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Anti-energy drinks are products that produce the opposite effect of an energy drink, like Red Bull. These drinks may be suggestive of another homemade drink, which was popular in the southern U.S. among teens and young adults known as “Purple Drank,” a recreational drink mixture. Purple Drank was a mixture of cough syrup, Sprite and Jolly Ranchers candy. The codeine in the cough syrup was the underlying depressant and lure of the mixture. Commercial bottlers have now produced non-codeine based legal drinks like Sippin Syrup and other anti-energy drinks (e.g. Drank, Unwind, Mary Janes Relaxation Soda), which are sold at convenience stores and online and are often advertised as an “Extreme Relaxation Beverage.” These products contain sedating-type ingredients, such as melatonin, valerian root extract and kava kava.
Anti-energy drinks are typically sold as a dietary supplement rather than a beverage since ingredients like melatonin and kava kava aren’t FDA approved food additives. Users of such products have reported effects similar to alcohol intoxication or cold medication/syrup. Additionally, anti-energy drinks often carry warning labels with verbiage stating “This product may cause drowsiness … Not recommended more than 2 servings within a 24-hour period … avoid driving or operating heavy equipment after use.” The manufactures of Sippin Syrup also sell a dessert-style brownie called 1/2 Baked Brownzz. It contains the same ingredients as the Sippin Syrup drink. Although these products have no illegal ingredients, reports in the general population indicate they may be abused by young people in a manner similar to cough syrup or cold medicines.