Does TikTok's "Adrenal Cocktail" Really Work? Expert intervention

TikTok is awash with delicious drink recipes these days, and they all have their uses. From Sleepy Girl mocktails to the many hydration tips on WaterTok, there's a range of miracle cures to cure your current ailments. The latest product in the range is the Adrenal Cocktail, a cream ice-flavored drink said to boost your energy.

This adrenaline cocktail, whose hashtag has been viewed more than 15 million times on TikTok, is perfect for those who feel tired and lethargic despite getting enough sleep. It is named after the adrenal glands, two small, triangular glands located above the kidneys that produce hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that respond to stress. When you feel stressed, these glands respond by secreting cortisol, explains registered dietitian Jenna Stangland, M.S., RD. It's fine in small doses, but if your body is constantly in fight-or-flight mode, it can overstimulate your glands, ultimately leading to symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

This cocktail is said to help restore normalcy by supporting the adrenal glands with specific nutrients. (It tastes like orange creamsicle, which is just an added bonus.)

How to Make an "Adrenal Cocktail"

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Many users mix coconut water, orange juice, and sea salt together and add optional add-ins like cream of tartar, a scoop of collagen, coconut cream, or aloe vera juice. Created by @wholesomelivingwellness Selected:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • a little aloe vera juice
  • juice of an orange
  • Shake a few times with sea salt

Check with your doctor to make sure these ingredients work for you before you start drinking them.

Do "Adrenal Cocktails" Really Work?

Many TikTok users are saying yes, like @ebbymoyer, who has been drinking mocktails so her body can "rest and repair." One commenter wrote under her video: "I've been exhausted for eight months. I tried this out of desperation today and I feel so much better ." Another said: "I've never had so much energy. Like this!"

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According to Stangland, the ingredients in the adrenal cocktail provide glucose, or sugar, to increase energy, as well as electrolytes and minerals to help your adrenal glands function. Because these nutrients are in liquid form, they are easier to digest and therefore enter your bloodstream quickly. Here's how each method works.

Coconut water

According to Stangland, coconut water is hydrating due to the many electrolytes it contains. "The afternoon is a prime time to have this mocktail, when energy levels may start to drop," she says. "It would be a better alternative than a cup of coffee."

Orange juice

In addition to creating the drink's creamsicle flavor, orange juice adds glucose and vitamin C. It supports your immune system and acts as an antioxidant, helping protect your adrenal glands from oxidative stress, Stanland says. "Orange juice is also a natural source of carbohydrates and therefore provides energy rather than triggering the adrenal glands to stimulate the body's own glucose production."

aloe vera

If you want to add a splash of aloe vera to your mocktail, go for it. "Two of the compounds found in aloe vera are anti-inflammatory compounds," Stanland said. "These have been shown to lower blood pressure, thereby reducing stress on the adrenal glands."

sea ​​salt

Your body needs electrolytes to maintain balance, especially when you are stressed. Sea salt contains sodium and potassium, plus a dose of magnesium, which work together to reduce stress on your adrenal glands, Stanland says.

Cream of tartar

Some recipes call for cream of tartar, which is another source of potassium, further helping your body reduce stress on your adrenal glands.

Research references:

Ghosh, M. K. (1996). Vitamin C protects against oxidative damage. Free radical research. 1996 Aug;25(2):173-9. Number: 10.3109/10715769609149922. Telephone number: 8885335.

Ismail, I. (2007). Rehydrate with sodium-rich coconut water after exercise-induced dehydration. Southeast Asia J Trop Med Public Health. PMID: 17883020.

Schliemank, I. (2023). Electrolytes. See: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (Florida): StatPearls Publishing; January 2023–. PMID: 31082167.

Salim, R. (2001). Antihypertensive effects of chemical components of Aloe vera. Phytomedicine. doi:10.1055/s-2001-18348.


Jenna Stangland, MS, RD, registered dietitian