Spring is the season of new beginnings, and with everyone moving on their next phase in life, comes a wave of welcome parties and opportunities for drinking. Even if you try to control the amount of alcohol you consume, sometimes, you can’t help but just drink the night away, resulting in a hangover the next day...So what do you do now?
This time, we’ll introduce a few recommended convenience store set meals for those days when you’re battling your hangover. With advice from nutritionist Sugizaki Kuniko, a lecturer at Musashino Nutrition College, we learned ways to choose foods that were nutritious for the digestive system and liver, to aid in recovery. We took a trip down to 7-Eleven to buy meals following her recommendations.
Set 1: Onigiri set
Ms. Sugizaki says, “When you have a hangover, you won’t have much appetite, making it difficult to eat solid foods. But in order to help your body recover quickly, it’s important to eat a healthy and balanced meal.”
Onigiri, or rice balls, are easy to eat and are a godsend at the office when you need to work through lunch. The onigiri set consists of two onigiri, clam miso soup, boiled egg, spinach with sesame seeds, and a sports drink.
Our recommended onigiri flavors are pickled plum and mentaiko, or cod roe. Pickled plum contains acids, which can help in alleviating hangovers. Citric acid also encourages the production of saliva and aids in digestion and metabolism, providing some relief for your exhausted digestive system.
“Mentaiko also contains vitamin B1, which has a recovery and energizing effect. When alcohol is being broken down in the liver, a large amount of vitamin B1 is used, so it’s good to eat foods rich in vitamin B1, such as mentaiko and pork.”
In Japan, clam flavored miso soup is an oft mentioned cure for hangovers. “The warm soup is easy to digest, and as its mostly water, it’s highly recommended. The miso also contains protein from beans, along with mineral, and salts to replenish your body.”
On top of this, clams are also rich in ornithine, a compound that increases the efficiency of your liver, improving the metabolism of alcohol. To help your liver recover, taurine rich foods such as squid and octopus are also recommended.
One cause for the headaches that come with hangovers is the toxins produced from the metabolism of alcohol. To further break down these toxic by-products, foods rich in L-cysteine, such as eggs, should be eaten. As you can get boiled eggs from the convenience store one by one, they’re a convenient add-on to your meal.
“When you have a hangover, your body is exhausted, so it’s essential to have a balance of nutrients. As such, you should eat vegetables as well.” To go with the onigiri, we picked a side dish of spinach with sesame seeds.
This side dish is a mixture of spinach, carrots, konjac, and other vegetables with sesame seeds. Sesame seeds also contain sesamin, which helps in the breakdown of alcohol in the body.
When you have a hangover, it’s due to the production of acetyl aldehydes from the metabolism of alcohol by your liver. When there isn’t enough water in your body, the acetyl aldehydes can’t be excreted quickly via urination, and as such, keeping hydrated is important. Sports drinks are a great choice, as they contain salts and sugars too.
Set 2: Sandwich set
Besides onigiri, sandwiches are another staple convenience store food. This set contains a sandwich, boiled hijiki seaweed, spinach and egg soup, aloe yogurt, and vegetable juice. As the sandwich is not as heavy as rice, it’s a great choice for times when you have no appetite and are looking for something gentle and light on your digestive system.
It’s best to get a sandwich containing eggs. This ham and egg sandwich contains not just eggs, but lettuce as well, allowing you to get more nutrients. The salt in the ham also helps to improve your appetite.
“In order to get more nutrients, seaweed such as wakame or hijiki is recommended. It stimulates your bowels, quickly expelling any toxins in your body. It helps to cleanse your body.” With this advice in mind, we picked boiled hijiki seaweed.
This side dish contains tofu, hijiki seaweed, edamame beans, carrots, pickled lotus, and fried tofu skin, a total of six main ingredients. Soybeans, which tofu is made from, contains lectin, which helps to prevent damage to the liver from the metabolism of alcohol and restore its function. On top of that, it contains lots of good protein, which aids in the recovery of the liver’s function.
Warm soups are also a highly recommended item. You can pick any soup that catches your eye from the large variety available, making it a huge plus point too. To go with the flavor of the sandwich, we selected the spinach and egg soup.
The fluffy egg and thick soup enter your tired digestive tract gradually. As the soup contains spinach as well, you can get some nutrition from it. When having vegetables, warm or cooked vegetables are more easily digested by your body.
When picking a meal for your hangover, foods that are easy to eat, such as yogurt, are recommended. The active bacteria in yogurt helps to adjust the condition of your digestive system, making it great for combating hangovers. Besides this, aloe also contains aloetin, which assists in the liver’s detoxification.
