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First, we wanted an energy drink to stay alert and focused, but now consumers are seeking beverages to do the opposite and help them chill out.
"Relaxation" drinks may be the newest bottled phenomenon with an estimated $100 million market.
Similar to those little bottles of 5-Hour Energy, beverage makers are now marketing 2 oz. shots to 12 oz. cans that go by mellow names like Unwind, iChill, Be Happy.
Ingredients inside these "stress reducers" vary from the amino acid L-theanine, which is found in green tea, to melatonin, used in sleep aids. The real question, however, is do they work?
Alice Lichtenstein, professor of nutrition at Tufts University, doesn't seem to think so, explaining:
"I don't think there's any mainstream research that would support any of this. If you want to relax, drink chamomile tea."
We're not scientists, but we'd probably have to agree.
However, ask us in a couple years after we've been bombarded with television, radio, and print marketing campaigns (plus lots of free samples being handed out from the trunks of decorated Mini-Coopers) and we MAY have changed our minds.