SELLING HANGOVER CURES is a multi-million dollar business in Japan. Here are some popular futsukayoi or “two days drunk” cures from Japan. Kampai!
Ukon or turmeric is considered the best hangover cure. It usually comes in pill, powder or drink form. The most popular brand is a drink called Ukon no Chikara which can be translated as the “power of turmeric.” Turmeric contains curcumin which is perfect for detoxing the liver after a marathon drinking session. Some swear that the best time to take ukon is before you start drinking to prevent the hangover from happening in the first place.
Japan’s most popular B-class gourmet food is the perfect cure for any hangover. Head to your local ramen joint right after drinking for a hearty tonkotsu (pork-bone) or milder miso or shoyu (soy sauce)-based broth chock full of noodles, seaweed, vegetables and meat. Add a dash of shichimi, a seven-spice blend that includes Japanese chili pepper, for an extra kick in the pants and you’re bound to sober up at the ramen counter.
Although these pickled plums are best known for topping rice bowls, some Japanese swear that sucking on these salty snacks is the best cure for a hangover. In fact, the citric acid which makes these plums so sour helps to ease the nausea often associated with a hangover. Also, it’s recommended to chuck an umeboshi into your mouth between drinks to reduce the amount of alcohol your body absorbs.
4. Shijimi miso soup
Miso soup is light enough to rehydrate your body and goes down easily without making you throw up. The fermented goodness of miso and the amino acid-rich shijimi (fresh water clams) help you recover in no time. There’s even shijimi miso soup available in cans at konbinis and supermarkets so you have no excuse for showing up to work the next day stale-drunk.
5. Pocari Sweat
The Japanese equivalent of Gatorade. Although the name may sound like the result of a swampy gym session, it’s Japan’s most popular sports drink. Alternatively, if the name grosses you out, you can also try Aquarius. Both will rehydrate you and replace all the electrolytes you lost from a night of karaoke and dancing.
The Japanese swear by this vitamin and potassium-rich fruit to replace electrolytes lost during an all-you-can-drink session. Known as kaki, persimmons contain catalase, an enzyme which helps the body get rid of acetaldehyde, a nasty by-product of chugging too many drinks.
7. Genki or energy drinks
Step into any konbini and you will see aisles dedicated to these hangover tonic drinks. Established brands like Kabakawa A, Lipovitamin D and Solmac as well as newcomer Ohayo are laced with electrolytes, herbal extracts and vitamins. These drinks claim to have you right as rain for the office the next morning.
8. Green tea
Green tea, especially matcha, is loaded with antioxidants which will help your body get rid of toxins like alcohol. Matcha is made from powdered tea leaves and it’s the most concentrated form of green tea you can find in Japan. Unlike regular tea leaves which are steeped in water, matcha is whisked in hot water, producing a more potent brew that will kick any hangover to the curb.