What do you think of when you hear the phrase “punk health”? A rock star singing about health?

In China, young generations have adopted a new lifestyle: pengke yangsheng (朋克养生) or punk health. It means the pairing of a vice with a healthy ingredient. 

They created punk health to offset the unhealthy lifestyles that have formed throughout the pandemic. 

Some focuses under the trend of “punk health” are sleep, skincare, alcohol consumption, eating light with zero fat.

Sleep Deprivation and Aids

Despite spending more time at home during the pandemic, a survey in China showed that it took people an extra two to three hours to fall asleep. 

The national sleep average is now six and a half hours.

Thoughts keeping people up at night during the pandemic

To combat the struggle of falling asleep, people are finding sleep aids

The most common sleep aids are meditation apps, sound machines, eye masks and herbal remedy diffusers. 

Eye masks and melatonin pills are common forms of sleep aids.

Superfoods

In addition to these sleep aid products, people are incorporating superfoods into their diet. 

Examples of such superfoods include honeysuckle, lily bulb, lotus seed, jujube, black fungus and osmanthus. 

These foods can lead to better sleep, digestion, immunity and skin. 

Traditional Chinese medicine superfoods

The beauty of these six superfoods is that you can incorporate them into your diet in a variety of ways. Some are used to garnish tea and coffee while others are ingredients in salads and soups. 

There is also the idea of “eating light with zero fat” to ensure healthy digestion

Some people are not looking for quick fixes. They are looking to change their lifestyle into a healthier one. 

After all, the foods we consume affect not only our physical appearance, but also our energy levels and brain function. A healthy gut leads to a healthy heart and mind. 

People are focusing on eating more vegetables, limiting eating out and diminishing alcohol consumption.

Shortcuts to a Healthy Lifestyle

However, another side of punk health has found little health hacks for those who enjoy a night out drinking with friends. 

Goji tea is believed to be good for the liver, so people often drink it after a night out to try and prevent hangovers.

This trend of punk health is taking off as companies create products that give people a shortcut to a healthy lifestyle. People can indulge but feel better about themselves and their health.

Rising products include energy drinks infused with hawthorn, candy infused with melatonin, and tea concoctions that supposedly offset the consequences of a long night out.

Ye Yu Cha (“Night with Tea”) – This tea helps with insomnia and is said to prevent hangovers.

Older generations did not have the accessibility to “these so-called health remedies” that prevent aging and prolong one’s life. 

Punk health gives younger generations the opportunity to gain control of their health, but half-heartedly. 


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Caroline Liekweg
Caroline is a writing intern from the University of Southern California, majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Chinese for the Professions. She hopes to use her writing to address and understand cultural connections between China and Western countries.
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