My first purchase ever out of a Japanese vending machine was a bottle of Pocari Sweat at Narita Airport.
To me, at that point, it was kind of a thing. Japan is known for its abundance of vending machines and for the bizarre and wonderful things stocked within them. Pocari Sweat was also known to me, years before setting foot in the country. I can’t even remember where I first heard of it (possibly YouTube vloggers, possibly from J-List) but the drink has its own notoriety online.
The things we gaijin consider unusual become almost legendary. Now, I guess because it’s not new to me, I can’t fathom what about Pocari Sweat is unusual. I think it’s due to the name? IDK. What’s funny about sweat? Maybe we think, ‘Ewwwww, sweat, gross. I don’t want to drink sweat.’ I was telling hubby the other day that people think it’s funny because maybe they think it’s a misspelling of sweet. (Not sure about the truth of that…) When you know what it actually is, the name makes total sense. From what I understand, it’s a sports drink. Like Gatorade. To replenish what your body loses when you sweat. (Wikipedia here.)
While in Japan, I drank a few of them. But I really got to know Pocari when I was in Hong Kong for a month in 2013 for school (There’s a blog for that.) and discovered the REAL beauty of this somewhat soft drink. If you drink a whole can after a night of heavy drinking (BEFORE passing out), you drastically diminish your odds of having a hangover the next day. I swear by it. I bought it by the litre and there was always a giant bottle of it to be found in our mini-fridge.
They should really start selling it in regular grocery stores here. Just saying. (You can buy it at Asian markets like T&T or probably Oceans or in Chinatown.)
Here’s an example of one of those YouTube videos. (Obviously not the one I would have seen, being this one was uploaded after I was in Japan – but you get the idea.) He’s grossed out at first, because of the name.
If you ask me, this drink is a win. And you can base that solely on the hangover-reducing qualities. Taste-wise…? Uh, it’s okay. Not something to drink for pure refreshment. But really, how good does Gatorade taste? …Exactly.
Now that I think about is ~ Calpis sounds much funnier. And tastes much better.
(originally posted to Japan – Here I Come!)