At the end of the year, it is common for Japanese people to have large gatherings with co-workers, families or friends as a way of ringing in the coming New Year (and forgetting about the year that just passed…) These parties often include some heavy drinking, which can lead to a painful hangover the following day. Because in Japan people don’t only drink to excess during the end of year parties, but pretty much year round during after work meetings and other occasions, hangovers are a very common occurrence. This is why it is no wonder that the Japanese came up with numerous hangover prevention (and cure) methods, some of which are listed below. What to take before a night that’s bound to involve large quantities of alcohol? And how these products work?
Ukon no Chikara is the most popular hangover prevention drink in Japan, and it is made of turmeric, which is a type of ginger. Turmeric has long been known as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory aid. It also helps digestive function, and in this way works as a hangover prevention. People normally drink this before their night out. Because a drinking party is not always planned way in advance, people need easy access to hangover prevention drinks, so it’s available in most convenience stores. The color of the drink is bright orange, and its taste is sweet like mango juice. Turmeric is said to be mixed with sugar to hide its actually awful taste.
Pocari Sweat is one of Japan’s favorite sports drinks, and the main thing it does is replacing the fluids and minerals in the body that are lost through sweating and urination. This is considered to be the most suitable drink for dehydrated persons (it is similar to the popular Gatorade). When you have a hangover, Pocari Sweat works by replenishing the supply of potassium and magnesium in the body. In this way, it reduces the occurrence of a headache, and will speed up the flushing of toxins from the body.
Solmac contains a mixture of grass, leaf extracts, turmeric, ginseng, and licorice. It tastes quite bad but is good enough for treating a hangover. It works wonders when you are dealing with an upset digestive system.
The oldest way of treating hangovers is eating umeboshi before drinking alcohol. It is very sour, which is said to stimulate the production of mucus in the stomach, which in turn prevents the absorption of alcohol into the body so it will do you less harm.
If you plan to attend an after work or year-end party in Japan and will likely be getting drunk, you might as well consider preparing yourself so you will be less likely to suffer the consequences come the morning after like the gentleman in the picture above. These remedies will surely make you feel a bit less worried about having to go back to work the next day!