Energy drinks have been the craze not only among professional athletes but also anyone in need of a good pick-me-up.
Why compare Lucozade vs Gatorade? As the two clashing giants in the world of sports beverages, Lucozade Energy Original and Gatorade Classic Thirst Quencher must go through detailed scrutiny.
If one is already your preferred flavour, take a look at a deeper analysis to help you pick the best electrolyte booster and find out if one is possibly better.
Gatorade, Lucozade…aren’t they the same thing?
While these two big names have become synonymous for a classic sports drink, the American and British representatives have focused on creating different formulas to offer uniqueness as well as results.
The first notable difference is their taste: Lucozade is a carbonated, orange-flavoured drink while the original Gatorade is famous for its non-carbonated lemon-lime formula.
Read on to learn more about the active ingredients, nutritional value, and effectiveness of both beverages and how they work for improving athletic performance.
Lucozade vs Gatorade – Ingredients
Although the composition of specific products varies from one flavour to another, the main components of both Lucozade and Gatorade are water, citric acid, natural and artificial flavouring, preservatives, and sweetening ingredients (both artificial and natural).
Lucozade drinks also use artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and Acesulfame-K. There are no artificial sweeteners in the Classic Gatorade, only sugars.
Apart from the high percentage of sugar (19%), Lucozade’s potency and energy-boosting come from caffeine, whereas Gatorade focuses more on fluid replenishing and electrolyte quenching as it contains salt and sodium citrate.
Lucozade vs Gatorade – Nutritional value
Apart from fluid replenishing, sports drinks are used for carbohydrate loading, meaning they provide the necessary carb stock in blood to fill in for the lower glucose stores in muscles during exercise to prevent fatigue and maintain performance. Research on recovery drink effectiveness suggests the need for 0.8g of carbohydrates per 1kg of body weight per hour of exercise.
Lucozade contains 8.9g of carbs per 100ml of the drink, while Gatorade has only 6g per 100ml. This means that an average 80kg athlete should take around 1l of Gatorade or 700 ml of Lucozade to meet the optimal carb needs during vigorous training.
Based on the World Health Organization sugar intake guidelines, 5-10 teaspoons of free sugar per day (around 4g per teaspoon) is the optimal intake for healthy adults.
Given that the standard 600ml serving bottle one consumes during a single exercise session of Lucozade will provide 27g and Gatorade 30g of sugar, this calls for careful consideration of how much of these beverages you should consume per day.
Vitamins and minerals
Lucozade stands out for its antioxidant properties with added ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is proved to be a very strong immune system stimulator, great for energy boosting and improved hydration.
Lucozade also contains vitamin B, particularly Niacin (B3) that showed results in lowering cholesterol. Studies on Niacin also suggest the major potential of B3 for fighting Alzheimer’s.
Being an isotonic drink, Gatorade provides optimal electrolyte absorption and efficient hydration. It contains Magnesium, Sodium, Calcium, and Phosphorus that serve to quickly restore vitamin and mineral deficiency during vigorous and intensive activity.
While a single bottle of Lucozade or Gatorade won’t make you fat, every sugary drink consumption should be monitored for a healthy and optimal daily calorie count.
A 500ml bottle of Lucozade contains 186kcal, while 600ml of Gatorade only adds up to 140kcal. This significant difference may interest you if you struggle with weight loss and need to control your daily calorie intake.
Electrolytes (generally sodium, potassium and chloride) help proper hydration and maintain fluid balance.
Gatorade contains sodium citrate which, combined with glucose, showed to improve mineral absorption and fluid retention, improving recovery during and after muscle tension and exercise.
There are also scientific indications that salt and sodium stimulate thirst, resulting in faster and improved fluid absorption compared to drinking just water.
Gatorade also contains Potassium (45mg per 350ml) which is a natural fighter against high blood pressure and lowers risks of cardiovascular disease.
Lucozade original contains 0.8g/100ml of salt, which is around 32 mg of sodium. Gatorade contains 45mg/100ml of sodium and in this sense is more similar to Lucozade Sport, an isotonic drink made for proper carbohydrate load and electrolyte boosting that shows greater similarities in nutritional value.
Lucozade Sport vs Gatorade
Being both isotonic drinks, Lucozade Sport and Gatorade are both made to mimic the composition of blood plasma, meaning they are highly absorbent with faster effectiveness than other drinks.
They both contain high levels of sodium for better fluid retention, and share similar nutritional value for carbohydrates, sugar, and calorie value (check for Lucozade Sport nut. value and Gatorade nut. value for more detailed comparison).
Apart from sodium, Gatorade also contains potassium that improves the electrolyte content and value.
Unlike Gatorade, Lucozade Energy Original is a caffeinated drink, containing 3.58mg of caffeine per 100ml.
While there are health concerns related to caffeine overconsumption, it is widely used in energy and sports drinks to improve strength. In fact, studies suggest caffeine can improve aerobic endurance, diminish muscle fatigue, and sharpen focus and reaction time.
Final verdict – Which is better Lucozade or Gatorade?
In terms of sports drink effectiveness, both Lucozade and Gatorade check all the boxes. That said, determining which one is potentially better for you will depend on your personal needs and preferences.
By looking at its composition, Lucozade is more appropriate for high-intensity workout enthusiasts who need a stronger calorie and carb boost, and a caffeine kick for better focus and performance.
Gatorade’s isotonic formulation, on the other hand, provides a proper electrolyte replenishment while staying on the more safe side when it comes to calories.
Lucozade Sport is another great option for elevating electrolyte levels and preparing for a challenging workout.