"Anti-Energy" Drink Sickens Kids

By Chrisanne Grise 12/04/12

A Bob Marley-themed "relaxation drink" is banned from schools after making students ill.

Too much mellow for the kids. Photo via

An “anti-energy” drink named after iconic reggae star Bob Marley caused nausea, vomiting and dizziness among students who purchased the beverage in their school cafeteria. Billed as a “premium relaxation drink,” Marley’s Mellow Mood claims to contain 100% natural botanical ingredients. But the label does include a warning: “The all natural botanical ingredients in this product have been specially blended to mellow your mood, and may cause drowsiness. Best enjoyed when you are ready to relax. Do not mix with alcohol. Not intended for children." Last week, a number of students at a New Jersey middle school were sent to the nurse's office after consuming the beverage and becoming ill. "It was like a zombie-fest," said one student. A spokesperson for Chartwells School Dining Services, who distributed the beverage to cafeterias, issued a statement saying: "We were informed that Marley's was a new product that did not go through the approval process required for all new products...We sincerely regret that this product was sold and that students had an adverse reaction to it." The drinks have since been removed from schools and Chartwells says the on-site manager responsible for the mishap has been removed pending an investigation. In recent years, highly-caffeinated energy drinks like Monster and 5-Hour Energy have been linked to illness and a number of deaths in children and teens; this is the first time an official "anti-energy" drink has come under investigation.

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices, AbsolutePunk.net, Chorus.fm, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.