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And when stress takes over, it does a number on our bodies, affecting everything from the quality of our sleep to how our immune system functions.
Relaxation drinks are, as the name implies, a sippable response to modern day stress. These drinks include ingredients (such as L-theanine, melatonin, CBD, and THC) shown to aid in stress relief, a better night’s sleep, and an overall more mellow vibe.
But not all relaxation drinks are created alike. When we put together this list, we made sure only to include drinks that clearly state how much of an active ingredient it contains and that the amount is actually effective at doing what it claims, aka decreasing stress.
That being said, these drinks are not medicine. If you live with chronic anxiety or regularly feel overwhelmed by stress, contact a professional. They can help put together a holistic, individualized treatment plan.
The current It-Girl chemical of cannabis, CBD, is being studied as a potential tool for easing anxiety, improving sleep, and managing pain (among other uses). If you’re CBD curious, these drinks are a delicious way to try it out for yourself.
While there are no official guidelines on CBD dosage, start with 25 milligrams or fewer, and increase from there based on how you feel.
Active ingredient: CBD (20 milligrams)
Price: $60 for a 12-pack
Get it via: Drinksprig.com
Recommended for: A day at the beach
At 20 milligrams per can, Sprig’s line of sparkling beverages is within the recommended starting dosage for CBD. And we love how straightforward they are about their ingredients — you can easily download lab results from their website.
Their array of fun, fruity flavors (citrus, melon, and lemon tea) has us dreaming of low-pressure summer days. Just remember to put on SPF before cracking one of these calming tonics.
Active ingredient: CBD (25 milligrams)
Price: $49 for a 12-pack
Get it via: Dramapothecary.com
Recommended for: Your lunch break or before bed, according to one user review
Colorado-based DRAM’s line of Adaptogenic CBD Sparkling Water is designed to ease anxiety and undo stress.
Not only does each can contain 25 milligrams of CBD, each variety has a unique blend of adaptogens, a group of substances derived from plants that help the body deal with stress. Although, adaptogens work best when they’re taken daily, and it may take a few weeks to start noticing the effects.
DRAM also reminds you that you won’t find any so-called “natural flavors” in their beverages, which can contain synthetic flavoring.
If you like DRAM’s brew, you might also be interested in our DIY CBD cocktail recipe. Check it out here!
THC is an intoxicating compound found in cannabis. While it’s famous for its chill-ifying effects, everyone responds differently and it can actually instigate some people’s anxiety.
So, if you’re not sure how you’ll respond, take it slow and definitely don’t consume more than 5 milligrams in one sitting.
And an important note: products containing more than .3 milligrams of THC (aka the products on this list) are illegal under federal law. Many states have fully or partially decriminalized cannabis, though. So make sure to familiarize yourself with your state’s cannabis laws here.
Active ingredient(s): THC (2 milligrams) and CBD (4 milligrams)
Price: $24 for a 6-pack
Get it via: Drinkcann.com
Recommended for: Your weeknight de-stressing, self-care routine
One of these cans is just enough to give you a mild, easy buzz. At a conservative 2 milligrams of THC, this is a safe choice for anyone interested in dabbling in cannabis, without going overboard.
Of course, THC is an intoxicating compound, so reserve this drink for casual situations, aka not at the office.
Cann’s products are lightly sweetened and contain no artificial flavors.
Active ingredient(s): THC (between 5 to 10 milligrams) and CBD (5 milligrams)
Where to get it: See Oh Hi’s store locator
Recommended for: A chill Friday night with the roommates (or, check out the company’s favorite Oh Hi-enhanced activities)
If you know you’re sensitive to cannabis or if you’re just new to it, we recommend starting with the Ginger Basil Limeade, which has 5 milligrams of THC and 5 milligrams of CBD. Be prepared to feel intoxicated, though exactly how “high” you get depends on factors like anatomy and how much you’ve eaten that day.
At 10 milligrams of THC per can, Oh Hi’s other sparkling tonics (pomegranate, grapefruit, or lemon lime) are rather strong and better suited for experienced cannabis users or larger folks.
L-theanine is an amino acid that has been shown to calm the mind, promote relaxation, and improve focus. To ensure effectiveness, look for drinks that contain at least 50 milligrams of l-theanine.
You can get your l-theanine fill from tea (green tea is an especially great source), or you can try out one of the following tasty bevs.
Active ingredient(s): Broad-Spectrum hemp oil (10 milligrams), American ginseng (200 milligrams), and L-theanine (130 milligrams)
Get it via: Amazon
Recommended for: Defending against the afternoon crash
“It’s how you wish that 2 p.m. coffee would make you feel.” That’s a Recess motto and we’re here for it.
Unlike the other drinks on this list, Recess’ blend is aimed at energizing — albeit in a relaxing way. Their combination of ingredients may promote enhanced focus (ginseng), balanced mood (L-theanine), and relaxation (hemp oil, aka CBD).
Is it time to replace your afternoon cup of caffeine with something more soothing? Only one way to find out.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies that, among other things, helps regulate our sleep cycle. The recommended dosage of melatonin is between 0.2 and 5 milligrams.
Active ingredient(s): Proprietary blend (357 milligram total combined) of L-theanine, GABA, and melatonin
Get it via: Amazon
Recommended for: Catching up on those Zzz’s
Som’s beverage targets relaxation from three different angles, providing what they call a “more comprehensive sleep solution.” Magnesium and vitamin B-6 help the sleep cycle run smoothly, melatonin helps jumpstart the natural process of falling asleep, and l-theanine and GABA both help calm the mind.
Som has invested in at least conveying a reputation of being fact based, with a board of health professional advisors. Skepticism aside, the reviews are encouraging, with an average of 4.9 stars and 430+ reviews.
Active ingredient(s): Melatonin (1 milligram) and GABA (200 milligrams)
Price: $39 for 10 servings
Get it via: Vitalproteins.com
Recommended for: A night cap for better sleep
This powdered drink combines anti-stress ingredients ashwagandha root, GABA, magnesium with sleep-improving melatonin and, as if that wasn’t enough, collagen for healthy skin and bones.
This creamy blueberry beverage is dairy-free, and doesn’t contain artificial flavors or colors, sweeteners, or additives.
- The CBD cooler cocktail to drink before a big speech, from Greatist
- 5 energizing blends for better focus, from Greatist
- Matcha and ashwagandha drinks for altered energy, from Greatist
- Cherry turmeric bedtime tea, from Love and Zest
- Homemade lavender tea, from Savor the Best
Want more? Check out our 19 top picks for natural sleep aid.
When it comes to choosing relaxation drinks, just remember: Always read your labels.
Never buy a drink that doesn’t state the amount of active ingredients, and do your research ahead of time on the right dosage for you (or the effective dosage supported by research).
And keep in mind that although moderate consumption of these drinks are considered safe, these beverages are not regulated and contents are not verified by the FDA.