Oatmeal, chia seed pudding, scrambled eggs, a fresh smoothie—all standard breakfast options for a healthy start to the day. But what about candy? Would you eat a sweet treat for breakfast if it promised to give you calming energy? Or right before bed if it could lull you to sleep? What sounds like some Willy Wonka–inspired fever dream is very much a reality, and it’s got some wellness-inspired roots.
Yes, we’re talking candy, but there’s a twist—these specialty “candy” items are part of a growing, very sweet trend of sneaking vitamins into deceptively delicious chews and powders. But don’t be fooled by the treats, as they’ve got some serious benefits baked into them.
For Goop, candy isn’t exactly on brand—unless you nix the sugar and add in adaptogens, nootropics, and “superpowders.” What you get in turn is Soft Chews, three different supplements in a satisfying, chewy form that address sleep, energy, or immune support. The treats aren’t just for fun (although they are designed to taste delicious); they come with a potent level of promises. Nerd Alert tastes like cafe au lait and has 100 milligrams of caffeine for alertness and 200 milligrams of L-Theanine for calm focus; Knock Me Out is chocolate mint goodness and includes four milligrams of powerful melatonin and L-Tryptophan to, yep, knock you out; while Perfect Attendance is berry flavored and features 300 milligrams of organic elderberry extract and fermented yeast for a super-boost in gut and immune health. It turns out you can have your chews and eat them too.
Goop is not alone in its newest venture to do “vitamins but make them tasty.” Launching in 2018, customized vitamin brand Care/Of created Quick Sticks, basically supplement versions of Pixy Stix. They come in five options, each boldly flavored, sugar-free, and singly focused on accomplishing a wellness-inspired task. You pull open the tab and dissolve the sugar-alternative powder in your mouth, just like its sugar-laden cousin, except Care/Of’s has a major wellness update. Berry-flavored Dream Team has two milligrams of melatonin; Pocket Protector has probiotic strains for immunity; Extra Batteries is your wake-up call with Vitamin B and 85 milligrams of caffeine; Gut Check has complex bacteria strains focused on gut health; and Chill Factor contains a trio of chill-inducing ingredients, including passion flower, chamomile, and a powerhouse known as GABA for relaxing the nervous system.
The idea of consuming sugar (or these sugar alternatives) in times of stress seems wildly counterintuitive, but traditional sugary treats have a surprising benefit in times of stress. It’s been shown in studies that sugar can diminish physiological responses normally produced in the brain and body during stressful situations. But processed sugar is not only wildly addictive, it’s not great for your body, thus, these “wellness candies” enter the picture, filling a sugary and supplement desire without all the additives.
Feeling like something sweet? Grab a handful of these treats, all with the added bonus of wellness but none of the dreaded sugar crash.
If You’re Feeling Ill
You can make these flavorful berry chews (kind of like the wellness version of a Starburst) into a daily habit, and they’re perfect for when you seem to be fighting off some type of cold or illness. They are boosted with 300 milligrams of organic elderberry extract, which has a hefty dose of antioxidants, and fermentation yeast to improve gut health and overall immunity.
If You Want to Chill
Jonesing for a gummy? Grab these artisanal gumdrops with imported European apricot and rose essences, which also happen to have 20 milligrams of broad-spectrum CBD per treat. Perfect when you want candy but also need to chill out and de-stress. Plus these gumdrops taste more divine and more delicious than any candy you’ll find in CVS.
If You Need to Wake Up
Fair-trade dark chocolate gets an energetic boost, thanks to green tea–based caffeine. Each tasty chocolate morsel has 20 milligrams of caffeine, and one box adds up to two cups of coffee. A few bites in and you’ll have a major pep in your step.
If You Need to Fall Asleep
One of the brand’s most popular products, this sleep-inducing, tasty powder has two milligrams of melatonin, which has been proven to support sleep quality and to help you fall asleep faster. In fact, a randomized 2009 study found that a melatonin treatment group had shorter sleep onset latency and improved sleep quality. Plus, the powder just tastes really great too. (Two birds; one stone.)
If You Want More Moisturized Skin (Yes, Really)
Unfortunately, it’s possible your candy addiction might be affecting your skin quality. The high glycemic index can spike hormones and blood sugar, leading to acne and moisture loss. According to Sakara, Beauty Chocolates have 70 milligrams of ceramides (and raw cacao), which are designed to help retain moisture and improve skin’s appearance and glow. There isn’t as much science to back up this claim, but we’re willing to down a bottle to test it out for ourselves.