Is Robinsons Barley Water Good for You? A Closer Look

Recently updated on April 18th, 2024 at 10:24 pm

When you’re on a health-conscious journey, it’s not just the food on your plate that counts, but also the drinks you pour into your glass. Maybe Robinsons barley water has been a staple in your fridge, or perhaps you’re just considering trying it. Either way, you’re probably asking: is it good for me?

In this post, we’ll dive into what’s inside that bottle of Robinsons barley water. We’ll look at its ingredients, nutritional info, and what this means for your health. Ready to find out? Let’s go!

Robinsons Barley Water - lemon flavour

What is Robinsons Barley Water?

Robinsons Barley Water is a concentrated squash, meant to be mixed with water before sipping. With its roots in the UK, this drink has quenched thirst for generations.

A Brief Background

The origins of barley water in general can be traced back centuries. Historically, barley water was considered a homemade remedy for various ailments and was often consumed for its perceived health benefits.

Robinsons, recognising the potential and popularity of this simple drink, brought their version of barley water to the public during the Wimbledon tennis championships in the 1930s.

And well, as they say, the rest is history! The brand has since established itself as a household name, aligning the drink with refreshing relief after physical exertion and warm days.

Its Two Popular Flavours: Lemon and Orange

  1. Lemon: A zesty classic, the lemon flavour brings a tangy freshness, pairing the citrusy kick of lemons with the subtle taste of barley.
  2. Orange: A sweeter choice, the orange flavour mixes the sweetness of oranges with the grounding taste of barley.

Whether you’re team lemon or orange, Robinsons Barley Water offers a refreshing twist to the traditional beverage.


The exact ingredients in Robinsons Barley Water depend on the flavour, however, both flavours have almost identical ingredients apart from a few minor differences.

Here are the ingredients of both flavours compared side by side:

LemonWater, Sugar, Lemon Juice from Concentrate (17%), Barley Flour (2.5%), Acid (Citric Acid), Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Metabisulphite), Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Sweetener (Saccharin), Natural Flavouring.
OrangeWater, Sugar, Orange Juice from Concentrate (17%), Barley Flour (2.5%), Acid (Citric Acid), Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Metabisulphite), Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Sweetener (Saccharin), Natural Orange Flavouring with other Natural Flavourings, Natural Colour (Carotenes).

As you can see, both flavours share the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Barley Flour: Gives it a unique taste.
  • Citric Acid
  • Preservatives: Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Metabisulphite
  • Antioxidant
  • Artificial Sweetener: Saccharin

The main differences are as follows:

  • Fruit Juice from Concentrate: Lemon flavour has lemon juice, while the Orange flavour uses orange juice.
  • Flavouring: Lemon has a general natural flavouring, whereas Orange uses natural orange flavourings.
  • Natural Colour: Only the Orange flavour has Carotenes to get its colour.

Out of all these ingredients, a few raise eyebrows:

  • Sugar:
    • Concerns: High sugar intake is linked to various health issues such as obesity, tooth decay, and diabetes. Over time, consistent high sugar consumption can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease.
  • Artificial Sweetener (Saccharin):
    • Concerns: While Saccharin has been deemed safe by major health organizations, some early studies raised concerns about potential links to cancer in lab animals. However, later research has largely dispelled these claims, and the FDA recognizes it as safe. Still, some people prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether.
  • Sodium Metabisulphite:
    • Concerns: It’s a preservative, and while it’s generally safe for the majority, some people might be sensitive or allergic to sulphites. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and include skin rashes, hives, or even breathing difficulties, especially for those with asthma.
  • Barley Flour:
    • Concerns: Barley contains gluten. Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities could have adverse reactions upon consumption.

So far, Robinsons barley water doesn’t look particularly healthy but let’s explore further by examining its nutritional values.


When it comes to the nutritional nitty-gritty of Robinsons barley water, it’s a pretty straightforward story. There’s no fat, protein, or fibre in sight, making the drink a fairly light option.

The salt content is minuscule, almost negligible at just 0.01g per 100ml.

Where it does weigh in is on the carbohydrates. The Lemon flavour contains 4.2g of carbs per 100ml, while the Orange flavour edges slightly higher with 4.5g.

And yes, most of these carbs come from sugars, with the Lemon having 3.8g and the Orange boasting 4.1g per 100ml.

