Is Lucozade good for you ?
Now firstly I am not here to knock the lucozade brand, in fact far from it. But is Lucozade good for you?
It is what is it and its an amazing brand in many ways. But how many calories are in Lucozade? Many of you have asked if it is a good alcohol free alternative.
Well it depends on what you are looking for?
It’s has real pros and cons. It ain’t alcohol that’s for sure!
There are other drinks like alcohol that probably need more of a check for our overall health right now. But sugar can’t be a replacement for alcohol.
But if you are giving up alcohol or cutting back is Lucozade really the answer?
It does have a healthy image rightly or wrongly.
As we cut back on alcohol it’s all about balance. As a good therapist knows replacing one bad habit with another never really works.
I remember the Lucozade brand very fondly from when I was a kid.
It was when my Dad was in hospital and it was the “done thing” that if you were ill you had to have a bottle of the yellow / golden liquid with the equally attractive golden plastic wrapper by your hospital bed!
In fact if you looked around the ward it was probably a must buy for visiting a relative in hospital. As a kid I thought it was a sin not to buy a bottle of Lucozade.
I thought you may have been clocked by the hospital authorities or something if you did not have one ! It was just expected!
So how did it develop into this so called healthy sport brand when really we are talking high levels of glucose / sugar and calories?
That’s said it is a great brand that is learning to change with the times. It’s still sugar though.
How many calories in a bottle of lucozade?
It is certainly up there with high end calories. In fact on a positive note it is sometimes it is used when someone is having a massive sugar drop, say if you are a diabetic for example.
So that should tell you something about how much sugar and glucose is in the product. There was even NHS guidelines when Lucozade reduced their sugar in case it missed the mark for a diabetic in an emergency.
So the calories!
Per 330 ml bottles the number of calories estimated to be in Lucozade is 281 calories.
Here is a full break down:
- Calories 281 (1174 kJ)
- Carbohydrate 70.3 g 23%
- Sugars 34.6 g
- Dietary Fibre 1.9 g 6%
- Sodium 15 mg 1%
- Alcohol 0 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
As you can see it’s a very sugar based drink. Now what would you need to do roughly to work that off in terms of exercise?
Its eye watering!
That would be a 78 minutes walk at a good pace and 32 minutes running. People often forget your body is made in the kitchen and not always in the gym!
Any good personal trainer will tell you that.
Let’s take swimming. You would need to swim for 23 minutes and 43 minutes on the bike. But clearly that is going to vary per person and build.
Do you need Lucozade when you are ill?
I hate to say it but no not really although the brand may have such a powerful effect on you that your mind takes over so it becomes a placebo!
The fact is even if you have the flu the main issue with a high temperature is fluid and I know from being in hospital that most fluids are counted but ideally you will want water and lots of it.
High sugar products can actually not help with diarrhea for example and generally can make us more hyperactive when we need rest.
So diet drinks might be a better option.
It’s a bit like when smoothies were first out and we were downing them as they were the thing to cure all ills. In reality the body would never put that much sugar without fiber into the body.
None-one eats hundreds of apples in one go!
In fact over two weeks in drinking bottled smoothies non-stop I nearly put on over a stone just from drinking those delicious health smoothies.
I just thought it would make me healthier!
It’s not that fruit is bad as its natural sugar but once its fermented and the fibre goes away its very different from just eating a piece of fruit for example.
Yes Lucozade could give you an energy boost if you were suffering malnutrition but it reality pumping that much sugar into our bodies is never a good idea.
Its great marketing to connect the brand to ill health but it reality its not healthy at all unless you need sugar urgently.
Or you must fancy it as a treat or quick energy fix!
For a product that relies less on sugar and gets great reviews and my affiliate link is below. It can be added to fresh or filtered water and is good for hydration.
Is Lucozade Healthy for you compared to alcohol ?
Of course anything that does not contain alcohol is good in my book and although it does not need to say on the bottle it is 0.0 abv so completely alcohol free!
One of the things my liver consultant said to me made a lot of sense and bear in mind I was just a social wine drinker.
He said that many people who cut back on alcohol or give it up completely get a sugar craving and then pile on lots of weight.
This makes sense as since giving up alcohol and wine I have noticed an increase in my affection for ice lollies. Strange but true.
Of course, I am a fan of alcohol free drinks but many people think it’s also sugar free so a diet drink.
It isn’t but the good news is that things like alcohol free gin are almost zero in calories so rather than downing a bottle of high energy drink you would be better with that.
Although it comes at a price!
There are also alcohol free beer brands really making the effort to reduce the calories. And remember many calories in social drinks is from alcohol.
To go to Lucozade as a replacement for alcohol is not a great idea so alcohol free options might be a good route.
And remember the golden rule is simple : calories in and calories out. Its the best diet book I ever bought!
How has the Lucozade brand developed?
So how has this zero alcohol brand developed over the years from the perfect hospital gift to an alcohol alternative or even a sports drink you can’t do without?
The history is slightly strange, some of the development came very late in the day and actually it was a while before the brand evolved.
I am a bit embarrassed to say this but it took me while to realize the drink was firstborn in a place I know well or at least I thought I did.
Lucozade was made Newcastle UK by Thomas Beecham and was sold all over the UK from when it was created in 1927.
That’s right it has got quite a history. I mean not old but certainly older than you would expect.
Many people think it was born in the eighties and that’s certainly not true!
Now when you actually read the ingredients it makes sense that it was originally called Glucozade until 1929 and of course, it was glucose mainly.
In fact the product made minor changes but didn’t really change at all until the eighties. I know crazy really but maybe that is the strength the brand and the connection to ill health.
Who knows, it certainly worked!
Of course in eighties fitness regimes became all the rage with fitness videos and therefore the “energy badge” was applied to it.
The slogan that had been long held changed from “Lucozade aids recovery” to “Lucozade replaces lost energy”.
Although with the “aids” issue in the eighties many brands dropped anything that could be linked no matter how crazy the link although its never talked about.
Lucozade jumped on the fitness trend and extra flavors emerged from the traditional which was orange and lemon.
Many people think the original lucozade was orange but of course, it was its own unique flavor which I remember well from my hospital visits to see my Dad.
With that change it became one of the energy kings and sales massively increased in the nineties with the introduction of the Tropical and Wild Berry Flavor. It was one of the early leaders in the energy market.
It then moved into the “running” marketplace for drinks and so came along Lucozade Sport but only if you “were or wanted to be healthy”.
You now see Lucozade as a major sponsor at events worldwide including running events.
If we are dehydrated drinking plenty of water is key as most of the body is water. We always need to remember that especially if we are cutting back on alcohol.
Although It seems Lucozade is admitting that if you had diarrhea for example drinking it is not the best option! It seems there is a fine line between what is so called healthy and the reality.
Overall an alcohol, free option?
Yes of course as it has no alcohol. The choice is whether you want all that sugar as part of the mix which of course can also not be good for our liver either.
There is no doubt that the brand is a fantastic one and they are brilliant per se. It’s a transparent product.
However just look at the label when the question comes up which : is lucozade good for you? Just know what you’re drinking. And would I have one? Yes but only occasionally!
After all if you are reducing alcohol or giving it up you want to look at your diet in the round.
That includes the question: Is lucozade good for you? It’s your call but don’t make a habit out of drinking it just for your because its alcohol free. Balance is key. Please comment below and let me know your thoughts and I always get back to you.