There is a belief in the western world that Japanese men (and women) are underperformers on the drinking front. Whilst true for some of the population who have a deficiency in ALDH2, I’ve learnt from many business trips that the Japanese have a hearty constitution when it comes to alcohol.
No matter what hour of the morning we end our meetings, Japanese businessmen look composed and completely lucid first up when we continue negotiations the next (same) day.
So what’s the big secret?
After one very busy night of business drinks I asked my counterpart to fess up. He took me to the local Family Mart and introduced me to a little friend called “Ukon no Chikara”. This powerful little drink is a potent mix of turmeric, b6 and vitamin E. The advice is to drink one before a heavy session and one the next morning.
Of course the regular advice of drinking plenty of water during the night and a big glass before bed still holds true, but there are a few other tricks that could reduce your ailing body the next day.
Japanese hangover cures
The Japanese breakfast is the perfect hangover cure. A simple bowl of rice is easy on the stomach and full of energy. Umeboshi (salted pickled plum) is the ultimate detox and one small portion is enough to kick start the body’s metabolism into overdrive. Third in the trio is miso soup. Yes it’s high in salt (that your body is craving) but also high in goodies to get your digestive tract back on track. Good quality miso is truly one of the Japanese superfoods.
Caffeine is another important step on the road to recovery. As coffee is pretty harsh on your fragile stomach the morning after why not try green tea. High quality green tea (we’re not talking about the supermarket teabag variety) has as much kick as a double espresso but with a much cleaner high. Green tea is also full of catechins and theanines the latter which stimulates alpha brain-wave activity. This leads to clearer thinking and a more alert mind.
After many years plying the Japanese trade winds I have applied this advice with vigour. It has held me in good stead on all occasions except one, but lets just blame that on a bad oyster.