Anti-energy drinks

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(CC-licensed photo by Francis Bourgouin)

As a gimmicky antidote to "energy drinks," several companies are selling calming beverages in a can. (No, not beer.) DailyFinance recently surveyed the choices:

Promising a "vacation in a bottle" or an "acupuncture session in every can," makers of anti-energy drinks, as they're known, say that after bailouts, foreclosures and Ponzi schemes, Americans nowadays would rather chill out than tweak out. To help us do so, they're spiking their new beverages with ingredients such as chamomile, melatonin, and valerian root -- all known for their supposed calming effects. Now in convenience-store display cases across America, drinks with names like Slow Cow, Ex Chill and Malava Relax are increasingly jockeying for space with their amped-up alter-egos like Jolt, Monster and Rockstar.

"It's my quest to relax the world," says Innovative Beverage Group Holdings (IBGH) CEO Peter Bianchi, who developed the anti-energy beverage Drank. "I saw America becoming more and more hurried. We are going to burn out after a while."

"Adios, Red Bull? Anti-energy drinks seek to soothe frazzled Americans" (via IFTF's Future Now)


  1. I’ve seen these around for a while. “Purple Drank” ( ) is popular out in the North Texas area, but when I tried it I got super sick.

    Then again, I did drink it with a cheese muffin and a bag of chili Fritos, so who knows?

    1. “Purple drank” is slang for prescription-strength cough syrup, too. The kind with codeine and promethazine.

      See, also: the late Big Moe’s “City of Syrup” and “Purple World.”

  2. So what happens if you mix one of these with a Red Bull?

    Is there a soul out there brave enough to try?

    1. Ever see that episode of Pete & Pete when younger Pete turns on a humidifier and a dehumidifier at the same time? Mixing slow cow with Jolt is kinda like that, at least in the hands of a circa 90’s Nickelodeon protagonist.

    2. With the right Ying & Yang you become GOD. It leads to Ego Death, and supreme clearness of the world around you. You have wings, yet the gravity of the world is to much to fly.

      Up Becomes Down
      Down becomes Bacon
      Bacon becomes Left
      left becomes 42!

      Jackie Chan stars in a new movies with Bruce Willis, Will Smith, Jude Law, and Pablo Fransisco for comedic relief backing up Jackie. The World Becomes….. Perfect.

    3. #5: I fear the results would by anticlimactic; they would cancel each other out and you would feel…well, exactly the same!

    4. i dont get slow cow in India.. if i did.. i’m willing to try the mix.. i’ve mixed red bull with black coffee to keep me awake!

  3. I can state from personal experience:

    * Taken orally, extract of valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a powerful sedative.

    * At bedtime, the smoke of incense made from Indian Valerian (Valeriana wallichii) caused me to have strange hallucinatory dreams.

  4. Valerian root is very calming, but I hope they were able to get the stank out of the beverage. A bottle of Valerian root smells like a dumpster full of wet dirty sneakers.
    Another natural sedative that I found to be even better than Valerian root is Calms Forte.

    1. I was thinking the same thing! Valerian works wonders (I take it more or less nightly), but it sure as heck smells like shite.

  5. Switched over to green tea from the red bulls and I definitely feel healthier for it. Need to work the chamomille and valerian into the pm routine because too much green tea makes it hard to sleep. But at least with the tea its a relaxed insomnia, instead of an agitated one.

  6. I dont go for this new fangled drink stuff.

    i’ll stick with good old fashioned heroin, thank you very much.

  7. Oh yeh, i remember when SoBe energy drinks came on the market long ago with beverages called ENERGY and LIZARD POWER and suchlike. They had all these special [trace] ingredients, like taurine or whatever, that were supposed to make you better…faster…stronger…; and I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be amusing instead to have drinks called TORPOR or SLOTH with special ingredients like tryptophan…

  8. Of the two brands showcased in the photo, I’ll pick the Arcteryx gear and go out and get really tired riding/skiing/climbing rather than drink that…

  9. I don’t know whether this is purely placebo effect- but chamomile works wonders for me. Haven’t tried valerian, but I should before they ban it.

  10. The active ingredient in valerian partially shares receptors with diazepam, aka Valium. It may be the source of the brand name.

  11. Just had MY anti-energy drink.
    A little coffee.
    Some hazelnut creamer.
    A shot and a half of Bushmill’s Whiskey…

  12. Not a bad idea. I tend to like a cup of rooibos tea or grapefruit if I want a good tasting drink that isn’t stimulating.

    India pale ales always made me sleepy and I loved the bitterness of the hops. Now if someone made a highly hopped
    non-alcoholic beer I’d be excited about that. I’m so sick of settling for mediocre non-alcoholic beers.

    Do people who hate the smell of valerian also hate cheese?
    Isovaleric acid is what that smell is, and it’s one of the products of fermentation and enzyme activity in cheese.
    It’s actually used in perfumes in small amounts.

    Herb poufs.

  13. Umm, melatonin doesn’t have “supposed calming effects”, it’s the hormone that your body produces when it’s time to sleep. Taking several milligrams orally will generally cause you to be tired and likely fall asleep. It’s terrific for helping people get over jetlag and I’ve used it myself for this purpose. In the quantities it’s ordinarily sold at in pill form, it tends to put me in a very deep sleep very quickly.

    In the United States, it’s classed as a “dietary supplement” due to how the laws were written (several types of drugs can be sold as a dietary supplement as long as it’s sold as a dietary supplement before it’s approved as a drug unless the surgeon general rules it to be dangerous). However, in several other countries it is available only by prescription. If any of this stuff contains worthwhile amounts of melatonin and doesn’t have warnings not to drive after taking it, that’s grossly irresponsible and could lead to people getting killed.

  14. Drinks to speed you up.
    Drinks to slow you down.

    Coming soon – drinks that allow you to keep going at the same pace!

  15. Valerian root is very calming, but usually causes reflux burning in my throat unless I get the special (and more expensive) tablets that I use to get from my chiropractor in Darlington 25 years ago. I mainly used this to treat an eye twitch that I get occasionally. Then I found this wonderful stuff strangely called “kava kava” that did the trick and could be bought at Sam’s Club or BJ’s for a decent price. But as with all good things (ie. tryptophan tablets, Zelnorm, etc.) it disappeared!

  16. With Red Bull the chosen platform for ‘xtreme & fringe sportage’ I can’t wait for slow cow base jumping or extreme(-ly slow) downhill mountain biking…RAD would become gRADual I guess.

  17. yeah i had two red bulls and some purple drank..i felt really weird. would not recommend it. i felt sick and then almost like i was high. no good.

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