Sparkling water taps magnesium L-threonate for relaxation benefits


Dive Brief:

  • Recess is launching a new line of sparkling waters called Recess Mood that it claims are the first beverages to contain magnesium L-threonate, according to a press release. The brand, which also contains adaptogens, is designed to help consumers relax. 

  • The first variety of Recess Mood — Strawberry Rose — will launch on Amazon and in retail stores nationwide. Peach Ginger, Black Cherry and Blood Orange are available at Recess’ web site.

  • Functional beverages are becoming increasingly popular, and the segment is expected to be worth $158.3 billion by 2023. While magnesium can be found in other functional beverages, Recess claims magnesium L-threonate is a more effective and powerful form of the mineral.

Dive Insight:

CBD-infused beverages are a rapidly growing segment of the functional beverage market with Canopy Growth and Veryvell, a brand created through a joint venture between Molson Coors and Hexo, rolling out products that promise stress relief, calm and relaxation.    

Recess’ original sparkling beverage line highlighted ingredients such as CBD and adaptogens, or herbs that may help the body deal with stress. Adaptogens also are found in some kombuchas and almond milks. 

Recess Mood seeks to increase the functionality with magnesium L-threonate, an easily absorbed form of magnesium that may help with depression and memory loss. According to the company, Recess Mood’s combination of magnesium L-threonate and adaptogens “creates more feel-good neurotransmitters,” including serotonin and dopamine. Other forms of magnesium may be less expensive and help relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety, but Recess claims they are less effective than magnesium L-threonate. 

Consumers have been looking for stress-relieving products for years, but demand has accelerated during the pandemic. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America poll, 35% of Americans said they are sleeping less than they wanted to since COVID19 started. Relaxation functional beverages were part of a $2.97 billion market last year in the U.S., according to data from Euromonitor International cited by CNBC. The same report forecasts 5% growth in the segment during 2021.

Right now, magnesium L-threonate is mainly found in capsules, but Recess Mood may help demonstrate to other CPG brands how to use the ingredient in beverages or other products.

Recess Mood isn’t the only option available to help consumers relax. Perhaps its most direct competitor is Driftwell, an enhanced water brand introduced by PepsiCo last yearThe beverage, positioned as a sleep aid, contains 200 grams of L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea and some herbal mushrooms, and 10% of the daily value of magnesium.  

Startups such as Tranquini and Just Chill also are offering sparkling beverages with relaxation functionality through L-theanine from adaptogens including green tea, chamomile, lavender and lemon balm

As the lack of regulation around CBD invites concerns among some consumers about using beverages featuring the ingredient for relaxation and stress relief, alternatives such as magnesium L-threonate could be easier for them to digest. In addition, beverage manufacturers, many of whom are waiting for regulatory hurdles to be lifted before introducing their own CBD drinks, may find offerings like Recess Mood are near-term solutions for helping consumers relax.