Life in Japan, Motherhood in Japan, Pregnancy & Birth In Japan, Spotlight

10 Japanese Drinks Rich in Iron

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Can you spot the iron-fortified drinks on this shelf?

The long-awaited followup to my post, 6 Best Japanese Drinks For Pregnant And Nursing Women, this time around I’m introducing 10 Japanese drinks rich in iron.

I’m anemic (貧血 | hinketsu) and had super low blood-iron levels throughout my pregnancy. My levels were so low that I had to take prescription iron supplements, and even then my blood-iron levels barely reached the acceptable level for pregnant women in Japan. If you’re anemic, pregnant, or want to make sure your children get their daily recommend intake of iron, read one!

Iron Intake Levels In Japan For Men, Women, and Children

In Japan, the daily recommended iron intake is 7.0-7.5 mg for adult men and 10.5 mg for adult women. Pregnant women in the first trimester and nursing women should get an extra 2.5 mg daily, while women in their second and third trimesters should take an extra 15 mg of iron. All data from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (link to PDF in Japanese) and from Fronteo Health Care (link in Japanese).

Infant boys and girls 0-5 months old need .5 mg of iron daily, and infants aged 6 to 11 need 3.5 mg of iron daily. The daily intake for toddlers 1-2 is 3 mg, increasing to 4 mg for children of kindergarten age (3-5 years old). All data from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (link to PDF in Japanese).

10 Japanese Drinks Rich In Iron

The following selection of Japanese drinks rich in iron are drinks that nearly always make their way to my shopping basket. Most of them are readily available throughout the year at drug stores and convenience stores across Japan.

TIP: When searching for iron-fortified drinks, look for “Fe,” 鉄 (tetsu), or 鉄分 (tetsubun) on the label!

1. Yakult Joia

ジョア マスカット味

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A yogurt drink from Yakult. Its slightly tangy muscat flavor goes down well and is not as sweet as other Joia flavors (I’m looking at you, blueberry). If you watch my Insta stories, you know that my girl and I drink this one practically every morning on our way to school! It has 6.8 mg of iron.

2. Tropicana Essentials Mango Blend

トロピカーナ エッセンシャルズ鉄分

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A wonderfully sweet mango fruit juice that works well when blended as a smoothie! I like the resealable container so I can put in my bag or stroller command center without worrying about it spilling all over the place. It contains 3.9 mg of iron to help you reach the recommended daily intake.
Amazon Japan

3. Prune Flavored Drinkable Yogurt

1日分の鉄分ののむヨーグルト

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Another one of my favorites, this has 6.8 mg of iron, as well as 1120 μg of folic acid and 1.2μg of B12. I see this one in convenience stores all the time, so be on the lookout for the purple box with prunes in the bottom right corner. 
Amazon Japan

4. Kagome Yasai Ichinichi Kore Ippon Choi Noushuku Tetsubun

野菜一日これ一本超濃縮鉄分

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Generally I love Kagome fruit and veggie drinks, but this ultra concentrated blend was a chore to drink. Still, I bought it in bulk from Rakuten throughout my pregnancy. It has anywhere from 1.8 to 25 mg of iron, based on the availability of veggies used.
Amazon Japan

5. Ito En Eiyou Kyoukakei Ichinichi Bun No Yasai

栄養強化型 1日分の野菜

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Much milder (and easier to drink!) than the super rich concentrated blend from Kagome, this blend of 100% vegetable juice has 1.5 mg of iron. It also helps you reach the daily recommended intake of veggies*, too! (*Recommended daily intake of vegetables in Japan is 350 g.)
Amazon Japan

6. Chocola BB Fe Charge

チョコラBB Feチャージ

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Chocola BB is one of those drink series that you find in little glass bottles. It’s packed with vitamin B2 which helps in preventing mouth ulcers, rough skin, and acne. I get ulcers from stress like crazy and sadly get no relief from Chocola BB drinks or tablets BUT the Fe Charge version has 4 mg of iron. It’s also prune flavored, making it easier to drink than most of those glass bottle supplement drinks.
Amazon Japan

7. Alfe NEO

アルフェネオ

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Another supplement drink sold in a tiny glass bottle is Alfe, a series from Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. The NEO version tastes like green apple and contains 4.5 mg of iron. It also contains royal jelly, vitamins B1, B2, and B6, magnesium, and calcium.
Amazon Japan

8. Plussy1000 Oishii Tetsubun

PLUSSY1000 おいしい鉄分

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Once sold as Plussy1000 Fe Orange (Feオレンジ) this orange flavored vitamin drink contains 1.6 mg of iron, 1000 mg of vitamin C, as well as vitamin B6. I like to use it as an afternoon pickup since it’s carbonated.

Amazon Japan

9. TBC Iron + Folic Acid + Vitamin B12

TBC 鉄分 + 葉酸 + ビタミンB12

You might be familiar with TBC. They provide facials, body rejuvenation, and body hair removal at hundreds of salons across Japan. They have their own line of skincare products and a lineup of drinks as well. This particular drink is blend of peach and prune flavors (tastes more like peach TBH) and has 7.4 mg of iron. After Joia, this is probably my favorite iron fortified drink, but I can only seem to find it in Lawson 100 stores…
Amazon Japan

10. Irohas Lemon and Iron Water (Bonus)

い・ろ・は・す れもんと鉄分

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Labeling this one as a bonus since I first found it last spring/summer and am unsure if it will make its way to convenience store shelves again this year. At any rate, this 500 ml bottle of flavored water has .51 mg of iron per 100 ml, making it 2.55 mg of iron. I relied on this heavily as it was a tasty way to stay hydrated while nursing on the go!

10 Japanese Drinks Rich in Iron

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