CHILL IMBIBES inside the booming business of relaxation drinks

Taking a dip in the new business of relaxation.

After a long day, we all want to slow our heart rate and breathing, loosen our muscles, and lower our blood pressure. You know, relax.

CHILL IMBIBES inside the booming business of relaxation drinks

That might mean yoga or a massage. Maybe we turn on gentle classical UFABET music or looping rainfall through our speakers. Maybe we take slow breaths or turn our fingers to prunes in the bath. But if some entrepreneurs have their way, it’ll mean cracking open a can.

These relaxation drinks aren’t uniform in form or taste, but they all make promises. Some offer sleep, others promote better focus and creativity. They are healthy and calming, at least according to their marketing.

The idea seems to be that there’s plenty of stress that doesn’t quite hit the psychiatric level — and so these drinks exist for your subclinical anxiety needs. It seems like big business, given the rather crowded marketplace, which includes such brands as Tranquini, Just Chill, Drank, and Marley’s Mellow Mood. Pepsi will be getting into the market shortly, with its Driftwell beverage, which became available online in December.

So I decided to make a journey to the heart of relaxation. I wanted to see if I could overdose on it.

Pepsi, like most major corporations, doesn’t take big risks, so I figured the components of its Driftwell beverage would be a good place to start. Pepsi chose to use l-theanine, a workhorse ingredient in relaxation drinks. Some small studies found that l-theanine may reduce stress, induce relaxation, and make it easier for people to get to sleep. Chanaka Kahathuduwa, an assistant professor at Texas Tech University, is responsible for several studies on the amino acid, both alone and combined with caffeine.