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Do drinks that promise calmness really work?

February 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
There are loads of energy drinks on the market, but what about when you need serenity? With names like Dream Water and Unwind, the marketing seems slick, but do they do the trick?

Before you pop a top, it's a good idea to know what you're drinking. Nutrition facts on some of these drinks show hefty doses of B vitamins, sugar and a variety of herbs that you may or may not need.

Dietitian Ashley Koff suggests asking questions and do some digging, especially if you're on medication: Do they have contra-indications if you're on certain medications? Will they reduce the effectiveness of some of your medications or throw you off?

With many people taking anti-depressants, will the additional herbals like kava, valerian and melatonin help or hurt? And then there's the safety issue because ingredients come from all over the globe.

Koff suggests finding out where they are coming from, what's the quantity and how well they are going to be absorbed.

Most we looked at cost at least $2, yet Koff says there are some easy and inexpensive ways to chill.

"My key to calm: magnesium. Magnesium goes inside your cells, turns off your fight or flight mechanism and helps you to relax," said Koff.

Head-to-toe magnesium soothes your entire body, including your heart, digestive system and muscles. It relieves bodily tension - headaches, constipation, hormonal issues.

Magnesium can be taken in a supplement form, but you also can get it in real food like whole grains.

In addition, adequate potassium also helps to keep the body in harmony. Coconut water and bananas are a few of the tasty ways to indulge.

Then there's the tried and true that may not be sexy but certainly inexpensive and effective, such as water and herbal teas.

Finally, steer clear of things that rev you up helps too. Watch the stimulants, staying up late or exercising too close to bedtime.