'Natsubate': How to deal with summer fatigue in Japan

By Katheryn Gronauer

Walking outside in Japan right now is like walking through a sauna with your clothes on. You can feel the sunburn form on your skin while waiting at a crossing for the light to change. Taking a shower sounds like a refreshing idea until you wind up feeling sticky again, ten minutes later. Perhaps you’re feeling too tired to move, yet for some reason, it’s too hot to fall asleep. But the worst part of summer in Japan is the fatigue — where you look outside your window and see a beautiful day, but you can’t seem to get off of your sofa because all of the energy has drained from your body.

In Japan, there’s a word for this condition: natsubate. Natsu means summer, and bate comes from the word bateru, which means you have trouble moving from being so exhausted. Symptoms of this condition include appetite loss, lack of physical energy, unwillingness to do anything and even minor depressions. Luckily, there are ways to help prevent natsubate from happening — and with even hotter days on the forecast, it’s best to implement these ideas before the going gets tougher.

Eat: Foods to beat the heat


There are two things you want to keep an eye out for this summer: foods that are easy to digest so your body doesn’t have to expend more energy with digestion, and foods that are going to help you stay hydrated since you’ll be sweating a lot. “Hydration” in this case means two things: replenishing water content, and also replenishing minerals lost through sweat.

Summer and tropical fruits: The fruits that have the most water content and electrolytes are also the ones that grow in very hot climates. It’s no wonder — Mother Nature provides you the right kind of nutrition to stay balanced during this time of year. Watermelon, peaches, bananas, lemons, limes, mango are your friends that will not only replenish your body with fluids, but also potassium and magnesium lost through sweat.

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© Savvy Tokyo

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Natsubate doesn't romaji-ize well, just saying.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

It's easy. Fall in love.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Natsubate sounds very different to an English speaker. Some of the tips are rubbish anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pretty provocative title.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Iced somen noodles, as best I recall.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Umeboshi was sold out at the supermarket.

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@savethegaijin - Har!

The article was pretty good with their recommendations. Infused water - yes, even better than plain water is water infused with lemon. I'd go a step further and add a couple of spoons of good ol' sugar to make it lemonade!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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