Is Lucozade good or bad for you?

Recently updated on November 1st, 2023 at 08:42 pm

Whether it’s because of the recognizable orange flavour or the refreshing kick you get from sugar, Lucozade sets a high bar in the world of sports beverages. With options like Lucozade Original and Lucozade Zero, there’s something for everyone. But in an era increasingly focused on health, it begs the question: Is Lucozade actually good for you—or could it be bad?

We’ve scrutinized Lucozade from top to bottom to help you answer this question with confidence.

Lucozade Energy Orange

Table of contents:


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:

  • Preservatives
    • Potassium sorbate
    • sodium bisulphite (E-222)
  • Antioxidants 
    • ascorbic acid
    • Orange juice from concentrate
  • Colouring
    • sunset yellow (E110)
    • Beta carotene
  •  Sweeteners
    • Aspartame
    • Acesulfame-K
  • Flavouring (not specified)
Lucozade Sport (Orange)Water, Glucose Syrup, Acid (Citric Acid), Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate), Stabiliser (Acacia Gum), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame K), Flavouring, Vitamins (Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, B6, B12), Colour (Beta Carotene)Contains a source of Phenylalanine
Lucozade Sport Low Cal (Orange)Water, Glucose Syrup, Acid (Citric Acid), Acidity Regulators (Sodium Citrate, Calcium Hydroxide), Flavouring, Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Stabiliser (Acacia Gum), Sweeteners (Acesulfame K, Sucralose), Vitamins (Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, B6, B12), Colour (Beta Carotene)
Lucozade Energy (Orange)Carbonated Water, Glucose Syrup (11%), Orange Juice from Concentrate (6%), Acid (Citric Acid), Acidity Regulator (Sodium Gluconate), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame-K), Stabiliser (Acacia Gum), Caffeine, Flavourings, Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Colour (Beta Carotene)
Lucozade Zero (Pink Lemonade)Carbonated Water, Fruit Juices from Concentrate (1.5%) (Lemon, Cranberry, Raspberry), Comminuted Lemon (0.5%), Acid (Citric Acid), Acidity Regulator (Sodium Gluconate), Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame-K), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Caffeine, Colour (Anthocyanins), Flavourings, Stabilisers (Locust Bean Gum, Acacia Gum, Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosins)

How do ingredients in Lucozade drinks vary from flavour to flavour?

The 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 Sport line, on the other hand, is advertised as isotonic, meaning that its composition of dissolved particles resembles that of 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 Zero 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 don’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).  

Lucozade also contains sodium (Lucozade Sport – 250mg in a 500 ml bottle) for charging up the much-needed electrolytes after a sweaty exercise session.

How much sugar is in Lucozade?

Lucozade drinks are notorious for containing high levels of sugar, which can be a concern for those looking to manage their sugar intake. For example, a 500 ml bottle of Lucozade Original contains 22.6 grams of sugar, while a 500 ml bottle of Lucozade Sport Orange contains 18 grams of sugar.

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.

It’s worth noting that the World Health Organization recommends limiting sugar intake to no more than 50 grams per day, or ideally less than 25 grams per day. This means that consuming one of the Lucozade drinks would account for a significant portion of the recommended daily sugar intake. While it may not exceed the upper limit, it’s important to be mindful of your overall sugar consumption and consider lower sugar alternatives to help reduce your sugar intake.

If you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake, there is a low-carb option available in the form of the Lucozade Zero range. These drinks are sweetened with artificial sweeteners rather than glucose syrup, which means they have a similar flavor and effect to regular Lucozade drinks but with much less sugar.

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 who 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, which contains around 0.4g of sugar per bottle.

How many calories are 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:

Lucozade Sport (Orange)286.5g3.6g0.13gNiacin 0.54mg (3% RI), Pantothenic Acid 0.20mg (3% RI), Vitamin B6 0.05mg (3% RI), Vitamin B12 0.09µg (3% RI)Sodium 50mg
Lucozade Sport Low Cal (Orange)102.0g1.0g0.09gNiacin 0.54mg (3% RI), Vitamin B6 0.05mg (3% RI), Vitamin B12 0.09µg (3% RI), Pantothenic Acid 0.20mg (3% RI), Calcium 37mg (5% RI)Sodium 37mg
Lucozade Energy Original (Orange)358.4g4.5g0.06gNoneNone
Lucozade Zero (Pink Lemonade)2.10.1g0.1g0.04gNoneNone

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 research 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-12 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 studies also suggest the significant potential in B3 for treating Alzheimer’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 findings 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 good or bad for you?

Whether Lucozade Sport is good or bad for you largely depends on your specific needs and health condition, as well as how you use it. Below are some points to consider:

When You Are Ill:

Lucozade Sport contains carbohydrates and electrolytes that could be beneficial for rehydration, but it’s not recommended as a treatment for illnesses like the flu or colds. The high sugar content could potentially exacerbate symptoms or contribute to weight gain if you’re inactive.

For Your Stomach:

The drink is carbonated and contains high levels of sugar, which may not be ideal for individuals with sensitive stomachs or gastrointestinal issues like acid reflux or ulcers.

For Your Heart:

Given that Lucozade Sport has a higher sugar content (18 g per bottle ), it could contribute to weight gain and increased triglyceride levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. So, it’s advisable to moderate your intake.

For Weight Loss:

Lucozade Sport is not ideal for weight loss due to its high sugar content. If you’re trying to lose weight, there are other hydration options that are calorie-free or lower in sugar.

For Hydration:

Lucozade Sport is designed as a sports drink to aid in hydration and energy replenishment during physical activity. However, the benefits mainly apply when you are engaging in prolonged, high-intensity exercise. For casual activity or daily hydration, water is generally a better option.

For Diarrhea:

The high sugar and low sodium levels in Lucozade Sport are not ideal for treating diarrhea. Oral rehydration solutions specifically designed for this condition are more effective.

For Sickness:

Lucozade Sport is not a treatment for nausea or general sickness. The high sugar content may worsen symptoms, and it lacks the specific electrolyte balance needed for recovery from illness.

In summary, Lucozade Sport can be beneficial for hydration during high-intensity, prolonged physical activity, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for various health conditions.

Is drinking Lucozade every day bad for you?

If combined with other sugary foods, yes, it could be.

Since a single bottle of the 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 a 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 overconsumption 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, artificial sweeteners are no less of a hazard to human health and longevity.

Aspartame and Acesulfame- K present in Lucozade drinks are notoriously linked to signs of toxicity, like severe migraines, nausea, vomiting, etc.

More detrimental concerns include carcinogenic potential, tumor formation, even leukaemia, lymphoma, etc.

A common misconception is that artificial sweeteners are lifesavers for diabetics. The truth is, that consistent and increased consumption of these sweeteners can do more harm than good.

So to answer the question – 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 drinks 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 caffeine and artificial sweeteners 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 won’t contribute to any major weight problems.

Is Lucozade bad for your kidneys?

Overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages like Lucozade which contain a high glycemic index is associated with chronic kidney disease and diabetes. 

Of course, it all depends on the amount you drink and the frequency which will determine the potential dangers of such drinks.

On the other hand, studies 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 diarrhea.

Conclusion – Is Lucozade good or bad for you?

Ultimately, it all boils down to moderate consumption and a balanced diet that can include these energy/sports drinks from time to time.

It’s best to consume Lucozade as recommended – 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.

Related content:
Is Monster Energy Zero Ultra bad for you?

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