At one point, energy drinks were the new craze. We are a society that needs all the energy we can get to cope with the stresses of work and life, from Red Bull to coffee to caffeine gum. Now, we are a society so stressed out that we need relaxation drinks just to chill out.
A relaxation drink isn’t a glass of wine. It’s usually a combination of various herbs with different calming effects that are broken down into liquid form, similar to tea. In theory, they work just like tea which usually contains theanine, a known anti-anxiety ingredient. On the other hand, there simply haven’t been enough studies to prove that they are effective. Still, the combination of herbs and observed calming effects like lowered heart rate and blood pressure make relaxation drinks worth being considered by people who really need to relax.
Most of these drinks contain theanine which is naturally found in black tea and helps relieve anxiety. Valerian root is another common ingredient and is often used to calm anxiety and even treat insomnia. Another common ingredient is GABA which is a chemical linked to calming effects. Another popular ingredient is melatonin which is widely prescribed to help people sleep better.
As always, do your research and consider speaking with your physician before starting herbal therapy to make sure it is right for you. While none of these ingredients are thought of as “harmful” they do have different effects on different people. Just as Red Bull contains more caffeine than you may need for an energy boost, relaxation drinks can have significantly more melatonin or theanine than you may need to relax. Since there have been no conclusive studies on this new fad drink, it’s tough to say how effective or safe these drinks actually are.
If you really need to relax, perhaps a cup of tea will do, especially since it contains theanine anyway. On the other hand, if you often turn to alcohol to relax after a stressful day, there isn’t much harm in trying a relaxation drink to take the edge of instead.