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The morning after a night of beer and karaoke the bleary-eyed salaryman only has to make it as far as the nearest drug store for salvation. There he will find a fridge devoted to what the Japanese call eiyo dorinku: nutrition drinks. These tonics claim to ease tiredness, boost energy levels and even suppress the urge to vomit; just the thing for a raging hangover.

There are dozens of brands with names such as Regain 24, Lipovitan D, Tiovita and Oronamin C, each with their own health claims and ingredients ranging from the legitimately medical to…



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