Valley Couple Develops Natural, Caffeine-Free Alternative to Sugary Energy Drinks

Jacob SnelgroveNovember 27, 2023
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Sly Boost, Sly Chill and Sly Dream flavors.
Sly Boost, Sly Chill and Sly Dream flavors.

Sly, a hydrating, low-sugar energy drink alternative, is the brainchild of Scottsdale husband and wife Dr. Amy and Dr. Tom Czyz. Sly offers fun, flavored beverages using natural ingredients designed to help people focus, laugh, relax and recover. 

“Our reason, passion and purpose behind creating Sly is to make a real, meaningful impact in people’s everyday lives through beverages with benefits, and make play more sustainable,” Tom says. “So much of what is good for you out there is terrible tasting and boring… We love seeing people smile when they try Sly and they realize good-for-you can and should taste amazing… and be fun.” 

Sly Chill is a relaxing elixir crafted with a natural proprietary blend of organic ingredients like ashwagandha, valerian root, magnesium and biotin. Sly promotes a calming effect with less than two grams of sugar, ten calories and zero caffeine. Sly Chill is available in mango and citrus flavors.

Sly Boost is a caffeine-free concoction that skips the crash and jitter of sugary energy drinks. Many energy drinks on the market risk heart health by exceeding daily recommended limits of caffeine. Boost features tropical- and berry-flavored blends of rhodiola, ALCAR, tyrosine and alpha-GPC which help provide natural energy without caffeine. 

Sly Dream delivers the calming and relaxing effects of Sly Chill with the added benefit of melatonin to promote high-quality rest and recovery. Sly Dream focuses on restorative sleep after the stress of digital lifestyles. 

Tom recruited Doug Kennedy, his former fraternity brother at Arizona State University, serial entrepreneur and 30-plus year veteran of the video game industry, to introduce the drink to the market. Kennedy and his wife, Tracie, helped develop popular games like Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Ark: Survival Evolved.  He wanted to help with the creation of an alternative to sugar-laden energy drinks for gamers, streamers and online content creators. 

In January 2021, Tom and Amy Czyz surveyed more than 100 gamers and streamers about their drink preferences. They discovered that the majority of gamers wanted something low in sugar and caffeine, and non-carbonated.

A trial batch of Sly sold out quickly last December via the company’s online store, Drinkonthesly. In April 2023, Sly released its full line of drinks to consumers. It was an instant hit within the gaming community because of its participation throughout the drink’s development. 

“We created products they told us they wanted, not what some corporate boardroom says gamers should drink or should want,” Tom says. 

Sly has big-name endorsers such as star Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, NFL all-pro running back Ahman Green, TikTok sensation TacticalGramma and professional esports player Dylan Hannon.

All four Valley locations of O.H.S.O. Brewery and Distillery offer Sly on the menu, even concocting a new cocktail, You Sly Dog, with lime juice, simple syrup, orange juice and Sly mango. 

In retail, Sly is targeting distribution among independent convenience and grocery stores near the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. Tom, an ASU alum, is looking to bring his product into universities around the country. 

The brand will also be part of an eight-week 7- Eleven pilot program in the Tucson and Phoenix area as it tries to lock down a foothold in its home market.