Incorporating A Century-Old Drink Into Modern-Day Wellness
rē•spinning our health with Japan's best-kept secret.
When we embark on a cleanse to balance our gut and reset our bodies, we often gravitate towards certain things. Prebiotics, probiotics, and nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables. These usually come in the form of cold-pressed juices, apple cider vinegar, or kombucha. But Japan, well-known for its fermentation processes, has perfected an equally impactful drink over the last 100 years called koso (or “enzyme” in Japanese). It is gaining traction on this side of the world with juice cleansers and intermittent fasters alike.
“Koso drink is a traditional enzyme drink created from vegetables, fruits, and plants, which provides abundant probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics,” Ryu Okada tells rē•spin. Drawing upon the century-old tradition, Okada founded his own koso line, R’s KOSO, in 2018. It features an antioxidant- and vitamin-laden drink packed with more than 100 different fruits, vegetables, and plant-based ingredients. It is manufactured at a Japanese factory with seven decades of experience making koso.
Drink As A Tool to rē-center Our Health
Koso supports digestive health and manages good bacteria in the gut. It also allows our bodies to better absorb more nutrient-dense ingredients. “Studies show taking prebiotic fiber causes positive changes in the gut microbiome, including increased levels of beneficial bacteria that are associated with a decrease in fat mass,” says Okada. He experienced the power of koso firsthand after moving to New York from Tokyo four years ago. As part of a lifestyle shift, he quickly gained 10lbs and began to experience symptoms which included diarrhea, decreased sleep, and low energy, all of which impacted his work and emotional health.
“It felt as if my body was filled with toxins,” he says. “I was sluggish and unfocused. I knew something needed to change.”
While Okada was on the hunt for a remedy, his wife suggested he test out the same koso cleanse she’d done before their wedding. “It’s traditionally been used by those who didn’t have access to nutrient-dense foods, but has become a popular choice among the young and health-conscious,” says Okada. The result? His digestive issues disappeared, a bout of eczema cleared up, and suddenly he was sleeping better and waking up with more energy to tackle his day-to-day tasks.
“I am so happy to bring the wisdom of a time-honored Japanese secret to every person in America,” he says of R’s KOSO. “Health is the promise of happiness.”
How to Consume Koso
According to Okada, the best way to introduce R’s KOSO into your daily routine is to mix it with still or sparkling water and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning to improve absorption. It also pairs well with warm hibiscus herbal tea (served at a temperature lower than 122 F), water with lemon and ginger, apple cider vinegar, or a combination of orange and mango juice. It can also be added to smoothies, mixed into a salad dressing, drizzled on yogurt, or even used as a mixer for a cocktail of your choice.
Here’s how to step up your smoothie game with R’s KOSO:
Probiotic Green Smoothie with R’s KOSO
- One tablespoon R’s KOSO
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- One cup spinach
- ¼ avocado
- ½ banana
- One teaspoon of cacao nibs
- Add all ingredients into a blender
- Blend until smooth
- If the texture is too thick, add water to the mixture and continue to blend