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Anti-Energy Drinks: the Next Big Thing or the Next Big Problem?

May 14, 2011
Rob Masterson, RD

We are all familiar with energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, and Amp along with their claims to give a boost of energy to push you through your hectic and busy day. But now, there are an opposing group of drinks on the rise in the beverage market that aim to do the exact opposite. Enter the “anti-energy drinks” like Drank and Mary Jane’s Soda.

So just what are these drinks? A quick look on Drank’s website, drankbeverage.com, and you’ll have a clear idea.  On the left side of the page you’ll see the statement, “The first EXTREME RELAXATION dietary supplement to hit the market, DRANK is designed to help calm and relax you.” Also visible on the home page is “Drank TV”, which shows footage and video of media coverage the product has received, including one news clipping that reads “Drunk on Drank” as the header. Not exactly the type of publicity most would hope to promote on a business website. They even provide a faux warning label on each page of the site that says “WARNING! Drank may be extremely relaxing and calming.”

Visit Mary Jane’s Relaxation Soda website, which has a product name alone that generates some controversy and you’ll see similar claims of providing relaxation.

WHAT’S IN THE CAN?

One of the main ingredients in Drank is melatonin which has been used as a sleep aid. This hormone, however, is not approved by the US Food and Drug administration and is the reason Drank is considered a dietary supplement. Due to this fact, the purity, safety, and effectiveness of melatonin-containing products cannot be guaranteed and are not regulated by any government agency, rather, they are monitored by the manufacturers themselves. And some of the side-effects of melatonin use include sleepiness, headache, stomach discomfort, and depression. Sound like an ideal way to relax?

While Mary Jane’s Soda doesn’t contain melatonin it does contain kava root. This ingredient has been used ceremonially for centuries and is said to provide relaxing qualities. Unfortunately, kava root also has the potential for adverse side-effects like liver damage and many health experts suggest not taking the extract unless under close supervision by a physician.

Worst of all the adverse side effects in both drinks could be exacerbated in children, yet these products are available to anyone regardless of age.

THERE IS A BETTER WAY

Controversy and questionable ingredients aside, there are simply better ways to relax and even improve concentration than gulping down one of these products. Why not stick to methods that are known to work, like exercise, which studies have not only shown can improve concentration, memory, and provide a feeling of relaxation post workout, but can also burn calories and keep you fit too.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

[NL] wants to know what you think about “anti-energy” drinks like Drank and Mary Jane’s Relaxation Soda. Have you tried them? Would you? Let us know by participating in our poll or by leaving a comment.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2011 4:14 am

    good post and nice informative nutrition blog, thanks for visiting mine enjoy the weekend Rebecca a fellow RD blogger

    • May 15, 2011 11:30 am

      Thanks Rebecca!

      I really like your blog as well. I recently saw your video on twitter chats, very helpful! I am going to have to try to host a chat sometime soon.

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