I Swear By This Delicious Non-Alcoholic Sip to Help Me Relax and Unwind at Night (Plus, It Helps Me Sleep!)

published Dec 21, 2023
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Credit: Javier Díez/Stocksy

My unpopular opinion is that I hate most seltzer and sparkling waters and am immediately suspicious of anything that looks like it could be one of the above. I find that it makes me more thirsty for actual water instead of refreshing. And as my friends and boyfriend would argue, once I have an opinion, it’s incredibly difficult to get me to change it. After complaining about six months ago to Tamara, our commerce managing editor, that I had been having trouble sleeping, she suggested the alcohol-alternative drink Recess. She said specifically to “get the one with the clouds on it,” because it contains magnesium, which can be considered a sleep aid.

After four sleepless nights (and I am someone who must sleep or I am essentially non-functional), I capitulated and decided that I needed to try Recess Mood. Although, honestly, I didn’t think it’d do anything.

What is Recess Mood?

Recess Mood is a sparkling water beverage with magnesium and adaptogens. (Recess Mood used to contain CBD, but it no longer does.) It does have magnesium L-threonate, L-theanine, and lemon balm — and only 4 grams of sugar. The variety pack includes five flavors: raspberry lemon, lime citrus, strawberry rose, and grapefruit tangerine. They also sell packs of individual flavors, like lime citrus, if shoppers would rather go all-in on one flavor.

Credit: Alicia Kort.

Why I Love Recess Mood

It was love at first sip — and now I like to have one Recess Mood a week to help me unwind. Where I would have wanted a beer, a glass of wine, or a cocktail before, I now want Recess instead, since it provides nearly the exact same effect. My thoughts stop racing, my body relaxes, and I’m able to take a beat and chill out with a book or a TV show. My boyfriend also loves them. I never thought I’d find a non-alcoholic beverage (other than coffee) that I liked. I’ve always exclusively been a water, coffee, and alcohol type of beverage drinker, but Recess has changed that. It also tastes great — it’s flavorful without being overpowering! I particularly gravitate toward the raspberry lemon flavor. The only flavor I’m not a huge fan of is the strawberry rose because it’s a bit too sweet for me.

It even makes me pleasantly drowsy and helps me drift off to sleep at night. That being said, it is not a 100% easy-sleep success rate. I have had a few nights where after having my Recess, I have tossed and turned and spent many hours staring at the ceiling. I think of it more as a wind-down sip than a sleep aid. Although I will say when I wake up, I usually feel pretty refreshed.

Recess can be a bit pricey, but honestly, I think it’s worth every penny. It’s definitely a drink I’ll be bringing into 2024. It also comes in a powder supplement form, though I have not tried that yet.