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Lucozade is an umbrella name for a series of energy drinks 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Purpose and effectiveness
- 3 Composition
- 4 Varieties
- 5 Sponsorships
- 6 References
- 7 External links
"Glucozade" was first manufactured in 1927 by William Owen, a chemist based at Barras Bridge, Newcastle. Owen 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. 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). 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 carries out nutritional research. It works in partnership with leading universities, coaches, nutritionists, and sports professionals.
Lucozade originally was available in only one variety, which was effervescent with a distinctive sweet citric flavour. It 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.
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".
Purpose and effectiveness
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".
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".
Liverpool City Council started a campaign against sugary drinks in May 2016. The campaign entitled “Is your child’s sweet tooth harming their health?”, names Lucozade as the worst offender, with 62 grams of sugar in a 500ml bottle, followed by Coca-Cola with 54 grams. Posters will be displayed in doctors' surgeries and hospitals.
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. Packaging also warns that spilt Lucozade may stain. A 380 ml bottle of Lucozade contains 46 mg of caffeine, about as much as a cup of tea.
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.
One 380 ml 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.
Flavours and variants
- Caribbean Crush (Tropical fruit & Coconut)
- Cloudy Lemonade
- Mango Mandarin 'The Brazilian' (Limited Edition) (2014)
- Melonade (Limited Edition) (2013)
- Mixed Fruit 'Grafruitti' (Special Edition) (2015)
- Pink Lemonade
- Tropical Fusion (Pineapple and Kiwi)
- Lemon (brought back as of 2015)
- Black Edition Cola
- Citrus Clear
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. provide a sweet taste, although 'Lucozade Sport Lite' does not provide the same amount of calories.
Flavours and variants
- Brazilian Guava
- Caribbean Burst
- Cherry* Orange
- Lemon & Lime
- Lite - Cherry
- Lite - Orange
- Lite - Lemon & Lime
- Mango & Passion Fruit
A small 60 ml shot of B-vitamins and caffeine, this contains no sugar, only 2 calories, and so far there is only orange flavour.
A low-calorie, carbonated drink with several B vitamins sold in 380 ml bottles.
Flavours and variants
- Cranberry & Acai
- Lemongrass & Ginger
- Orange & 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, Ben Wynne and the powerleague. From 2012, the McLaren Formula One team is also sponsored by Lucozade.
During the late 90s, Lucozade ran a series of ads starring English video game heroine, Lara Croft. For a brief period of time, the drink was temporarily renamed "Larazade".
The Football Association
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
Celebrity Big Brother
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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, 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.
Pro Evolution Soccer
- Monaghan, Angela "Ribena and Lucozade sold to Japanese drinks giant", The Guardian (London), 9 September 2013
- Marshall, Ray (3 December 2008). "World-famous brands with North East connections". chroniclelive.co.uk. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "SmithKline Beecham: History", History of Advertising Trust
- "Lucozade sign on M4 at GSK's HQ in Brentford removed in 2004". BBC News. 30 August 2004.
- The History Of Lucozade
- Neate, Rupert "Lucozade and Ribena up for sale", The Guardian (London), 24 April 2013
- Adams, Stephen (19 July 2012). "Sugar-laden sports drinks cancel out exercise gain". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "Liverpool in drive to name and shame fizzy drink brands". Guardian. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "Hypoglycaemia (hypos)". Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College NHS Foundation Trust. 19 September 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- Packaging of Lucozade Energy Original, 2013. Package printed with number 0502229/02
- "Muslims get soft drinks go-ahead". BBC News. 2 August 2004.
- Bamford, Vince (1 August 2014). "Lucozade Energy rolls out first reduced-sugar drink". The Grocer. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Grafruitti joins Lucozade Energy range". Talking Retail. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2015.