If caffeine-infused energy drinks get you going when you need a boost, can relaxation drinks spiked with melatonin or lemongrass calm you down? Companies selling drinks like Just Chill and Dream Water hope so, and they’re anything but relaxed about it.
Reuters reports that 36 million gallons of relaxation drinks were sold in 2010. That may be mellow compared to the 357 million gallons of energy drinks sold in 2009, but it’s double the number from just two years earlier.
“There is clear potential for further growth in the coming years,” said Cecilia Martinez, market analyst at UK-based beverage research group Zenith International.
Relaxation drinks help the body chill out by relieving muscle tension and reducing levels of cortisone, the main stress hormone, according to a report that Martinez wrote about the drinks earlier this year.
The drinks, which evolved in Japan as far back as 2005, contain no alcohol but some have melatonin, a hormone that can cause drowsiness.
In addition to melatonin, some relaxation drinks also include the amino acid GABA, and ingredients often found in teas, such as chamomile and L-theanine, another amino acid. However, according to the report cited by Reuters, “levels of ingredients in the drinks may be too small to be effective.” That could still lead to a calming effect — on the sales of relaxation drinks, that is.