Do keep in mind, these values are when you’ve diluted the drink with 1 part squash to 4 parts water. If you’re serving it to toddlers, it’s wise to add even more water.


The good news is that Robinsons barley water is fairly light on the calorie front. The Lemon flavour brings in 18kcal per 100ml, while the Orange flavour is just a smidge more calorific at 19kcal per 100ml.

In essence, while Robinsons Barley Water isn’t calorie-dense, it is a source of sugars, so it’s best enjoyed in moderation. There are also no added vitamins and minerals in it to give you an extra boost.

Robinsons Barley Water’s Health Benefits

Stepping back from the nitty-gritty details, you might be thinking: with all its sugars and ingredients, does Robinsons barley water offer any health benefits? Let’s dive right into it.

Is Robinsons Barley Water Healthy?

Straight out of the gate, Robinsons barley water isn’t a health elixir or a miracle drink. It’s a tasty, refreshing beverage with some nostalgic charm for many. But health-wise, here’s the low-down:

  1. Hydration: The primary benefit, especially when diluted correctly, is hydration. Just like any other drink, it helps keep you hydrated, especially on a hot day or after a workout. But remember, plain water does the same without any added sugars.
  2. Vitamin C from Fruit Concentrates: The lemon and orange juices provide some vitamin C. This vitamin is known for its immune-boosting properties and its role in skin health. However, if you’re really after vitamin C, whole fruits or specific supplements would offer a richer source.
  3. Taste without the Fizz: For those who are trying to kick a sugary fizzy drink habit, Robinsons barley water might be an intermediary step. It gives you flavor without the fizz and often, with lesser sugar than regular sodas.

Unpacking Its Health Claims

While the brand doesn’t advertise Robinsons barley water as a health drink per se, barley water in its traditional form is often linked to various health benefits:

  • Digestive Health: Traditional barley water, made from boiling barley and consuming the liquid, was believed to aid digestion. But remember, the commercial Robinsons product has undergone processing and contains added sugars, which does not offer the same benefit.
  • Antioxidant Properties: The fruit concentrates do bring along some antioxidants, which help in fighting off free radicals in the body. However, the quantity present in Robinsons barley water might not be significant enough to make a real impact on your health.

To wrap it up, while Robinsons barley water can be a refreshing choice, it’s not necessarily a health powerhouse. It offers some benefits, but also brings along sugars and other ingredients that may be concerning to some. As always, moderation is key. If you enjoy it, have it occasionally, and stay informed about what you’re putting into your body.


Is Robinsons barley water good for kidneys?

Historically, traditional barley water (not specifically the Robinsons brand) was sometimes recommended as a diuretic or as a remedy for urinary tract infections, leading some to believe it was beneficial for kidney health.

While barley water can aid in hydration, which is essential for healthy kidney function, there’s no direct scientific evidence to suggest that Robinsons barley water offers specific benefits for the kidneys. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional regarding kidney health and dietary choices.

Is Robinsons barley water good for diabetics?

Robinsons barley water contains sugar and artificial sweeteners, both of which can affect blood sugar levels. Given the sugar content, it may not be the best choice for diabetics, especially if consumed in large amounts or frequently. Diabetics should monitor their sugar intake carefully and consult with a nutritionist or doctor to determine if Robinsons barley water is suitable for their diet.

Is Robinsons barley water gluten-free?

Robinsons barley water contains barley flour, and barley is a source of gluten. Therefore, it is not gluten-free. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities should avoid consuming Robinsons barley water to prevent any adverse reactions.


So, what’s the final say? Is Robinsons barley water good for you?

Robinsons barley water, like many beverages, has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it’s a low-calorie drink that can offer a refreshing taste, especially when diluted appropriately. On the other hand, its sugar content and the presence of artificial sweeteners mean it’s best consumed in moderation, especially for those watching their sugar intake or with specific health concerns like diabetes.

While it doesn’t boast a significant nutritional boost, neither does it claim to. It’s a flavoured drink, primarily meant for refreshment rather than nourishment. If you’ve got gluten concerns, remember it’s not gluten-free.

In essence, Robinsons barley water can be a part of a balanced diet when consumed responsibly. Like with any beverage or food, it’s all about balance and understanding how it fits into your overall health and wellness journey. If you enjoy its taste, have it occasionally and savor it, but always be mindful of its sugar content and how it complements your dietary needs.