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Lucozade logo.png
Type Sports drink
Manufacturer Suntory
Country of origin United Kingdom
Introduced 1927

Lucozade is an umbrella name for a series of energy and sports drinks. Originating in 1927 as the culmination of Newcastle chemist William Owen's efforts to create a source of energy for those who were sick with common illnesses, "Glucozade" was renamed Lucozade in 1929. The product was acquired by Beecham's in 1938, and the Lucozade name has since moved to several other companies in successive mergers and acquisitions. On 9 September 2013, both Lucozade and Ribena were acquired from GlaxoSmithKline by the Japanese conglomerate Suntory for £1.35 billion.

Lucozade (alongside Ribena) is currently being produced at the Royal Forest Factory in Coleford, Gloucestershire, in the Forest of Dean, England.[1]


"Glucozade" was first manufactured in 1927 by William Owen, a chemist based at Barras Bridge, Newcastle[2] who experimented for several years to provide a source of energy for those who were sick with common illnesses, like the common cold or influenza. It became available throughout Britain for use in hospitals under the name Glucozade. This was changed to Lucozade in 1929, and Beecham's acquired the product in 1938.[3] By the early 1950s, Lucozade was the source of half of the company's profits.

In 1953, a factory for the production of Lucozade products was opened in Brentford, England, which, until 2004, had an iconic sign seen on the side of the M4 motorway (now in Gunnersbury Park Museum).[4] Local people were reportedly upset when the sign was removed. A new and identical sign replaced the old sign in 2010.

Lucozade has a research arm known as The Lucozade Sports Science Academy, which has been carrying out nutritional research for over 30 years[when?]. It works in partnership with leading universities, coaches, nutritionists, and sports professionals.

Lucozade was sold in a glass bottle with a yellow Cellophane wrap until 1983, when Lucozade was rebranded as an energy drink to shift the brand's associations away from illness. The slogan "Lucozade aids recovery" was replaced by "Lucozade replaces lost energy". The glass bottle was replaced by a plastic (polyethylene terephthalate, PET) one. After the rebranding, between 1984 and 1989 UK sales tripled to almost £75 million.[5]

In 2013, Lucozade along with Ribena was put up for sale by its then owner, GlaxoSmithKline following several mergers. Sir Andrew Witty (Chief Executive of GlaxoSmithKline) said that "there has been a lot of interest for the two brands".[6]

Lucozade (and Ribena) are currently owned by Suntory, a Japanese holding company.

Purpose and effectiveness[edit]

A stated purpose of sports drinks, which provide many calories of energy from sugars, is to improve performance and endurance. In an analysis by Matthew Thompson and colleagues from the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, of 431 marketing claims of performance enhancement, most cited no evidence. 174 sources were cited for Lucozade; of them, Thompson found only three studies of high quality with a low risk of bias. The rigorous studies that did show improved endurance were "of limited relevance to most people because the tests were on elite athletes". Thompson said that for the vast majority of people drinking such products "could completely counteract exercising more, playing football more, going to the gym more".[7]

The drinks are marketed as soft drinks; a soft drinks industry spokesman said in response "By helping people participating in sport to perform better and to recover more quickly, sports drinks can encourage people to exercise more".[7]


While the ingredients vary somewhat from one drink to another, the ingredients of Lucozade Original Energy were as of 2013: Carbonated Water, Glucose Syrup (25%), Citric Acid (E330), Lactic Acid (E270), Flavouring (unspecified), Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bisulphite (E-222)), Caffeine, Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Colour (Sunset Yellow (E110), Ponceau 4R). A warning is printed on packaging that the colourings may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children. Nutritional information for 380 ml bottle: energy 1129 kjoules = 266 kCal; protein, fat and fibre nil; carbohydrates 65.4 g of which sugars 33.1 g of which 65.4 g glucose-based; and sodium trace.[8] Packaging also warns that spilt Lucozade may stain. A 380ml bottle of Lucozade contains 46 mg of caffeine,[9] about as much as a cup of tea.[5]

Lucozade contains 0.01% ethanol (alcohol), which kept observant Muslims from being allowed to drink it (Islam bans alcohol) until, in 2004, the Muslim Council of Britain ruled that they saw no harm in consuming Lucozade which contains traces of ethyl alcohol that does not bear its original qualities and does not change the taste, colour or smell. GlaxoSmithKline pointed out that fruit juices and bread could also contain the same or higher trace amounts of alcohol due to natural fermentation.[10]


Lucozade Energy[edit]

The original Lucozade, now branded Lucozade Energy, is an energy drink which was originally produced by GlaxoSmithKline. One litre provides 700 kCal of energy.

