Feel ‘The Float’ With Hiyo, A Nonalcoholic Social Tonic Loaded With Adaptogens And Nootropics

Food & Drink

Whether you adhered to Dry January or not, the stats are in: More people are choosing to abstain from alcohol, either temporarily or for good. New data from Drizly, the online ordering and delivery platform, shows a 56% increase across their non-alcoholic categories in January 2023 as compared to January 2022. And that equals a 124% increase from the same period in 2021.

The uptick has been seen across nonalcoholic beer, wine and spirits, with the latter accounting for the most growth. While the desire to be healthier plays a large role in choosing nonalcoholic beverages, this push can also be credited to the vast improvement of n/a drinks over years past, with high-quality beers, wines, spirits, canned cocktails and other mixed drinks now readily available in stores and online.

One such option is Hiyo, an effervescent “social tonic” that skips the alcohol in favor of adaptogens, nootropics and functional botanicals. In other words: herbs, mushrooms, roots, and other compounds that fight stress and promote healthy brain function.

Hiyo started when three friends from Southern California—Evan Quinn, George Youmans and Cygne Cooper—wanted to rethink how the world drinks.

“After a shared experience with family members being hospitalized for alcohol-related issues in 2019, we began to notice the massive lack of intriguing non-alcoholic options available [for] the social occasion,” says Hiyo co-founder Even Quinn. “So we sought to create something that produces the same stress-relieving, mood-boosting effects people usually seek from alcohol, but from healthy functional ingredients instead.”

This goal eventually led to Hiyo, which launched to the public in June 2021 after nearly two years in development. Hiyo seltzers feature buzzy ingredients like ashwagandha, which has been shown to regulate cortisol levels (the fight-or-flight chemical) and reduce stress; l-theanine, a green tea extract that promotes calm; cordyceps mushroom extract to provide a natural energy lift; and lion’s mane, a mushroom boasting antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory agents.

Hiyo seltzers are currently available in three flavors: peach mango, watermelon lime, and blackberry lemon. Drink up, and you may experience what the founders call “the float,” a sensation characterized by lower stress levels and feeling more present. Some people also report boosts in mood and energy without the crash—Hiyo is caffeine-free and only contains five grams of sugar per serving.

After one can of the blackberry lemon, I did feel better than before I popped the tab. I sank into my couch with a noticeably relaxed sensation. It’s difficult to know if that’s the Hiyo at work or the power of suggestion, but after a long day, I didn’t care where the feeling came from.

After 18 months in the market, Hiyo is looking toward its next move. “A new flavor has been one of the most common pieces of customer feedback we’ve received,” says Quinn. The company has begun working on a few new options, and though they haven’t yet decided on the winning blend, they’re hoping to launch the brand’s fourth flavor in late-2023.

Until then, float on.

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