Relaxation beverages catching on


The hottest trend in beverages over the last few years has been energy drinks. But over-caffeination may have run its course.

A growing number of people, it seems, are ditching their Red Bulls and Monsters in favour of relaxation and alertness drinks.

Some 133 million litres of the stuff were sold in Canada, the U.S., Japan and Germany last year–three times as much as in 2007, according to Zenith International, a British beverage research group.

“Consumers are now looking for products to help them deal with pressure and to perform effectively without the use of stimulants," said Zenith's analyst Cecilia Martinez.

"Alertness drinks are designed to reduce stress and focus the mind. Relaxation drinks usually contain ingredients solely to assist relaxation and in some cases to aid sleep," she said.

These drinks first appeared in Japan in 2005. Active ingredients are: vitamin, mineral or plant-based; amino acids such as L-theanine; or hormones, mainly melatonin, which causes drowsiness.

One relaxation brand is Quebec's Slow Cow, which contains no caffeine or sugar.

Instead, the company says Slow Cow has eight natural ingredients including Chamomile ("reputed to treat insomnia" according to the company website) and L-theanine, which promotes relaxation while also focusing the mind.

In a report published earlier this year, Martinez said that both relaxation and energy drinks are expected to see sales growth of 20% to 2013.

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