February 15, 2011
Relaxation beveragesthe antithesis of the popular energy beveragesare becoming increasingly popular for consumers looking to wind down and enjoy a good nights sleep. Rachel Saslow, a staff writer with the Washington Post, examined the evolving market for relaxation beverages, as well as commonly used ingredients and efficacy.
The most popular ingredient in beverages such as Dream Water and Snoozn is melatonin, a hormone that is released in the body by the pineal gland to synchronize the bodys sleep-wake cycles. While Steven M. Scharf, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, told Saslow most studies have not found supplemental melatonin more effective than a placebo at inducing sleep, a January 2011 study did find melatonin plus magnesium and zinc did have a positive effect in elderly insomniacs.
Jason Healy, the head of the company that markets Snoozn, noted the product, which contains 5 mg of melatonin in a 2.5-oz. shot, will be available nationally in March, and is designed to fight stress and sleeplessness. "We attack [insomnia] from two angles," Saslow quoted Healy as stating. "You've got to turn off all the stimulants and also get into a natural sleep cycle." To do so, Snoozn also includes botanicals such as valerian and chamomile.
The use of melatonin in beverages has been questioned by FDA, which sent a warning letter to one manufacturer in 2010 calling out melatonin as an unapproved food additive, as it does not have GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status for use in foods and beverages. Saslow said the company, Innovative Beverage Group, is working to modify the packaging and marketing of the product, Drank, to ensure it is in compliance with dietary supplement regs, which permit the inclusion of melatonin.
Saslow noted the market for functional beverages addressing relaxation and sleep is on the rise; she cited information from Mintel showing almost half of users of functional beverages are looking for ones that can reduce stress levels. Further, Mintel shows the number of such beverage offerings is increasing, with 40 new relaxation beverages released in 2010.
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