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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogHarness the Power of a Japanese Energy Drink!

Harness the Power of a Japanese Energy Drink!

Kim KahanKim Kahan
Published Time
Posted on 
January 05, 2022
Modified Time
Updated last 
February 16, 2024

Japan loves a good party, so everyone occasionally needs extra energy. If you do, too, you can try a Japanese energy drink from a convenience store. They’re often found right before the register for quick access after a long night of nomikai (drinking parties with coworkers). 

There are so many Japanese energy drinks in tiny glass bottles that, at first glance, it can seem daunting, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

What makes a Japanese energy drink unique?

Unlike typical energy drinks found abroad, such as Red Bull or Monster Energy, which focus on the caffeine content, Japanese energy drinks are a lot more complex. In fact, foreign energy drinks often have to change their recipe to fit Japanese rules.

A collection of Japanese energy drinks.
These drinks are packed with turmeric for digestion! Image via In Rhythm with Japan

The type you find in Japanese convenience stores is referred to as ‘quasi-drugs’ or ‘nutrition drinks’ under Japanese regulation. They’re identifiable by their tiny, ominous-looking brown glass bottles, sold in their own section separate from all the tasty Japanese convenience store food

Japanese energy drinks can be sorted into three main categories:

  • Relieving fatigue
  • Getting over a cold
  • Hangover prevention or relief

Looking for some Japanese drinks for a pick-me-up of your own? Check out TokyoTreat! TokyoTreat sends the coolest Japanese drinks, snacks, and sweets to your door, perfect for a pick-me-up!

Drink for Tiredness/Fatigue

Caffeine is a key ingredient in nutrition drinks to combat physical and mental fatigue and tiredness. Taurine may help with nerve growth and brain stimulation. This is particularly helpful if you’re feeling sluggish due to the previous night’s effects.

Japanese people often consume these energy drinks before a night out to prevent hangovers. In some stores, these Japanese energy drinks are placed alongside healthy Japanese snacks typically eaten during smaller drinking parties. A quick boost when you’re tired, and you’ll be on your way.

Lipovitan (100ml)

Lipovitan is one of the longest-running Japanese energy drinks on the market, made by Taisho Pharmaceutical Company. It contains taurine as an active ingredient to stimulate the brain and has 50mg of caffeine per 100ml for that extra power.

A collection of Japanese energy drinks on a picnic table.
You can use an energy drink for most situations! Image via Reddit

Q&P KOWA α DRINK (100ml)

With a name that says ‘POW’, and a host of herbal ingredients such as ginseng and an added bonus of Vitamin B, Q&P KOWA alpha claims to ‘work quickly on your fatigue now!’ It contains 1500mg of taurine and 50mg of caffeine per 100ml – a powerful breakdown.

Alinamin V 50ml 

At half the size of the others on this list, Alinamin contains the same amount of caffeine, so it packs a punch. While there is no taurine, it has plenty of Nicotinamide at 25mg and vitamin B1, which can be a pickup for tiredness and fatigue. 

Energy Drinks for Colds

If you’ve caught a cold or are on the cusp of catching one, drinks containing Vitamin C and even carrot extract are said to be beneficial. If you don’t have time to grab an orange and eat a carrot before heading to work, these are the next best thing (maybe). This type is especially good for preventing colds while enjoying winter in Japan

Yunker Royal Premium 50

With a name that sounds like a battleship, Yunker Royal Premium 50 contains 14 active ingredients ready to fight that cold and stop it in its tracks (or at least keep it at bay for a little while). It also contains something called Mamushi, which is from a Japanese Viper, so it’s unsuitable for vegetarians.

Two drinks on a bookshelf.
Most energy drinks are available at convenience stores! Image via Shutterstock

Zena F-0 50ml

Zena has a few ‘F’ varieties, such as the ‘F-ii’ for tiredness, but for colds, it has to be the original, F-0. This powerful little number has all the carrots you’ll need and six other valuable herbs to create a quick-acting combination. The taste is undeniably strong, so we recommend this to anyone who’s brave enough.

Tiovita 50ml 

Recommended by a number of sites during our research, Tiovita from Taiho Pharmaceuticals is said to be great for combating colds. It also tastes good and is one of the cheapest on this list. Containing Vitamin B, taurine, and caffeine among its ingredients, this is one hell of a pick-me-up.

Energy Drinks for Hangovers

It may seem drastic, but any drink containing taurine is one marketed at hangovers to get you through the day.

Lightup2000 (ライトアップ2000)

With a whopping 2000mg of taurine per 50ml, Lightup2000 packs a punch, ready to kick you into the day, hangover-free. With nicotinic acid (also known as niacin), working on the liver, it’s designed for those with a hangover. Many users comment on its sweet taste – good thing that it’s only 50ml! 

Chocola Bb Hyper

Packed with taurine, amino acid, royal jelly, and guarana, Chocola Bb Hyper prepares you for anything you have to face on a hangover, both mentally and physically. Just imagine swigging back that bright liquid from its glass bottle. They even throw in carrot extract to keep colds at bay. 

A person touching the lid of an energy drink.
Some energy drink ingredients can be quite rare! Image via Shutterstock

Riopamin3000 100ml

Riopamin is great for hangovers thanks to its 3000mg of taurine and substantial vitamin content. Vitamins B1, B2, and B6 all work to combat that next-day feeling, along with caffeine and amino acids to boost your body and get it working. These ingredients are great for harnessing that energy you thought you’d spent away with the last Strong Zero. 

Someone holding an assortment of drinks in dark glass bottles.
Which Japanese energy drink would you like to try? Image via Shutterstock

Let us know if you’ve spotted any of our suggestions in your local convenience store or if you’ve done the Japanese energy drink challenge and tried a few for yourself. Do you have a favorite? Anything you wouldn’t try again?

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