves, but the psychological effects they produce. Life is complicated and the pressures we are submitted are higher than ever. Most people do not need to have real chemical balancing drugs to achieve a relaxed state. The possible placebo effect produced by these drinks will satisfy the great majority of people that think they are stressed.
On the other hand it seems like a great investment opportunity to distribute these products. Maybe I should just abandon this blog and start spreding relaxness.
Well, my goal is to try one of these products very soon and report the results, so stay tuned for the next part of this post with the effects of relaxation drinks in a sceptic that does not need to relax. I will also ask my girlfriend to try it as she has the tendency to believe in this relaxation witchcraft.
Some of the information of this post was extracted from http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/19/us-beverages-relax-idUSTRE76I6ZH20110719 and the websites from Koma, iChill and Dream Water.