The Snack Report: Pocari Sweat
One of our more popular societal tropes in the past decade or so has been the whole ‘wacky Japanese food’ thing. On one hand, it’s a matter of cultural differences since our food and its packaging are probably very alien to Asian countries, but on the other hand there is definitely lots of fun to be had with Engrish and other examples of Asian to English translation gone awry.
That’s how I ended up coming to start drinking sweat. That’s right I enjoy drinking sweat.
Admittedly, I originally found out about Pocari Sweat through some interesting means I won’t go into on here (it’s fun to use your imagination!) and decided to look it up since the charmingly odd name piqued my interest. As it turns out Pocari Sweat is actually a soft-drink made in Asia, similar to Gatorade in that it contains minerals to help replenish electrolytes you lose through sweating during physical activity. Interestingly enough, Pocari claims that Sweat also contains ions to help replenish your bodily fluids. I’m not entirely sure if that’s in addition to electrolytes, though it could just be a different way of saying it. Either way, their little description on the side of the can states that the drink is designed to closely match your own bodily fluids, so that it gets absorbed quickly into the body. Since I wasn’t sure, I decided to check out the ingredients and compare them to Gatorade.
I don’t speak Korean, but I’ll take their word for it. Either way, let’s get down to actually drinking it. Pocari Sweat is mildly grapefruit-like in its flavor (which is pretty lolzy when you consider a lot of peoples’ body odor tends to smell like grapefruit), but unlike Gatorade and other sport drinks we’ve in the west, the taste is much lighter and smoother. Gatorade does have a nice refreshing zing to it when you chug it down after a workout, but truth be told sometimes its a bit on the strong side for me. Sweat meanwhile is subtle, and I like that. But we mustn’t forget, it is an electrolyte drink, and as such it does have a saltiness to it, again coincidentally funny given its name. That being said, the salty taste isn’t anymore overbearing than any other sports drink in the same category.
As an added bonus, Pocari Sweat actually seems to be fairly innocuous and good for you from an ingredient standpoint. It contains natural sugar, and no shitty high fructose corn garbage. So it’s basically made of water, sugar, citric acid, salt, minerals, and grapefruit flavor. The minerals may seem out of place, but remember, Sweat is trying to mimic real sweat, so they need to be in there to replace the sweat you already sweated.
At first glance, the name might conjure up some questionable thoughts of downing some nice, salty, freshly squeezed armpit sweat but on the contrary; it’s actually pretty yummy and refreshing. That’s impressive considering everything the drink has going against it. It’s kinda cloudy and slightly more viscous than water, so it looks and feels like sweat. It’s explicitly named Sweat. Its main flavoring is reminiscent of the smell of certain body odors and sweat. And it’s even formulated to resemble sweat chemically. Admittedly, this stuff could straight up just be some person’s sweat, with some sugar added in. I’ve no idea. But! Let me set the record straight here, Pocari Sweat is actually really good. I prefer it over regular old Gatorade now. And, while I can’t 100% prove this, I’m gonna go out on a limb for this one and say it also turns me into an unbeatable, professional athlete when I drink it during tennis.