Food for Thought: Herbal drinks

Health

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – After years of promoting supercharged energy drinks to help us get through the day, food manufacturers now have herbal drinks to calm us and slow us down.

These so-called calming drinks promise to help you “unwind from the grind,” get an “acupuncture session in every can” and even enjoy a “vacation in a bottle.”

These drinks range from small two-ounce shots to larger cans and bottles. They contain herbs or other compounds that may promote relaxation, ease anxiety and improve mood. Ingredients include kava, valerian, melatonin, GABA and L-theanine.

However, it’s not clear how much of the active compounds are in the beverages?

If there are significant amounts, some of the ingredients can cause side effects, such as excessive drowsiness. Some ingredients may also interact with medications.

So if you want to use herbs to unwind, talk to a registered dietitian or other health professional about your specific health profile. Together you can find an herb that may be safe and effective for you to unwind.

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