Food & Nutrition

Is drinking Lucozade healthy? We take a close look at this energy drink

Lucozade original and orange bottles

Published by Finn Hayden

Lucozade is one of those drinks which feels like it has been around forever, and bottles of this drink are often found on the supermarket fridge shelves alongside the likes of Coca Cola and Fanta. Despite being placed next to these fizzy drinks which are packed with sugar, Lucozade is often positioned as a drink which is actually healthy for you. But is it really? We wanted to get to the truth of the matter, so we took a close look at the nutritional stats of Lucozade to see if it really can be described as a healthy drink, let's get into it:

What type of Lucozade are we looking at?

It is worth mentioning that there are now quite a few different varieties of Lucozade out there, but we are specifically talking about the original Lucozade Energy, shown in the image at the top of this page.

In our opinion, some varieties of Lucozade such as Lucozade Alert (pictured here) definitely can't be considered as being healthy due to the huge amounts of caffeine found in them (32mg/100ml, the same amount found in a can of Red Bull). Definitely not very good for you!

Lucozade Alert

What are the nutritional stats of Lucozade Energy? 

Most people understand that Lucozade Energy contains glucose, but not many people realise that glucose is just a type of sugar, and that like all types of sugar, consuming too much of it is bad for you. However, although Lucozade Energy does contain sugar, it doesn't contain nearly as much sugar as most of the other fizzy drinks it shares the supermarket shelves with.

A 500ml bottle of Lucozade Energy contains 22.4g of sugar - to put that into perspective, a 500ml bottle of Coca-Cola Original contains 53g of sugar, more than double the amount of Lucozade Energy.

However, in terms of calories, Lucozade Energy is much closer to Coca-Cola Original than many people would expect. A 500ml bottle of Lucozade Energy contains 174 calories, whereas the same amount of Coca-Cola Original contains 210 calories, only 36 more. Considering that many people choose Lucozade Energy over Coca-Cola Original as a healthier choice, they might be surprised to see that the difference in calories is very slim.

It is worth mentioning that there are a couple of extra ingredients included in Lucozade Energy which definitely makes it a healthier drink than Coca-Cola. For example, each 500ml bottle of Lucozade contains Niacin (Vitamin B3), which can help to keep your nervous system and digestive system healthy.

Also, Coca-Cola uses sucrose sourced from sugar cane as a sweetener, whereas it is well-known that Lucozade Energy uses glucose. Glucose is a monosaccharide, whereas sucrose is a disaccharide, and the way that your body uses each of these sugars differs slightly. This difference makes Lucozade Energy particularly helpful for diabetics, as most diabetics cannot tolerate sucrose but can use a drink like Lucozade Energy to control their blood sugar levels.

Does Lucozade contain Caffeine?

Before writing this, I did not know whether Lucozade contained caffeine. So, does Lucozade contain caffeine? The answer is actually, no. A 500ml bottle of standard UK Lucozade does not contain caffeine.

However, the Lucosade 'Energy' range does. The 'alert' Lucozade contains about 12mg of naturally occurring caffeine per 100ml, and some Lucozade formulas in the USA claim to contain up to 46mg of caffeine per 12-ounce bottle. That is about the same as a strong coffee.

So, if you're sensitive to caffeine then you're best to stick to the standard Lucozade, and avoid any from the 'Lucozade Energy' range.

So Lucozade Energy should be totally avoided unless you're a diabetic?

This isn't to say that Lucozade Energy is completely worthless - it can be a helpful source of glucose before or after a workout, as your muscles need glucose to rebuild (along with protein). However, you could opt for a natural source of glucose such as honey or dried fruits, and get the same benefits without all the calories.

Final thoughts

So as you can see, this hasn't been a straightforward question to answer, but hopefully, we've helped you to understand that for most people, Lucozade Energy isn't particularly healthy and you probably shouldn't add it to your meal deal unless you're planning on carrying out some intense exercise.

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

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