I Drank a Can of Recess’ Mood-Boosting, Magnesium-Infused Sparkling Water Nightly for a Month, and I’ve Never Felt More Relaxed at Bedtime

Photo: Stocksy/ Marija Savic
I’m not one to gatekeep valuable information—especially when it comes to products aimed at boosting relaxation and calming the mind that actually work. So, after testing Recess’ Mood drink (which is infused with magnesium and adaptogens) for over a month—and discovering that it helped me feel significantly more relaxed come bedtime—I needed to share the information with others in need of a good night’s rest.

It’s estimated that nearly 30 to 70 million Americans have sleep disorders, and 1 in 3 adults (about 84 million people) do not regularly get the recommended amount of uninterrupted sleep. If this stat applies to your sleep habits, hopefully you'll find this information (ahem) comforting: You're not the only one that struggles with getting restful sleep frequently.

Experts In This Article

That said, after incorporating this relaxation-promoting beverage into my nighttime routine, I definitely noticed improvements in the quality of my sleep. More ahead on how I integrate this soothing drink into my wind-down routine—plus, sleep experts share why it might be worthwhile sipping from a nutrition science perspective.

What makes Recess’ Mood drink ideal for promoting relaxation?

To unpack the buzz around Recess, I caught up with Cassandra Gates, Recess' director of product marketing and holistic nutrition consultant. What's in the drink, you ask? “Recess Mood is a sparkling water with magnesium and adaptogens to help you unwind. Each serving contains 53 milligrams of magnesium from Recess’ proprietary magnesium blend, which includes magnesium L-threonate, magnesium ascorbate, and active vitamin B6, as well as ginseng, L-theanine, and lemon balm,” Gates says.

Of course, many of us are well aware of the bountiful benefits of magnesium. “Magnesium is really the star of the show in this formula, as nearly half of all Americans aren’t getting enough of this crucial mineral in their diets. Recess specifically designed Mood’s functional blend around a type of magnesium known as magnesium L-threonate,” Gates says. This type of magnesium, she says, had been linked to brain benefits.

“Magnesium L-threonate is a newer form of magnesium that has high bioavailability and has the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and may therefore have potential effects on the brain,” says Abhinav Singh, MD, FAASM, a sleep expert, medical reviewer at SleepFoundation.org, and medical director of the Indiana Sleep Center. Although the connection between sleep, mood, and cognition is still being explored—especially regarding this ingredient—the preliminary data is promising. “Other forms of magnesium don't have nearly as much ability to reach the brain and exert their effects on other parts of the body,” Dr. Singh says.

What’s more, this beverage is also made with L-theanine, an amino acid found in beverages like green tea that's been shown to help reduce anxiety and boost mood. Hence why Michael Breus, PhD, leading sleep specialist and clinical psychologist known as the 'Sleep Doctor' says that green tea is the number one drink to sip during the day for a better night’s rest. “This is because of a compound in green tea called L-theanine, which helps your brain relax by reducing stress-related hormones and neuron excitement,” Dr. Breus tells us. And to round out the trifecta of sleep-boosting ingredients, this beverage also contains lemon balm, a happiness-boosting herb linked to better sleep.

Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution or a quick fix (or even a beverage) for achieving a good night’s rest, I’ve found establishing a nighttime routine makes all of the difference. And after much trial and error, I can confidently say I’ve established a three-step sleep routine that works wonders for me. And—as you may have guessed—it starts with a can of fruity and slightly fizzy Recess’ Raspberry Lemon Mood drink.

Why is establishing a solid sleep routine so important?

According to Angela Holliday-Bell, MD, a board-certified physician, certified clinical sleep specialist, and sleep coach, it’s no coincidence that my three-step routine has helped me unlock better sleep. “Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is important for a number of reasons. For starters, it gives your brain the time it needs to unwind from the day and prepare itself for sleep. This includes relaxing activities can help settle the mind and body into states that are more conducive to sleep,” Dr. Holliday-Bell says.

Additionally, she notes that the consistency of the routine allows the brain to connect the steps of the routine to sleep, making sleep a more efficient process. “As soon as you start your routine, your brain recognizes that it must be time for sleep and starts to send your sleepy cues at that time,” Dr. Holliday-Bell says. Lastly, a good sleep routine helps set you up for success the following day, too. “Engaging in a consistent, soothing bedtime routine has actually been shown in research to be protective against stress experienced during the day that might otherwise affect your sleep at night,” she says.

“Engaging in a consistent, soothing bedtime routine has actually been shown in research to be protective against stress experienced during the day that might otherwise affect your sleep at night."

My easy 3-step sleep routine

First things first, I stop checking social media and power down my electronic devices—except for my Kindle for a light read if I’m in the mood. Then I crack open a can of Recess’ Mood drink (raspberry lemon is my fave) about an hour and a half before bedtime. (I try to time my beverage-sipping routine early enough so that I’m able to empty out my bladder before I hit the hay.) If I’m already feeling pretty tired, I’ll only drink half of a can and stash the remainder in the fridge for the next day—and usually, that’s more than enough for me. However, when I’m feeling extra on edge before bed, a whole can do the trick.

Within just 15 minutes of consuming this drink, I start to feel a wave of calmness gradually rushing over my body, as though every tense muscle in my body begins to let loose without the need for any conscious effort to physically relax (like in a body scan meditation). It feels like floating on a cloud or drifting into a dream.

The third and final step of my nighttime routine is turning on the calming “Tranquil Ocean” soundscape and the sunset light feature on my Hatch Restore 2 on an hour timer as I get ready for bed. This is by far one of my favorite parts of my nighttime routine—it makes me feel like I’m on a tropical getaway watching the sun melt into the horizon as waves crash onto the shore. What’s more, Dr. Holliday-Bell notes that the sunset light feature help decrease light exposure during your routine, helping to stimulate natural melatonin release—an essential component of restful sleep.

TL;DR? When I follow my routine and kick back with a Recess, I’m out like a light (pun intended) within 30 minutes of hitting the hay. Can you name something more blissful?

Bedtime stretches for the ultimate relaxation:

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