To rehydrate your body, vegetable juice is a good choice. Tomatoes are rich in citric acid, and are particularly good at protecting your stomach and intestines. It also contains lycopene, which promotes the excretion of acetyl aldehydes, making it an excellent choice for dealing with hangovers.
Set 3: Curry udon set
Though you’ll usually have a reduced appetite during a hangover, there are times when you unexpectedly crave for something thick and rich in flavor. In such a case, why not try out this curry udon set? As a set meal designed to help with your hangover, it includes curry udon, seaweed and vegetable salad, and a yogurt drink.
Udon is another great way to deal with a hangover. As the effects of hangovers are linked to blood sugar levels, eating foods rich in carbohydrates can be expected to ease symptoms. Since the liver is limited in its production of glucose, this causes blood sugar levels to fall, leading to the headaches, lethargy, and fatigue synonymous with hangovers.
Turmeric, used in curry, contains curcumin, which aids the liver in the breakdown of acetyl aldehydes.
“Though the convenience store sells turmeric drinks, it’s a bit much to say that just drinking that is enough. Indeed, it’s best to eat a balanced and nutritious meal,” says Ms. Sugizaki. As you can get protein from eating meat, it aids your body in its recovery too.
To complement the thick and rich taste of the curry, we selected a light and refreshing veggies and seaweed mixed salad.
The salad contains tomatoes, broccoli, and lettuce, and includes seaweed such as wakame as well, allowing you to get a balanced mix of nutrients. It’s the perfect salad to cure your hangover.
For a drink, we’ve chosen aloe drinkable yogurt, which is perfect for your hangover. It’s soothing on your throat and has a refreshing flavor, and is a perfect match for a curry.
Recommended light snacks for hangovers
When your hangover has dampened your appetite, you may want to opt for a snack instead of a full meal. In such a case, bananas, honey, and ramune candy with glucose are recommended.
“When you drink alcohol, you lose water and electrolytes when your body tries to remove the alcohol by urination. This can also result in a drop in potassium levels. To replenish it, foods rich in potassium such as bananas are recommended,” says Ms. Sugizaki. If it’s too much to eat even one, why not drink some banana juice instead?
Besides that, honey, rich in sugars such as glucose and fructose, is recommended for hangovers too.
Glucose helps in raising blood sugar levels, which dip when alcohol is being metabolized. Fructose accelerates the breakdown of acetyl aldehydes, making it an effective food for curing hangovers. You can just suck on this honey candy when you have no appetite, making it an easy food to consume.
Easily found in convenience stores, ramune candy is rich in glucose. With a refreshing sweetness and light sourness, it’s easy to eat even amidst the bouts of nausea when battling your hangover.
*Prices may differ by region and season.
*Items available may differ by store and region.
Written by Naho Jishikyu
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
Share this article.
Recommended places for you
TANG DYNASTY TOSHOMEN Naritakukodaiichitaminaruten
Other Chinese Food
ITAMAE SUSHI Akasakaten
Ganso Zushi Naritakukodainitaminaruten
Tokyo Food Bar Naritakukodaiichitaminaruten
Other Japanese Food
Obon de Gohan Naritakukodainitaminaruten
Check COVID-19 Measures Before Booking! LiveJapan.com Now Shows Hygiene Measures At Restaurants, Facilities
"Subculture Sanctuary?!" - Weird Japan Culture Shock Foreign Visitors Experienced in Ikebukuro
Japanese Women Told Us Their Beauty Routines (And This is Why You Should be Careful with Perfume)!
'Say what?' 20 Cool Words that Only Exist in Japanese
Japan Releases ‘Sweet Potato’ Raw Chocolate
Tokyo Weather: 7-day Forecast for Tokyo and Japan (+What to Wear!)
JR Edition: Visit all of Tokyo in one Day with the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass!
Tokyo Midtown in Akasaka: The Five Must-Visit Spots
Tokyo Roppongi: 5 Most Amazing Spots at Roppongi Hills and How to Make the Best of Them!
The LIVE JAPAN Awards 2017: Ceremony and Winners!
How to Enjoy your First Kabuki Experience to the Fullest!
Awesome Things to Do In Japan: Most Popular Gift Shops in Akihabara! (March 2020 Ranking)
- #best ramen tokyo
- #what to buy in ameyoko
- #what to bring to japan
- #new years in tokyo
- #best izakaya shinjuku
- #things to do tokyo
- #japanese nail trends
- #what to do in odaiba
- #onsen tattoo friendly tokyo
- #best sushi ginza
- #japanese convenience store snacks
- #best yakiniku shibuya
- #japanese fashion culture
- #best japanese soft drinks