Tonight’s Refreshment – JUST CHILL

A 100-gun salvo, the clanging of city bells, and the killing of the fatted calf! Yep, it’s time to celebrate the Night Report’s newest feature, one for which you’ve surely been thirsting.

I’m not going to say I’m a beverage connoisseur, but I’ve been around. I’m promiscuous, nearly indiscriminate in my beverage choices. I’m game for nearly anything, and so it is with that enthusiasm that I present this inaugural beverage review.

Included with each review of the drink itself will be discussion of the can or bottle’s marketing copy.

Tonight’s choice: JUST CHILL

Flavor: Jamaican Citrus

Alleged effect: calm + focus

My typical choice, as a night shift worker, is a strongly-caffeinated beverage. However, recent changes at work have induced a level of anxiety that I’ve noticed are adversely augmented by that caffeine. So, in answer to a wish I didn’t know I’d made, here comes JUST CHILL with its promise to provide both calm and focus. Was it possible? Can a canned beverage with some unknown, copyrighted ingredient called Suntheanine truly reduce the persistent low-level anxiety which seems fundamental to my existence? Could it simultaneously hone my focus on the night’s responsibilities? The $3.95 seemed a small barrier for entry into this exciting experiment.

First taste: how is this Jamaican? It tastes vaguely of citrus. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and the lemongrass flavor is nice. But wait, which ingredient comes from Jamaica? Or is the idea of relaxation and chill simply part of our stereotypes of that country? I checked the can again – nope, no endorsement from Ziggy Marley. The Wailers, too, are noticeably absent.

The can is green, and Jamaica’s flag has green on it. Maybe that’s an association? Plus, I guess it made me think about marijuana, and as we all know, Jamaica = weed, right? This contains no marijuana, by the way. Just L-Theanine, or Suntheanine, the ingredient most responsible for its alleged effects. I checked Wikipedia to learn more about theanine, but I bailed as soon as I saw words like “amino acid,” “glutamate,” and “pharmacological.” I didn’t barely pass chemistry to learn about it now for some half-ass drink review.

As for the effects, I can’t say I experienced a noticeable change in my mood or attentive abilities. Though I did have my shit together long enough to write this review, so I suppose that says something.

Marketing copy: “you’re a smooth operator. you know you’re at your best when you’re calm and focused, not jacked-up and jittery.”

I don’t know about smooth operation of any sort, but it’s hard to disagree with the second sentence.

“JUST CHILL is a calming drink designed to enhance your flow. our blend of functional ingredients, including Suntheanine, has been designed to support your lifestyle of staying calm and confident while you do your thing.”

What is my thing? Do I have a thing? A night job where I talk drunks into acting less like drunks? I should have more things. And toward what am I flowing? Inevitable decline and death? Or am I flowing away from something? My childhood dreams? Family and friends? Do I even have a lifestyle? A life? I’m pretty confident I lack the confidence to make necessary changes. Change itself makes me feel pretty anxious.

Man, this is definitely NOT CHILL. Perhaps I’m just not their target demographic.

That lemongrass leaf extract was nice though.


Score: 2.5 out of 5

I want to make something clear to beverage producers – I can be bought. Promotional opportunities are available, and with even a meager gift, I can easily imagine myself dabbling in biased reviews.

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