There’s a beautiful new beverage popping up in social media feeds, and it’s giving Golden Milk a run for its money. The colorful, frothy elixir goes by the name of Moon Milk, and promises not only stunning Instagram shots, but a variety of health benefits—most notably, better sleep.
So, is the pretty bevvy all it’s cracked up to be? We asked nutrition experts to comment on the trend.
What’s in Moon Milk?
No, Moon Milk isn’t made in outer space. Despite its other-worldly name and cosmic beauty, the drink is actually quite simple.
You start with warm milk and then get creative, adding whatever flavors and calming ingredients your heart desires. Popular choices include herbs like chamomile and ashwagandha, says dietitian Maggie Michalczyk, M.S., R.D.N. “You can customize your Moon Milk to include whatever specific herbs or spices you like,” she says.
What Are the Benefits of Moon Milk?
“The amino acid tryptophan—yes, the one in your Thanksgiving turkey—gets converted into the hormone serotonin, which supports an overall feeling of calmness,” says Michalczyk. “Meanwhile, the calcium and magnesium help to support a healthy blood pressure.” These ingredients all work to help you de-stress and calm down.
“Pair that warm milk with the anti-stress properties of herbs you’re adding and Moon Milk could be just the calming beverage you need before bed,” says Michalczyk. Plus, depending on the herbs you prefer, you may score some antioxidants and benefit from an immunity boost.
Two of Michalczyk’s go-to add-ins: ashwagandha and nutmeg.
“Ashwagandha, an ‘adaptogen,’ can help you better adapt to stress,” she says. “It helps lower cortisol, a hormone associated with our biological stress response.” The less cortisol pumping through your veins, the easier it is for you to drift off.
“Nutmeg also has de-stressing properties that help bring on a general calmness,” she adds. Additionally, it can help improve digestion, and soothe issues like gas.
Bloggers and Instagrammers are also adding ingredients like beetroot (for better circulation), maca (to support libido and vitality), cacao (for its antioxidants), reishi mushrooms (to promote immunity and relaxation), and tart cherry juice (for extra sleep support).
Once you’ve selected your add-ins, you can top your beverage off with a little honey and/or cinnamon to sweeten, if desired.
Is Moon Milk For You?
Want to see if this creative concoction actually helps you get a restful night’s sleep? Everyone reacts differently to herbs, so don’t go overboard at first. Michalczyk recommends trying one mugful of Moon Milk a couple times a week to test whether it indeed has a soothing effect. If you ultimately decide to make Moon Milk a part of your bedtime routine, double down by limiting screen time and dimming the lights.