Whether itâ€™s because of the recognizable orange flavour or the refreshing kick you get from sugar, Lucozade sets a bar high in the world of sport beverages.
With different lines like lucozade original, lucozade zero, etc., this power booster offers options for a variety of customers.
Yet, we canâ€™t just ignore the growing health hazards related to energy drinks.
Is then Lucozade bad for you?
Weâ€™ve scrutinized Lucozade from top to bottom to help you answer this question with confidence.
While different flavours vary in some ingredients, the basic composition of Lucozade is based on water (some drinks contain carbonated water), glucose syrup and flavour enhancers like citric and lactic acid.
Lucozade drinks also contain:
- Potassium sorbate
- sodium bisulphite (E-222)
- ascorbic acid
- Orange juice from concentrate
- sunset yellow (E110)
- Beta carotene
- Â Sweeteners
- FlavouringÂ (not specified)
How doÂ ingredients inÂ Lucozade drinks vary from flavour to flavour?
TheÂ Lucozade Energy line, like most energy drinks, contains a stimulant for an elevating and energy-boosting effect. Apart from the higher concentration of carbohydrates (glucose syrup), these drinks contain caffeine as well.
Lucozade SportÂ line, on the other hand, is advertised as isotonic, meaning that its composition of dissolved particles resembles that of the bodily fluids, making it highly absorbent.
Isotonic sports drinks like Lucozade are recommended before, during and after exercise also because of the added combination of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes (Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), B6, B12, sodium) for optimal hydration and recharging.
The Lucozade ZeroÂ range of energy drinks was designed for a lower calorie intake with the same boosting effect. This line is very low in carbohydrates (0.4g in a 380ml bottle), but contains a combination of artificial sweeteners Aspartame and Acesulfame-K.
All plant-based flavour Lucozade products (Orange, Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Cherry Kick, Mango & Passion Fruit, Caribbean Burst, Brazilian Guava) are vegan and donâ€™t contain any animal-derived ingredients.
The nutritional values of Lucozade drinks
What vitamins and minerals can you find in Lucozade?
From flavoured water to the classic isotonic sports drink, Lucozade beverages are enriched with a cocktail of valuable vitamins, especially B-complex (niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), B6 and B12). Â
Lucozade also contains sodium (Lucozade Sport â€“ 250mg in a 500 ml bottle) for charging up the much-needed electrolytes after a sweaty exercise session.
How much sugar is in Lucozade?
One of the notorious ingredients in Lucozade drinks is sugar which canÂ get quite high in some of their beverages, like theÂ Lucozade original and (22.6 g per 500 ml bottle) and Lucozade sport, orangeÂ (18 g per 500 ml bottle).
Although there are artificial sweeteners in these drinks, the main sweetening ingredient is glucose syrup, a carbohydrate that mostly defines the calorie content as well.
The Lucozade Zero range was specially designed to evade the sugar drama and offer a low-carb option with a similar flavour and effect.
How safe is the amount of sugar in these drinks?
Based on the World Health Organization guidelines, the recommended daily consumption of refined sugar should stay in the range of 5-10 teaspoons for an average adult that consumes around 2000 kcal/day.
Given that a regular teaspoon fills up around 4g, a 500 ml bottle of Lucozade original contains around 4.5 teaspoons of sugar, which is almost in the danger zone on its own.
Low-sugar options to consider are the Zero range beverages, such as Pink Lemonade, that contain around 0.4g of sugar per bottle.
How many calories is there in Lucozade?
Depending on the line and bottle size, Lucozade drinks range from 8 kcal (Zero drinks) to 176 kcal (Energy drinks).
You will find 133 kcal in a bottle of Lucozade Energy drink (380 ml) while a 500 ml bottle contains 176 kcal.
The low-cal sport flavours contain only 5g of sugar and 10g of carbohydrates, adding to only about 50 kcal per bottle.
Nutritional values of Lucozade drinks per 100ml:
In terms of fat and protein content, Lucozade drinks contain only negligible amounts.
Do Lucozade drinks offer any health benefits?
You may wonder why Lucozade drinks are so rich in vitamin B, and researchÂ has indeed proved its numerous positive effects which are closely related to pre and post-exercise nourishment:
- improving heart health
- Improving focus and cognitive function
- cell repair
- memory boost
- cholesterol control
- muscle toning
- proper digestion
The benefits of vitamin B-12Â are strong in the prevention of cognitive disease and improving focus, cognitive performance, and even in therapy for anaemia.