One 380ml bottle of Lucozade Energy contains 65.4 g of carbohydrates, of which 33.1 g is sugars and 65.4 g glucose-based. According to Lucozade packaging it provides 37% of an adult's guideline daily amount of sugar.[8] There has been media criticism regarding public health due to the sugar content[citation needed].

Flavours and variants[edit]

  • Original
  • Orange
  • Cherry
  • Cloudy Lemonade[11]
  • Melonade (Limited Edition) (2013)
  • Tropical
  • Strawberry
  • Caribbean Crush (Tropical fruit & Coconut)
  • Pink Lemonade (also sold as Lucozade Tickled Pink charity edition) Link
  • Mango Mandarin 'The Brazilian' (Limited Edition) (2014)
  • Mixed Fruit 'Grafruitti' (Special Edition) (2015)[12]

Previous versions[edit]

  • Citrus Clear
  • Black Edition Cola
  • Lemon
  • Wild Berry (also sold as Mixed Berries)
  • Apple
  • Blackcurrant

Lucozade Sport[edit]

Lucozade Sport during the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup.

A range of still, fruit-based, isotonic energy drinks, designed mainly for use during sports and physically demanding activities. Lucozade Sport Lite was released in 2011 and is a reduced sugar (70% less) alternative to the original Lucozade Sport; it contains sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame K to provide a sweet taste similar to the original, although they do not provide the same amount of food energy (calories).

Flavours and variants[edit]

  • Orange
  • Lemon & Lime
  • Raspberry
  • Mango & Passion Fruit
  • Caribbean Burst
  • Lite - Orange
  • Lite - Cherry
  • Lite - Lemon & Lime
  • Brazilian Guava
  • Cherry

Lucozade Alert[edit]

A small 60ml shot of B-vitamins and caffeine, this contains no sugar, only 2 calories, and so far there is only orange flavour.

Lucozade Revive[edit]

A low-calorie, carbonated drink with several B vitamins, in 380ml bottles.

Flavours and variants[edit]

  • Orange & Acai
  • Lemongrass & Ginger
  • Cranberry & Acai
  • Strawberry & Lime


Lucozade Sport is a major sponsor of events, teams and athletes in the UK and Ireland including the Amateur Rowing Association (ARA), FA Premier League, FA Cup, England Rugby Football Union, England Football Team, the Republic Of Ireland Football Team, the London Marathon, Parkrun, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Damien Duff, Ronan O'Gara and Ben Wynne. From 2012, the McLaren Formula One team is also sponsored by Lucozade.

The Football Association[edit]

Lucozade Sport is the official drink of the Football Association and the Premier League. Lucozade Sport Football also has partnerships with three of the top Premier League clubs, Arsenal FC, Liverpool F.C. and Chelsea FC. Lucozade Sport has been the official drink of the FA Premier League since its inception in 1992. Lucozade Sport became the official drink of the FA in 2007.

Big Brother UK[edit]

Lucozade was the sponsor of the tenth series of the British version of Big Brother.

In tennis[edit]

In 2004, Lucozade Sport became the official sports nutrition supplier of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). In 2008, Lucozade Sport also became the official sports nutrition supplier of the Lawn Tennis Association in the United Kingdom and will show up at most professional events in the British tennis calendar. From 2007 until 2011 it was the sponsor of the Indent Summer Tennis Doubles Cup,[13] won by Indent first in 2007, and then again from 2009 to 2012. In 2012 it went under a slight brand change, with the name changing to: The Lemon Lucozade Cup. The score for 2012 was a 3-1 victory for Indent. The format was revised slightly for edition, taking into the account the poor availability of the Rest of the World team, with the Cup being staged over a best-of-three matches. Indent won the series 2-0, taking their 6th Lucozade Cup title.

Pro Evolution Soccer[edit]

In Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, the Lucozade Sport brand appears on the adboards for all matches played on the game that do not have an official league or cup license.

Formula 1[edit]

Lucozade was a sponsor for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team in 2012. The Lucozade logo featured on the rear wing of the car.


External links[edit]