I don’t drink a lot of soda, but I admit that when I reach for one it’s generally as a pick-me-up. Well, a new Venice Beach (of course) company called Just Chill is heading in the opposite direction. If you like the idea of a beverage made for more relaxing moments, this could be a good choice.
Also, if you run with a crowd that uses the term “stoked” a lot.
From what I can tell, the whole chilling out promise is more than just marketing. The 70-calorie beverages are made with all non-GMO ingredients (which should relax some of you on its own) along with natural fruit and veggie flavors. But the big news is that it’s made with Suntheanine, a pure form of the amino acid L-theanine found almost exclusively in tea and used for years as a supplement to help reduce stress and maintain focus.
(I had never heard of it so don’t feel bad if you hadn’t either. And feel free to do your own research on it. I find the claims pretty compelling.)
In fact, the Rio Berry, a pomegranate-raspberry flavored drink, is labeled as a nutritional supplement on the can, probably because it contains 150mg of Suntheanine. The other two flavors, a Tropical flavor (mango-peach-orange) and, my favorite, Jamaican Citrus (kind of a mojito-like citrus mint), have less Suntheanine in them, but a whole lot of vitamin C.
The three flavors are quite good. Based on the impression that their brand imagery gave me, I expected a sweeter, less sophisticated taste than they actually have. And they went with stevia as a sweetener, so there’s none of that diet soda aftertaste that doesn’t agree with me.
As for the effectiveness, it’s hard to say. I did feel a more calm energy than I get from caffeine for sure. I definitely didn’t experience that quick spike like I do with a really sugary soda, nor the awful sugar crash that I get those rare times I chug a whole 16 oz bottle. That’s a benefit in itself. That said, I’m not sure that I would suddenly crank out a better article or get 20% more children’s bedroom-cleaning done after drinking one.
As to whether I’ll suddenly be embracing the 20-something California yoga-on-the-beach-in-short-shorts or backwards-cliff-diving-in-teeny-bikinis lifestyle that I see on their Instagram feed, I think it’s safe to say that it won’t do much for me on that front. However, if there is anything that plenty of parents I know need in their lives, it’s the ability to chill. This could be a delicious way to do it.
Of course, there’s always chamomile tea.