Slow Your Roll: anti-energy drinks

image courtesy of flickr

Remember 2007?

Unemployment was low and the Dow was high. We were mainlining energy drinks— $7 billion worth— just to keep up. If the party wasn’t stopping then neither were we.

These days, we’re all frazzled nerves. We’re looking to be soothed. We need something to bring us down from the ledge of our own anxiety.

A new category of beverage has come on the scene promising a dose of calm in a can. In contrast with the anxiety-inducing synthetics like taurine and caffeine that fuel energy drinks, anti-energy drinks are spiked with a host of herbal and folk-medicine ingredients that produce calming, sedative, or euphoric effects. There’s kava, a plant extract that has long been used recreationally by Pacific Islanders; calming herbal tea ingredients like chamomile and rose hips; melatonin, a natural hormone used to treat insomnia and jet lag; and valerian root, an herbal anti-depressant.

With energy drinks, the names alone are enough to make you jittery—Amp, Full Throttle, Monster, Jolt. Anti-energy drinks promise something else entirely, with names like VIB (Vacation in a Bottle), Slow Cow (Red Bull’s sleepy alter-ego), Drank (street name of a homemade high from cough syrup), and the blatantly marijuana referencing Mary Jane’s Relaxing Soda, which promises all the chill benefits without the “2 am pizza runs, blacklight posters, or handcuffs.”

It’s not 2007 any more.

We’ve all had enough of the stomach-churning, over-caffeinated years of hedge funds, housing bubbles, and Ponzi schemes. Novel, legal, and cheaper than a spa trip; we can expect anti-energy drinks to gain some traction in 2010.

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2 Responses to Slow Your Roll: anti-energy drinks

  1. Janice says:

    I agree- herbal tea over a canned drink any day. The less processed the better. Always.

  2. Great site!…this is the first time I’ve seen these downer drinks…reminds me of the speed/valium combo of earlier times. Now the drug is empty calories and sugar. Please…eat some vegetables, go for a walk after dinner, and drink a cup of herbal tea before bed. Dozy bliss!

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