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~ ~ I can still vividly recall when I was a wee lad being practically force-fed Lucozade by my mother anytime I was confined to bed with any ailment or other. Not that you would have heard me complaining, mind you. It was/is totally delicious. At that time (50’s and 60’s) about the only place you could buy Lucozade was in a chemists’ shop, as it was looked upon as a drink that was only given to people to assist in their recovery from illness.
~ ~ But since that time Glaxo SmithKline, the manufacturers of Lucozade, have successfully carved a new niche for themselves in the soft drinks market. Long gone are the days when Lucozade was looked upon as only suitable for sick people. Nowadays it can be found in practically every corner shop and supermarket, and on every garage forecourt in the country. In fact, anywhere soft drinks are sold, you can nearly be certain that Lucozade will be on offer.
~ ~ Following on from their success in turning Lucozade into a mainstream product in the marketplace, the manufacturers discovered another untapped market. Lucozade was well known for its ability to give a person a quick energy “hit”, due to its main ingredient being glucose. Glucose is absorbed into the body very quickly, (In fact, almost instantaneously) and will provide a quick boost to a person’s energy levels. So as well as their ordinary Lucozade drink, Glaxo SmithKline came up with the idea of manufacturing a high energy drink, called Lucozade Sport, to tap into the growing sports drink market.
~ ~ Lucozade Sport is described in the advertising as an “isotonic energy drink”. To be frank, I wasn’t that certain of the meaning of isotonic, so I checked it out in the Oxford Dictionary.
“(of a drink) Containing essential salts and minerals in the same concentration as in the body.”
In other words, they claim that because of the balance of the minerals and salts they put into the drink, it will absorb into the body more quickly, hence giving the athlete or sports person a quick energy boost just when they need it the most. In fact, they recommended that the drink is taken, “before, during, and after” any sporting activity. They also claim that if you do this then Lucozade Sport will give you an additional 33% energy boost when compared to drinking plain water. This is on the bottom of their bumph on the bottle, and the claim is backed up by attributing it to the “Journal of Sports Sciences - 1995” (Never even heard of them, have you?) Mind you, being a suspicious and slightly cynical wee mad cabbie, it did occur to me that this would mean that people would drink more of their product than if they simply drank it when they felt their energy levels were depleted.
~ ~ OK. So is Lucozade Sport as good as it claims, and every bit as important, what does it taste like? Because let’s face it, if it tastes like monkey’s pi*s, then nobody is going to drink it no matter how much it supposedly increases their energy levels.
~ ~ Let’s look at the taste first. It comes in four main flavours. Orange, (by far the most popular) lemon, mixed berry, and grapefruit. I’ve never tried the grapefruit, for the simple reason that I don’t like the taste of the fruit, but I’ve tried the other three. Lemon would be my own particular favourite, followed by orange. The mixed berry I can tolerate, but it tastes exactly like it sounds; a mish-mash of different flavours, and I’m not that keen on it. The taste is OK, and it’s fizzy without being over gassy, but in all honesty I still FAR prefer the taste of the original product that this drink was developed from, plain old-fashioned Lucozade. (which also comes in different flavours these days) You can also get a “still” version of the orange flavour if you don’t like fizzy drinks.
~ ~ Now for the energy claims. Well, I don’t particularly care if Michael Owen (the Liverpool and England striker) claims that it can increase his 0 to 100 yards sprint time significantly, because my sport of choice is golf. (Not anywhere as strenuous as soccer.) My main concern is that I won’t run out of energy coming close to the end of a tiring round, and thus suffer a loss of concentration or alertness that could possibly make the difference between me winning or losing a tournament or match. So does Lucozade Sports make a significant difference to my energy levels, to the extent that it would be noticeable? Well, not in my case at any rate! Or at least, not any more than their ordinary bottle of plain Lucozade. What DOES make a difference to me is the small packet of pure glucose tablets that I also carry on the golf course, that I find gives me a much larger energy kick than any drink I can take.
~ ~ Lucozade Sport comes in various different sizes. The price you pay will obviously depend on where you buy it, and the prices I’ve quoted below are from “Superquinn.ie”, an online shopping portal of a large Irish supermarket chain. If you buy it in a small shop or garage, the chances are that you’ll pay a wee bit more than this.
Lucozade Sport 4x500ml (2 Litres) €5.31 Lucozade Sport Lemon (500 Millilitres) €1.47 Lucozade Sport Orange (380 Millilitres) €1.07 Lucozade Sport Orange (600 Millilitres) €2.02 Lucozade Sport Orange Still (500 Millilitres) €1.47 Lucozade Sport Mixed Berry (500 Millilitres) €1.47
~ ~ So to sum up. Would I recommend Lucozade Sport? Yes, if what you are looking for is a refreshing drink. But I still prefer their original blend. No, if you are looking for it to turn you into some sort of sporting super hero like Michael Owen. Only three stars out of five from the mad cabbie.