When I lived in Japan – long before Red Bull came along – I used to stand in line with the salarymen every morning at the drinks machine on the station platform and hammer home an energy drink. They came in wonderfully small screw cap bottles and had a semi-official medical look to them punctuated by tall claims and colourful graphics.
The truth is, Japan has been in the energy drink business for a long time. And with ferocious market competition, they have found a variety of very effective health energy drinks that don’t use caffeine and taurine (like Red Bull) to make you think you’re feeling good. They actually make you feel better.
For many, health energy drinks are used as hangover cures. Sure, they work that way, too. But they also give you a nice, power high that’s more profound (and, probably, healthy) than caffeine.
I’ve noticed that Amazon has started offering a few energy drinks and sports drinks from Japan. Now’s a great time to pick up some and experiment.
Like many health energy drinks, this one comes with vitamins – E and B to be exact. These are good for anti-stress. But the main active ingredient here is Turmeric, which is used as a detoxifier and is supposed to have a wealth of health benefits. It also has liver detox agents, which is probably why it feels so good after a heavy night of drinking.
The other great thing about this product is that it’s a low calorie energy drink – only 30 calories per bottle – and an energy drink without caffeine (so you won’t get the jitters).
Taste-wise it’s a bit like cough syrup but less gloomy. Personally, I find it refreshing.
When I first arrived in Japan – like many – I was bedazzled and bewildered. Often, very gullible. Somebody told me that ‘Pocari’ was a famous sumo wrestler. Given that there were vending machines with used girls’ panties, I was inclined to believe this urban myth. Well – it’s not true.
Pocari Sweat isn’t, in fact, an energy drink. But since we’re on the subject, I thought it was worth including, because after you drink the energy drink – Pocari Sweat makes an exceedingly good chaser.
It’s a sports drink. Which is to say, that it has electrolytes that help replenish the body after it has exerted itself (sweated a lot). I really like the taste of Pocari Sweat. It’s clean, fresh and has a hint of sweet grapefruit. On a hot and steamy day, this is far more refreshing than a coca-cola or Gatorade. In fact, Gatorade tastes to me like it belongs in the car radiator. It’s far too sweet and chemical tasting. Pocari Sweat, on the other hand, is light and floral.