Does Horlicks Make You Sleep: Curative sleep aid or a nightcap?

The Horlicks drink has been around forever. They claim that it’s a better alternative to coffee, and say that it’s a popular drink among students at exam time.

But does Horlicks help you sleep? Or is this just an old wives’ tale…? Here are some facts about this drink for you to consider.

What is Horlicks?

Horlicks is a malted milk drink that has been a popular brand among Malaysians since the British colonial days. It usually consists of malt extract, sugar, powdered milk, and water.

Depending on your taste preference, you could either buy the milky version or the chocolatey one.

It originates from an Indian company, so they know some things about how this product should taste! In fact, they might have even perfected its rich flavour – so if you can get hold of some Indian Horlicks, make sure that you try it!

James Horlick was an English inventor who moved to the U.S when he was 12 years old. He studied at Yale University and later became an American citizen.

He invented the malted milk drink in 1873, after seeing that his brother could easily fall back asleep even after waking up in the middle of the night. He marketed his product to American families in 1887, and it became a huge success within the next decade!

What Are the Ingredients That Can Help You Sleep?

The milk contained within the drink is said to have the amino acid tryptophan, an ingredient that helps you sleep better. It’s true – according to science, drinking milk does help you fall asleep faster!

Here are some of the contents in Horlicks that can contribute to your good night’s rest:

  • Tryptophan – This ingredient is a type of protein that stimulates serotonin products to help you fall asleep.
  • Vitamin B – This vitamin helps your body to produce the hormone melatonin that induces sleepiness.
  • Calcium – Milk contains calcium, and if you have too little calcium in your system, it could interfere with the quality of your sleep state.
  • Magnesium – This ingredient is responsible for sending out signals in your brain to tell yourself that it’s time to sleep.
  • Malt – This ingredient converts into another type of sleep hormone, called melatonin. When you’re not getting enough sun exposure (for example when you’re studying during the day and sleeping at night), a malt drink can help you to stay awake.

The bedtime drink also claims to have iron, which is good for your brain functions! This means that if you tend to be easily distracted when studying at night, having a glass of it in between study sessions will help you focus better on the task at hand.

Is Horlicks recommended?

Yes, but not just any kind of it. There are three types of Horlicks bedtime drinks – chocolatey, malted, and original.

You should take the malted or chocolatey variety at night to help you sleep better. Drinking the original flavor might keep you awake!

Horlicks vs. Green Tea

Green tea contains caffeine, which is a type of stimulant. So if you have too much caffeine in your system, it’ll be harder to fall asleep!

However, green teas also have theanine, which can help you relax and fall asleep faster. But still, if you want to drink something at night time to help induce sleepiness, it’s better to have a cup of herbal tea (for example, chamomile tea).

What does Horlicks taste like?

It has a rich, earthy flavour that takes some people by surprise. The taste keeps evolving as you take more sips – the first mouthful is milky and smooth, but after a few minutes, it turns into an overpowering dark maltiness.

You can use it with:

  • Dairy products – Believe it or not, you can actually drink Horlicks with milk! If you have some chocolate Horlicks then you will get chocolate milk – without adding any sugar!
  • Coconut Water – This is another way to enjoy your drink. It tastes a little like Ovaltine this way, but the overpowering maltiness will be toned down by the water.
  • Coffee – You can actually mix this drink into your coffee to give it a chocolaty kick! Some people also like to add hot chocolate Horlicks to their coffee, which might sound disgusting but actually tastes pretty good.
  • Porridge – This is a great way to start your morning. By adding Horlicks before cooking your cereal grain, you’ll have yourself an instant healthy breakfast!
  • Cookies/Crispbreads/Biscuits – You can mix Horlicks into most baked goods to give them chocolate flavour without the sugar.
  • Oatmeal – If you like the taste of this drink, then why not add it to your oatmeal too? You won’t have any reason. All you have to do is mix some powder into cold water and cook it with your oats. The result will be a slightly sweeter and richer take on porridge!
  • Pancakes/Waffles – You can actually add Horlicks powder to pancake or waffle batter instead of sugar! If you have a sweet tooth, this is a much healthier alternative to syrup.
  • Banana Smoothie – this drink is a great choice for protein shakes. If you have some in your fridge, try adding one scoop to your banana smoothie.

Does Horlicks increase weight?

Yes. A cup of this drink contains up to 50 grams of malt, which is very high in calories!

There are also sugar and milk powder, which means that you’re consuming more than just carbs when you have it.

So if you have reasons to avoid putting on weight, it’s best to limit your intake to just one cup a day.

How much is a cup of Horlicks?

It depends on where you’re going to buy it from. In general, a cup of it will cost between £1-3 in the UK.

The price also varies depending on where you go – for example, IKEA sells a box of 250 grams for only £2! While a store like Starbucks might charge more than £3 for a cup of Horlicks.

Can it be made with water?

Yes. If you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake, you can opt for a cup of this drink made with water instead.

This will give you all the same nutritional health benefits as regular Horlicks – but without the added sugar!

Who is not allowed to drink Horlicks?

Although there’s nothing wrong with drinking a cup of Horlicks once in a while, it shouldn’t be consumed every day.

If you have a health condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or digestive problems – then you should not make a habit out of having a cup of it before bed.

If someone is drinking too much of it what can they expect?

You’ll probably know if you’re overdoing it on the hot chocolate or malted range.

Too much Horlicks could cause-effect of weight gain because of its high-calorie content.

It could also lead to a build-up of plaque in your arteries, as well as tooth decay because of the sugar and milk powder.

In rare cases, too much of this drink could be fatal – even if it’s made with water!

Is drinking Horlicks good for your health?

A cup of it after the daily routine is incredibly nutritious – containing malt extract, milk powder, and sugar.

So if you drink it as part of a balanced diet, it can provide your body with lots of vitamins and minerals – including Vitamin C!

Placebo Or Real?

The ingredients in this drink do actually help you sleep better.

As long as you don’t have more than one cup in a day, Horlicks is definitely worth trying out. It’ll help you fall asleep faster so that you can enjoy your beauty sleep properly!


There you have it. Horlicks from your childhood memories definitely is good for you, but it’s important to choose the right time and way to drink it according to your sleep habits.

Of course, this will depend on whether or not you’re drinking the sugar-free version of the product.

We hope that you find our article helpful!

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