Food & Nutrition

Does drinking Lucozade actually help when you’re sick with the cold? We take a look at this popular flu remedy

Lucozade original and orange bottles

Published by Finn Hayden

When I was younger, I'd always get a bottle of Lucozade Energy when I was sick. I didn't really question why this was the case - after all, it tasted good (I always got orange flavour, of course, I always thought original flavour Lucozade was a bit weird) and it was the sort of thing I'd drink when I needed energy before a football game, so it made sense to me to drink it when I was run down with a cold or flu. But was the Lucozade actually helping me, and is it worth drinking Lucozade when you're sick?

In short - yes, drinking Lucozade when you're sick can be helpful, particularly if you're feeling low on energy. But don't expect it to cure your sickness any faster, and if you're going to drink a type of Lucozade when you're sick then you should drink Lucozade Energy instead of Lucozade Sport.

But there is a bit more to it than that, let's take a look at the facts:

What makes Lucozade Energy good for you when you're sick?

Aside from tasting good (again, I mean the orange flavour, can't stand the original), Lucozade Energy contains a number of things which your average fizzy drink does not contain and which makes it quite a useful drink to have when you're feeling run down. For example, each 380ml bottle contains 30.0g of glucose, quite a significant amount.

Your metabolism actually spikes when you have a cold or flu and many viruses cause higher glucose metabolism, so you burn more energy than you would normally. This is where a drink like Lucozade can be really useful, as it'll replenish the glucose which is being burned at a faster rate than usual.

Lucozade Energy is also full of calories, which usually isn't a great thing but can actually be really helpful when you're sick, especially if you're not eating as much as normal.

Lastly, the caffeine in Lucozade Energy (about 12mg per 100ml) will help you to stay more alert and productive while you're dealing with a cold.

What about Lucozade Sport?

Once we started looking at what Lucozade Sport contains compared to Lucozade Energy, we began to realise that if you're going to drink any type of Lucozade when you're sick, it should probably be the Energy variety, which is the opposite of what we assumed prior to writing this article. Lucozade Sport is also packed with things which are good for you if you're suffering from a cold or flu, such as electrolytes. But the main issue with Lucozade Sport is that it is lower in glucose and calories than Lucozade Energy, which makes it slightly less effective for getting you back to healthy when you're ill.

back of Lucozade Sport

Anything else to mention?

Yes, there is a zero-sugar version of Lucozade Energy which contains half as many calories and less glucose compared to the normal version of Lucozade Energy, making it slightly less effective to drink when you have a cold.

So just make sure you're buying the original version! You can buy it online in bulk for way cheaper than you'll find in the supermarkets.

Lucozade Zero

So, does Lucozade actually help when you're sick?

So hopefully you can see that there is some truth to the idea that drinking Lucozade can help you when you're sick, but for optimal effects, you'll want to go for the original Lucozade Energy as it contains caffeine, calories, and glucose. Lucozade Sport is less useful to drink when you're sick.  

Let us know if you've tried drinking Lucozade when you're sick, and if so what your experience has been!

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

One Comment

  • Ms Tahlia Kaye

    Worth noting that Lucozade Sport is good for when you have vomiting and diahoreah because you loose electrolytes when you’re sick like that. I use Energy one for colds and flu and Sport for food poisoning/ diahoreah.

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