I Tried It: Sparkling CBD Water to Reduce Stress

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Recess Drink is CBD-infused sparkling water with natural fruit flavors. It tastes good and makes you feel good.

Recess Drink Copyvia Recess/Facebook

Raise your hand if you reach for a glass of wine or a shot of espresso to help with stress, anxiety or feeling tired. Same. And while there’s nothing wrong with a little alcohol or caffeine pick-me-up in moderation, we were intrigued to learn about Recess Drink. It’s a stress-relieving and focus-enhancing sparkling water with healthier ingredients—and cuter cans.

Carrie Madormo, RN, named Recess Drink as one the best CBD gummies and edibles in a recent Taste of Home article. After reading her positive review and researching the ingredients further, I just had to test the Recess sampler pack to taste all six fruity flavors and see how the drink made me feel. Here’s what happened to my stress levels—and mood.

What is Recess Drink?

Recess is a line of fruit-flavored CBD sparkling waters infused with natural ingredients. Recess promotes its beverages as “an antidote to modern times” and claims they help drinkers achieve focus, relaxation, creativity and balance. Each of the six sparkling water flavors are infused with hemp extract and adaptogens thought to keep you mellow and relaxed.

The sparkling waters also contain other natural feel-good ingredients. American ginseng is known to improve memory and focus. Mood-brightening L-theanine is a sleep-improving amino acid found in tea plants. Lemon balm gives a gentle boost of energy.

Recess sparkling waters are also flavored with fruit and herbs to make them taste yummy. Each 12-ounce can has between 15 and 30 calories, four to six grams of carbohydrates and three to six grams of sugar—depending on which of the six flavors you choose.

Please note that while CBD use appears to be generally safe, these claims aren’t backed by the FDA.

All About Testing Recess Drink

Testing Recess was as easy as cracking open a chilled can, popping a metal straw inside and sipping. Since I’ve tried CBD gummies before I wasn’t really nervous about drinking CBD but I did want to do a thorough test to feel the effects.

I’m a regular at Pilates, and I definitely don’t like to go to class if I’ve recently had a cocktail or glass of red wine. Alcohol and balancing exercises simply don’t mix—not to mention the sleepy side effect I sometimes get after happy hour. I had a Pilates class scheduled after work and I was feeling the late afternoon slump. Instead of pouring a late afternoon coffee that could disrupt my sleep, I decided to drink a can of the peach ginger Recess.

Thoughts after the first sip? Yum! The peach flavor tasted straight from Georgia and the ginger added a slightly spicy note that I liked. I didn’t detect anything medicinal or chemical. As for bubble strength, I’d positively compare it to a can of La Croix. About 20 minutes after I drained the can I felt calm and focused. It wasn’t intense or distracting, and I got through my Pilates class feeling both relaxed and concentrated on the instructor’s vocal cues. I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep that night.

After the successful Pilates test, I opened the pomegranate hibiscus can before a long afternoon Zoom conference call. I’m not the biggest hibiscus flavor fan but I did like the fruity pomegranate. Results were similar to how I felt after the first can: generally calm, relaxed and able to focus on the agenda and deliverables. What work anxiety?

Recess Drinks Pros

  • It tastes good! The real fruit flavors are refreshing and not overly sweet. Peach ginger and black cherry were favorites.
  • It delivers. After drinking a can, I noticed a calm and serene feeling from the hemp and a focused concentration from the ginseng.
  • Low in sugar, calories and carbs.
  • The matte tropical and pastel color cans are gorgeous. Fridge goals!

Recess Drink Cons

  • At $5 a can, it’s more expensive than regular sparkling water—but still cheaper than many CBD-infused products.

Final Verdict on Recess Drinks

Move over Perrier, I’m filling my mini-fridge with Recess. After I drink a can I feel zen and focused, without any crash side effects or hangover feeling that can come from consuming caffeine or alcohol. And, Recess tastes good and looks cute in the fridge.

Where to Buy Recess

Check your local vitamin shop, CBD dispensary, grocery store, liquor store or gas station for Recess. It’s probably easier to just order the six-pack sampler directly online from Recess in the meantime. That’s where I’m getting my next fix!

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Megan Wood
As Commerce Affiliate Marketing Editor, Megan helps Taste of Home readers find the best products to make their lives better, easier, and more joyful. She's contributed to The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, SELF, Refinery29, and Wisconsin Public Radio. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find her walking her dog.