Max Baumann

Let’s face it: We live in a world of stress fueled by caffeine. But what if you could take the most archetypal lifestyle of local surfers — the carefree, go-with-the-flow mindset — and put it in an eight-ounce can? You’d get Just Chill.

Just Chill was introduced by Santa Barbara-based company, The Chill Group, in March 2010.

Unlike caffeine-packed “jitter juice,” claim company reps, it’s an all natural beverage that helps you tackle everyday responsibilities with a calm, more focused approach rather than being bogged down by the sugar rush (and crash) of energy drinks.

“It’s natural stress relief,” said 21-year-old Max Baumann, CEO of The Chill Group, as he coolly troubleshoots an office mishap involving rubber cement while speaking to The Independent. At this point it’s a case of the chicken or the egg — is he always this calm from drinking Just Chill, or was the beverage fully conceived by him? He attests to the latter, but it’s probably a bit of both.

Baumann’s goal was to provide the masses with an alternative to energy drinks. Just Chill is a source of “alert relaxation,” he said.

“People say, ‘I don’t want to get tired, I have things to do,’” says Baumann. “But alert relaxation, it’s a Zen thing. You’re relaxed but fully attentive.”

Even the biggest caffeine-guzzler knows the counter-productive effects of too much caffeine. And as the FDA and the makers of alcoholic energy drinks like Four Loko and Joose duke it out, many of us find ourselves rethinking our own personal caffeine (and alcohol) intake.

With the demands of society and in-your-face marketing strategies, we’ve turned to energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar. Now with the introduction of Just Chill to the market, we don’t have to, said Baumann.

A former jitter-juicer himself, Baumann understands college-aged kids seek energy drinks for their functional purposes, but also to mix with alcohol.

Baumann said the target demographic are those that have graduated from the college party days, especially in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Not to exclude his peers, but he just has a sneaking suspicion that while Just Chill might be used for its purpose, it might be used as an alcohol mixer slightly more often. He doesn’t blame anyone for that — he said he knows it’s a great chaser.

The lightly carbonated beverage features lemongrass extract, Siberian ginseng, gingko biloba, B-vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, and L-theanine, which reportedly promotes alert relaxation and increases the ability to focus. At 100mg, Just Chill features the highest quantity of L-theanine available in the market. GRAS-rated by the FDA, it’s only got 12g of sugar and 50 calories per can.

The current flavor has hints of peach and mango, and Baumann promises at least two new flavors are in the works. The uber-health conscious can also rejoice — a sugar-free version will hit the market by next summer. Just Chill also plans to upgrade to a larger sized can.

“Twelve ounces of no worries!,” Baumann said.

Skeptical? He expects that.

“Try it. Drink it. Feel its effects and we’ll talk,” Baumann challenged.

It started with a few cases selling from Isla Vista’s Super Cucas, but now Just Chill is sold at Whole Foods, Four Seasons Biltmore, Lazy Acres, Natural Café, South Coast Deli, various convenience stores, and on campus at UCSB and SBCC. Cases can also be ordered online on or


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