Niacin or vitamin B3 is widely beneficial for lowering cholesterol. Recent studiesÂ also suggest the major potential in B3 for treating Alzheimerâ€™s, and for memory and learning improvement in cases of dementia.
High-intensity exercise and straining physical activity lead to extensive sweating through which the body is deprived of valuable minerals and electrolytes. Sports drinks like Lucozade are also fueled with sodium, as findingsÂ suggest that it is necessary for optimal mineral composition, proper hydration and fluid absorption. A sufficient amount of sodium during exercising and even after is crucial for preventing mineral deficiency like hyponatremia (low blood sodium).
Is Lucozade Sport bad for you?
Compared to other sports drinks, the Lucozade Sport range does not stand out in any way as a problematic option. That said, given the higher sugar level (18 g per bottle) it is advisable to control the amount of this drink per day to stay in the optimal sugar intake range for healthy wellbeing.
Is drinking Lucozade every day bad for you?
If combined with other sugary foods, yes, it could be. Since a single bottle of average Lucozade drink, like the Lucozade Sport or Original, contains almost enough glucose-based carbohydrates for the entire day, drinking these beverages every day without proper amount check can lead to excessive sugar intake, especially in children and adolescents whose daily intake recommendations are lower than that of an average adult.
Sugar overconsumptionÂ may lead to an array of health issues, the most prominent being obesity, diabetes, heart disease and blood sugar imbalance, hormonal imbalance, and even behavioural problems, etc.
Is Lucozade Zero bad for you?
Although the Zero range is based on a sugar-free formula, the artificial sweeteners are no less of a hazard to human health and longevity. Aspartame and Acesulfame- KÂ present in Lucozade drinks are notoriously linked to signs of toxicity, like severe migraines, nausea, vomiting, etc.
More detrimental concerns include carcinogenic potential, tumour formation, even leukaemia, lymphoma, etc.
A common misconception is that artificial sweeteners are lifesavers for diabetics. The truth is, consistent and increased consumption of these sweeteners can do more harm than good. So to answer the question â€“ yes, if consumed irresponsibly and too much, Lucozade Zero could possibly have negative effects on your health in the long run.
Can pregnant women drink Lucozade?
On their website, Lucozade confirmed that their Sport range drinksÂ are safe to consume during pregnancy with a disclaimer to always consult with a healthcare professional. Based on the nutritional breakdown, the Lucozade Sport Range should not pose any health threats as long as it is consumed moderately, with careful monitoring of the daily sugar intake.
Due to the presence of caffeineÂ and artificial sweetenersÂ in other Lucozade products, they are not recommended during pregnancy as well as the breastfeeding period.
Is Lucozade fattening?
Yes, it could be. Lucozade drinks (except for the Zero line) are packed with energy, containing glucose syrup and carbohydrates that add up to the higher calorie amount. That said, just like any other foods, these beverages are as fattening as you allow them to be. Given that the calorie amount ranges from 50 kcal/bottle to around 176 kcal/bottle, a controlled number of drinks wonâ€™t contribute to any major weight problems.
Is Lucozade bad for your kidneys?
Overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages like Lucozade that contain a high glycemic index is associated with chronic kidney diseaseÂ and diabetes. Â Of course, it all depends on the amount you drink and frequency which will determine the potential dangers of such drinks.
On the other hand, studiesÂ have also shown that vitamin B and its derivatives can delay the progression of diabetic kidney disease.
Is Lucozade good for a cold?
No! Although in the old days the initial idea behind Lucozade used to be related to a cold and flu medicine called Glucozade, there is no concrete proof that these beverages now help in relieving symptoms of a cold.
Can too much Lucozade cause diarrhea?
Due to the high acidity of Lucozade drinks, drinking too much of it can lead to nausea, heartburn, and yes, even diarrhoea.
Conclusion â€“ Is Lucozade good or bad for you?
In the end, it all boils down to moderate consumption and a balanced diet that can include these energy/sports drinks from time to time.
Itâ€™s best to consume Lucozade as recommended â€“ before, during or after physical activity as their potential is then at its peak.
Although Lucozade is a fast solution for rehydration and refreshment, one should keep in mind the drawbacks of sugar intake, the potential risks of artificial sweeteners, and daily caffeine recommendations.
All in all, Lucozade can be good for healthy consumers with careful attention to proper dosing.