What is in Sun Chaser Drink and how does its 'buzz' work?

Bruno Cooke May 6, 2022
What is in Sun Chaser Drink and how does its 'buzz' work?


Sun Chaser, an alcohol-free beverage that claims to provide “a delightful head tingle that progresses through the body”, featured on yesterday’s (5 May 2022) episode of Good Mythical Morning. How does it work? How does its “buzz” feel? Here’s a quick look at what’s in Sun Chaser, its “nootropic” ingredients, and how it supposedly gives you a “buzz” without the hangover.

What is in Sun Chaser? Nootropic ingredients explored

In many respects, Sun Chaser is a regular carbonated beverage. It contains filtered water, carbon dioxide and various flavourings, colourings sweeteners.

But Sun Chaser claims to do be different to other soft drinks. It claims to provide a “head tingle” that “progresses through the body” – something like a “refreshing, light, relaxing buzz”, according to its FAQ page.

The company has been around for longer than you think. This 2020 ad for the drink says Sun Chaser allows you to “seize the day” while also enjoying the “cultural ritual of drinking”.

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Source: YouTube [Sun Chaser]

Its “buzz” comes from three nootropic supplements: GABA, 5-HTP, and L-Theanine. More on these below.

When combined, Sun Chaser’s supplementary nootropic ingredients supposedly “impact the centres in your brain responsible for stress relief and joy”. One or two cans “can produce a light and uplifting buzz”, the brand claims, without the inclusion of any intoxicants such as alcohol.

How do Sun Chaser’s nootropic ingredients work on the body?

The term “nootropics” used to refer to chemicals that met “very specific criteria”, according to WebMD’s explainer.

Now, however, any “natural or synthetic substance that may have a positive impact on mental skills” can be called nootropic. Loosely, the site categorises them into dietary supplements, synthetic compounds, and prescription drugs.

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Fresh espresso shot pouring out of machine.

Some nootropics are very familiar, others less so. Caffeine, for example, is consumed on a daily basis all over the world. Cacao is also a nootropic, because it stimulates the release of phenylethylamine, which Nootropics Expert says “boosts focus and awareness”. Saffron and B-12 are nootropics.

Modafinil is an FDA-approved treatment for narcolepsy, sleep apnoea and shift work disorder – some students also use it to help with learning and memory. It’s also a nootropic.

How does Sun Chaser’s ‘buzz’ feel, and how strong is it?

The three nootropic ingredients in a can of Sun Chaser are GABA, 5-HTP and L-Theanine. 

GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid and neurotransmitter. It occurs naturally in the brain. But having more apparently has an anti-anxiety and calming effect.

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a serotonin precursor, per Nootropics Expert, and also occurs naturally in the brain. It can help “improve mood, control behaviour and appetite, and help you sleep”.

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Don | Official Trailer

Don | Official Trailer

Finally L-Theanine, which you can also find in green tea and oolong tea, is an amino acid. It reduces jitters from caffeine and increases dopamine and serotonin in the brain.

Sun Chaser recommends starting with one can per day and seeing how you feel. They don’t recommend drinking more than two in a day. The effect kicks in “within 15-30 minutes”, the brand says, “is felt for about an hour, and then gently winds down”.

If you want to know where to buy it, click here.

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.