A Dietitian’s Recess Drink Review

In the world of functional nutrition drinks, adaptogen drinks are gaining popularity. The latest to catch my attention is a recess drink.

But do the ingredients match the claims?

Hi there, I’m Jenn, a registered dietitian nutritionist dedicated to making nutrition easy so that you can achieve optimal performance and total wellness. 

I looked into the research behind each ingredient so that you can decide if Recess drinks are right for you. 

Let’s start with what Recess is…

What is Recess?

Recess, a company in the health and wellness industry, offers a unique range of adaptogen drinks. These are specifically designed to promote a sense of calm, focus, and creativity in individuals, even amidst the pressures of modern life. Each beverage blends ingredients such as magnesium and various adaptogens to aid relaxation. This unique combination sets Recess drinks apart and makes them worth considering for your relaxation and focus needs.

What Are adaptogens

Adaptogens are a unique group of plants, including herbs, roots, and mushrooms, that are known for their ability to help the body manage stress. These natural substances support the body’s ability to cope with physical, mental, and emotional stressors, promoting overall well-being and balance. 

Types of Recess Drinks

Recess currently offers four different versions of their adaptogen drinks: one for relaxation, one with electrolytes, and one to replace your favorite cocktail. 

Each version of the Recess drink has unique benefits. I will discuss these, along with the ingredients, flavors, and the pros and cons. While Recess drinks are generally safe and well-tolerated, they may only suit some. I will also highlight any potential side effects or contraindications to help you make an informed decision.

Recess Mood

Recess Mood is a sparkling water that contains magnesium and adaptogens to help you unwind. 

A 12 oz can of Recess Mood contains 20 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 added sugars. Its refreshing and light flavor makes it a perfect choice for those who prefer a subtle taste. The drink is also lightly carbonated, adding a pleasant fizz to each sip. 

Recess Mood flavor comes from tea infusion and pear juice concentrate as its sweetener to avoid added sugar. 

Recess Mood Key Ingredients:

  • Magnesium Blend: Recess drinks contain a unique blend of magnesium, including magnesium L-threonate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium citrate. This blend is designed to provide a balanced and bioavailable source of magnesium, a mineral that plays many roles in the body. It is involved in protein production, muscle function, nerve function, blood sugar control, blood pressure regulation, energy production, transporting calcium and potassium, cardiovascular health, and bone health. 
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal 5 phosphate): Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that is also a coenzyme. This form is used in amino acid metabolism to produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and GABA. These neurotransmitters help regulate mood and aid sleep.  
  • Lemon Balm Powder: Lemon Balm is an herb that helps reduce stress and anxiety by inducing calmness. It contains compounds that may have a calming effect on the central nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress. 
  • L-theanine Powder: L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid in black, oolong, and green tea. Current research shows that it may help reduce stress and anxiety in acutely stressful situations. It also helps improve attention, executive function, and memory. Thanks to its relaxation-promoting properties, L-theanine may help enhance sleep quality. 

Recess Mood Flavors:

  • Tropical Bliss
  • Strawberry Rose
  • Raspberry Lemon
  • Lime Citrus
  • Grapefruit Tangerine
  • Peach Ginger
  • Blood Orange
  • Black Cherry

Recess Mood Powder

Recess Mood Powder contains a blend of magnesium, adaptogens, and electrolytes. It is available in single-serving sticks or a 28-serving tub, so you can easily take it on the go and mix it with a liquid of your choice. 

Each serving contains 10 calories, 2 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of added sugar. Recess Mood Powder is sweetened with monk fruit extract and flavored with natural flavors.

Recess Mood Powder Key Ingredients:

  • Recess Magnesium Blend: Recess drinks contain a unique blend of magnesium, including magnesium L-threonate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium citrate. This blend is designed to provide a balanced and bioavailable source of magnesium, a mineral that plays many roles in the body. It is involved in protein production, muscle function, nerve function, blood sugar control, blood pressure regulation, energy production, transporting calcium and potassium, cardiovascular health, and bone health. 
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal 5 phosphate): Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that is also a coenzyme. This form is used in amino acid metabolism to produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and GABA. These neurotransmitters help regulate mood and aid sleep. 
  • Passionflower Powder: Passionflower powder comes from a woody flowering vine used worldwide for its calming properties, which help with sleep, stress, and anxiety. However, passionflower should not be used if you are pregnant, as it has been shown to increase uterine contractions, causing the induction of labor. 
  • L-theanine Powder: L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid in black, oolong, and green tea. Current research shows that it may help reduce stress and anxiety in acutely stressful situations. It also helps improve attention, executive function, and memory. Thanks to its relaxation-promoting properties, L-theanine may help enhance sleep quality. 
  • Electrolytes: Sodium (30 mg), Potassium (100 mg), Calcium (30 mg), Magnesium (210 mg): Electrolytes play a role in fluid balance, nerve function, muscle contraction, balancing pH, and regulating blood pressure. Typically, with electrolytes, I am looking for more sodium than this powder contains to replenish electrolytes after or during exercise. However, if you are not using this to replenish electrolytes during or after a long workout, getting in more electrolytes is a perfectly fine amount. 
  • Tapioca Fiber: Recess contains 2 grams of tapioca fiber, a soluble fiber. 95% of Americans do not get the recommended amount of fiber daily to support fullness, gut health, and digestive wellness (aka healthy poops). North Americans consume an average of 17 grams of fiber daily, over 10 grams less than the recommended 28 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams for men or 14 grams for every 1000 calories daily. So, while 2 grams of fiber is low, it can help you reach your fiber needs. 

Recess Mood Powder Flavors:

  • Unflavored
  • Gradient Berry
  • Lemon Citrus

Recess Zero Proof Mocktails

Recess Zero Proof are craft mocktails that have no alcohol but contain adaptogens to create an uplifting and relaxing feeling without the hangover. 

A 12-ounce can of Recess Zero Proof contains 25 calories and 4 grams of added sugar. I have not tried them yet, but one of my friends said the lime “margarita” is amazing.

Recess Zero Proof is flavored with tea infusions and sweetened with various fruit juice concentrates to help enhance the flavor. 

Recess Zero Proof Key Ingredients:

  • Guayusa: Guayusa is a tree native to the Amazon forest that has been used for a long time due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains caffeine and theobromine, which have mood-enhancing effects.  
  • L-Theanine: L-Theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid in black, oolong, and green tea. Current research shows that it may help reduce stress and anxiety in acutely stressful situations. It also helps improve attention, executive function, and memory. Thanks to its relaxation-promoting properties, L-theanine may help enhance sleep quality. 
  • Lemon Balm: Lemon Balm is an herb that helps reduce stress and anxiety by inducing calmness. It contains compounds that may have a calming effect on the central nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress. 

Recess Zero Proof Flavors:

  • Lime “Margarita”
  • Grapefruit “Paloma”
  • Watermelon “Mojito” 
  • Ginger Lime “Mule”

How Much Does Recess Cost

A can of Recess Mood costs $3.49 at Target. So, it’s on the pricey side. If you order from Amazon, a 12-pack of Recess Mood will cost you $35

A 28-serving container of Recess Mood Powder costs $23.91 on Amazon. 

A 12-pack of Recess Zero Proof costs $37.69 on Amazon.

Where to Buy Recess Drinks?

Recess is available on their website, Amazon, and in-store at Target. 

How Much Caffeine is in Recess Drinks?

Recess Mood and Recess Mood Powder contain no caffeine, while Recess Zero Proof includes 10 mg of caffeine, which naturally comes from guayusa. 

Pros and Cons of Recess Drinks

Pros:

  • Lower in calories and added sugar than sodas or cocktail drinks.
  • Uses tea infusion for flavor and fruit juice concentrate for sweetener.  
  • Uses evidence-based ingredients that have the potential to help you relax. 
  • Recess Mood tastes great, and I have been told Recess Zero Proof also tastes great.

Cons:

  • It is on the pricy side. Before adding this drink to the mix, focus on ensuring you get all the nutrients you need. 
  • Not all ingredients are safe for everyone. Check with your doctor before trying Recess drinks and ask if they are suitable for you based on your medications or health concerns. 
  • Some ingredients (like lemon balm) could cause increased appetite, nausea, sleepiness, or dizziness in some people. Always use caution when trying a new functional drink. 

Final Thoughts

Recess is an excellent alternative to traditional sodas or alcoholic beverages. While a single drink won’t entirely help you unwind or alleviate stress and anxiety, the carefully chosen ingredients in Recess are designed to help you cope with the daily stressors that life brings. If you are grappling with depression or anxiety, I strongly encourage you to seek help from your doctor or a licensed therapist. 

If you have tried Recess or any other adaptogen drinks, leave a comment below, letting me know your thoughts.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Website

Jenn Schmidt is a licensed and board-certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Minnesota. Her specialty is in performance nutrition and wellness, which focuses on helping individuals fuel, think, and move towards their best selves without compromising their relationship with food. Jenn is passionate about all things food-related and enjoys making complex science easy to understand for her clients and readers.

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