Relaxation drinks emerging as backlash to energy drinks

In a beverage market dominated by caffeine-pumping, high-voltage products, a new, worldwide movement for anti-energy drinks is emerging out of the US and the Middle East.

When the Marley Beverage Company launched their line of Marley's Mellow Mood drinks last year - a caffeine-free product that claims to reduce stress and relieve tension - it joined a small group of relaxation drinks created to help consumers de-pressurize and de-stress.

Last week, they launched a lite version of their Marley's Mellow Mood drink, which contains 40 calories for 8 oz (237 ml).

The drink - half lemonade, half tea - contains ingredients like chamomile, valerian root, lemon balm, hops, passionflower and melatonin.

The launch of Marley's Mellow Lite and other such drinks is testament to a consumer market where everything that goes up - literally and figuratively - must come down.

While energy drinks continue to saturate the market, the pendulum has begun to swing the other way with the emergence of ‘relaxation' products.

A group of entrepreneurs out of the United Arab Emirates also launched an anti-energy drink called Piper earlier this year, which is meant to "lower inhibitions, enhance social interactions" and act as an alcoholic alternative in bars and shisha cafés.

The beverage is produced in New Zealand and contains passionflower and lemon balm.

One of the first relaxation drinks on the market, Drank, also contains melatonin and valerian root, and is sold online.

Other brands include Slow Cow out of Canada and Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda.

A controversial relaxation brownie, Lazy Cakes, meanwhile, provoked a public outcry when a toddler was hospitalized after taking a few bites of the snack and fell into a deep sleep. At issue was the cartoon character on the brownie wrapper - critics complained the product was being marketed towards children.

Marley's Mellow Mood also has carbonated versions in berry and citrus flavors, as well as green tea with honey, black tea with raspberry, passion fruit and peach.

Marley's Mellow Mood is available in the US and will be sold online at Amazon this month. Each can retails for $1.79 (€1.23).

Here's what each ‘relaxation' ingredient is meant to do in the drink:

Passionflower: Reduces anxiety
Hops: Promotes relaxation, inhibits adrenaline

Chamomile flower: Reduces anxiety
Valerian root: Promotes relaxation without drowsiness
Lemon balm: Enhances mood, alertness and calm
Melatonin: Relaxes muscles

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