Recess Drink Review: We Tried Sparkling CBD Water to Reduce Stress

Recess drink is a CBD-infused sparkling water with natural fruit flavors. It claims to not only taste good, but make you feel calm and relaxed. Does it live up to the hype?

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Raise your hand if you reach for a glass of wine or a shot of espresso to help with stress, anxiety or fatigue. 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 sparkling water. It’s a stress-relieving and focus-enhancing CBD drink with healthier ingredients—and cuter cans.

Carrie Madormo, RN, named Recess 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 sparkling water?

Recess drink 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, like many supplements, these claims aren’t backed by the FDA.

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Recess Drink Sparkling Water Features

Recess Pour Katie Bandurski JveditKatie Bandurski/Taste of Home

The Recess sampler features six flavors: coconut lime, blood orange, black cherry, peach ginger, pomegranate hibiscus and blackberry chai. Order the drinks in either a one-time-purchase six-pack or a subscription 12-pack. The latter option lets you set recurring deliveries every two, four or eight weeks. You also save $10 per pack with a subscription.

Recess Drink Product Specs:

  • Six flavors
  • Powered by CBD
  • Feel-good ingredients like American ginseng, L‑theanine and lemon balm
  • No “crash” like with alcohol or caffeine
  • Available as a one-time purchase or subscription
  • Low in calories, sugar and carbs

How We Tested It

Testing Recess drinks 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?


  • It tastes good! The real fruit flavors are refreshing and not overly sweet. Peach ginger and black cherry were my 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!


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


Do Recess drinks have CBD in them?

Yes, each can contains a small dose (10mg) of broad spectrum hemp. Rest assured, though, that Recess does not include THC, the compound found in marijuana that results in a high.

What are the benefits of Recess drinks?

After drinking a can of Recess, you may feel calm, relaxed and focused.

How much caffeine is in Recess?

None—except for a minuscule amount in the tea-based blackberry chai flavor. Recess is generally caffeine free, making it an ideal nightcap.

What Other Reviewers Had to Say

I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of Recess.

Senior Shopping Editor Katie Bandurski is also a convert. She says: “At this point in my life, I’ve more or less stopped drinking. Sure, it’s fun in the moment, but I hate the post-cocktail crash. Recess CBD sparkling water is the solution I’ve been looking for. It has fun flavors, a satisfying fizz and a combination of ingredients that makes me feel better, not worse. Plus, I love that I can enjoy Recess as a mid-day pick-me-up.”

Final Verdict

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.

Cutting back on booze? Discover more nonalcoholic canned cocktails, spirits and wine options.

Where to Buy Recess Sparkling Water

Cbd Water via merchant

Order the six-pack Recess sampler directly from the brand. A one-time six-pack will run you $30 while a subscription 12-pack costs $50. While on the pricier side, each can still costs less than even the cheapest drink at the bar or a craft coffee at a cafe. Plus, you just can’t beat that relaxed, productive feeling!

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Megan Wood
As a former Deputy Affiliate eCommerce Editor, Megan Wood helped Taste of Home readers find the best products to make their lives better, easier, and more joyful. She has 10 years of service journalism and product review experience across a variety of national websites. When she’s not tracking down the best sales and deals, you can probably find her walking her dog.