Adios, Red Bull? Anti-energy drinks seek to soothe frazzled Americans


What goes up must come down, the saying goes. The stock market and the real estate market certainly did. But are we ready to swear off Red Bull and the other liquid uppers that helped fuel the hypertensive, party-never-stops mindset that got us into this mess? A growing number of beverage marketers are betting that we are.

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.