Lipovitan D vs. Oronamin C: Japanese Energy Drinks

Since energy drinks became an international phenomenon years ago, various brands, including Red Bull and Monster Energy, have come to Japan and gained popularity.

But the kings of Japanese energy drinks, Lipovitan D (release year: 1962) and Oronamin C (since 1965), are still my favorites, and I sometimes purchase them at convenience stores.

Taisho Lipovitan D vs. Otsuka Oronamin C

Lipovitan D from Taisho Pharmaceutical

Many convenience stores in Japan sell Lipovitan D/リポビタンD and Oronamin C/オロナミンC on the same shelf. But that may confuse people from other countries, for the two products differ in many ways.


Oronamin C Drink by Otsuka Pharmaceutical

Although they are both manufactured by pharmaceutical companies (the former: Taisho-Seiyaku/大正製薬 and the latter: Otsuka-Seiyaku/大塚製薬),

while Taisho Lipovitan D is a designated quasi-drug/指定医薬部外品 approved under Japanese law, Otsuka Oronamin C, as with Red Bull and Monster Energy, is categorized as a soft drink/清涼飲料水. 


Lipovitan D Energy Drink Ingredients Benefits Label

So Lipovitan D and Oronamin C are totally different in components or formulas, as seen in the compared ingredients table below.  

Lipovitan D Oronamin C

(per Bottle/100 mL)

Taurine (1000 mg), Inositol (50 mg), Nicotinamide (20 mg), Thiamine nitrate (Vitamin B1) (5 mg), Sodium riboflavin phosphate (Vitamin B2) (5 mg), Pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6) (5mg), Caffeine (50 mg), White sugar, D-sorbitol, Citric acid, Sodium benzoate, Flavoring, Glycerin, Vanillin

Sugar, Fructose corn syrup, Honey, Salt, Carbonic acid, Flavoring, Vitamin C, Citric acid, Caffeine, Niacinamide, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Soluble vitamin P, Isoleucine, Threonine, Phenylalanine, Monosodium glutamate (MSG)


Taisho Lipovitan D Warning Label

As for dosage, Taisho Lipovitan D is a designated quasi-drug, and children (under 15 years of age) can not drink it. Even adults should not consume more than one bottle a day.

In contrast, since Otsuka Oronamin C is a soft drink, technically, the beverage has no dosage restrictions.


Otsuka Oronamin C Drink Nutrition Facts Label

Although Oronamin C contains various seemingly positive components, it is just a soft drink and thus doesn’t guarantee effectiveness, whereas Lipovitan D certainly helps ease physical and mental fatigue.


Otsuka Oronamin C Energy Drink

The Oronamin C energy drink (carbonated) has a uniquely different flavor than Red Bull and Monster Energy, but they all taste great (at least to me).

Taisho Lipovitan D Energy Drink

Meanwhile, since the Lipovitan D energy drink (non-carbonated) is a kind of drug, you can’t expect much, though it is easy to drink with a mixed fruit flavor (mainly pineapple).

(Reference Pages: 大正製薬 リポビタンD, 大塚製薬 オロナミンC )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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