There’s a British soft drink once known as Glucozade in there’s here British Isles, but now that goes by the name of the catchier Lucozade.
It’s a legendary beverage once handed over by doctors to cure all manner of ailments, even though it has no real medical benefits (kind of like Bovril, then).
Thusly, let’s celebrate this sugar happy thing and how it’s now transformed into the UK’s leading energy drink.
It’s a sports drink consisting of carbonated water, glucose syrup, orange juice from concentrate, and acidity regulator.
The drink is often consumed by athletes as a welcome energy boost. However, many non-athletes just drink the stuff anyway as a pick-me-up.
For sure, the classic orange drink is the most famous.
But the brand now has all manner of flavours, including Lucozade Zero (with no sugar), Lucozade Zero – Original, Lucozade Zero – Pink Lemonade, Raspberry Ripple, Citrus Chill, and there are also Lucozade energy glucose tables (orange flavour).
As you can see, they’re pushing the energy side of things. Kind of like a zesty Red Bull. Except Lucozade actually tastes okay.
Despite it’s popularity in the UK, we believe Lucozade is banned in America, Canada, and Norway! How dare they! That’s an act of war!
This is due to health concerns over the thing E124 in the drink.
However, there are plenty of energy drinks on the market. And in the US, there’s Gatorade as a kind of Lucozade equivalent.
Although they taste pretty different, according to online testimonies we painstakingly researched.
What’s the History of Lucozade?
Lucozade began life as Glucozade! It was invented in 1927 by William Walker Hunter, a pharmacist in Newcastle.
Initially, it was something of a pharmaceutical product.
It was sold as a health aid, was handed to kids when they were ill, and people going to hospitals would turn up with the stuff.
He then went to sell the product to the Beecham Group in 1938, who renamed the product to the catchier title.
By 1978 it got a rebrand away from the “health aid” to a “pick me up” sort of deal. Thusly, it became a sports drink officially in 1983.
Who owns the stuff is a different matter, as the Beecham Group merged with SmithKline Beckman to become SmithKline Beecham.
Okay… deep breath!
Then, in 2000, there was another merger. This time it was between SmithKline Beecham and GlaxoWellcome. This led to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). But those bad boys put Ribena and Lucozade up for business grabs in 2013.
Guess who stepped in! That’s right! The Japanese holding company Suntory (サントリーホールディングス株式会社—Santorī Hōrudingusu), which is famous for its Japanese whisky and multinational brewing and distilling.
Suntory bought the brands for £1.35 billion. Cheap as chips!
So, yes, Japan kind of owns the rights to the beverage now. Must be upsetting for all the Brexiteers and their mindless nationalism. Boo, hiss!
The reality is Lucozade is still all over the place and a regular part of British life (if you like drinking this sort of thing).
Just this morning before finishing this feature, we saw loads of the drinks in plastic bottles lining the local Co-Op shelves next to Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Growing up in the early 1990s at primary school, we remember it being a regular topic of conversation. Us kids loved the Lucozade!
And it’s officially the UK’s leading energy drink. Take that, Red Bull!
How Do You Make a Sports Drink?
If you want to do the impossible and make your own sports drink, then you’re in luck! Food Wishes has an epic recipe.
He recommends the following ingredients for a homemade energy drink. These are:
8 cups of fresh water
3 tablespoons of honey
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)
3/4 teaspoon calcium magnesium powder
A pinch of cayenne
3/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 limes
So, yeah, just cook that lot up together in a pan and there you go.
For us, we don’t really buy into this whole energy drink stuff. It’s just sugar mainly, you know? That’s the energy boost, dammit!
Plus, the B vitamins. And the sugar. And electrolytes.
So, yes, studies show that sports drinks kind of do work. But we skip the stuff to focus on water, tea, a banana, and that type of jazz.
The choice, ultimately, is up to you! If you want to sit in your underpants eating from a bag of sugar, that also works.
I never understood why, after at least 3 million years of human evolution without energy drinks – most of which involved expending large amounts of energy owing to life being rather brutish and short – we suddenly couldn’t get through the day at our sedentary office desks without having an energy drink to constantly sip from, all in anticipation of virtuous wring-your-body-out-to-the-max exercise which will happen some stage, probably. A bit. Anybody would think the whole thing was a corporate marketing/profit ploy…
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I wouldn’t say there’s NOT any evidence of a Neolitihic period energy drink. The plastic bottles would have eroded away by now leaving now remains. How else would Stonehenge have gone up? Energy drinks! They probably had bits of stone in them back then.
These days, I stick to tea. That does it for me. Some of the energy drinks on the market are astonishing creations, bizarre mixtures of oddball chemicals that taste like radioactive waste. I sense a new feature series coming up!
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Yesterday I had to go into my local A&E after an acutely awful bout of nausea, which may or may not be a gastric ulcer according to the investigations that went on and I had to explain to a young, evidently Filipina nurse what this strange thing called ‘Lucozade’ was when she was asking me what I fancied eating and drinking, which is primarily why I’m here. The same happened with ginger nuts when it came to the ‘eating’ bit. Although she did manage to rustle up some ginger ring biscuits, which are the next-best thing when one is feeling ‘gippy’ inside!
Some years ago – around the turn of the Millennium, actually – I was involved in a campaign to save a local ground-breaking Art Deco bus and coach station from demolition and I managed to get the host of the ‘Art Deco Architecture’ site from over the Water in the U.S. in on our campaign. It transpired that she already knew of the building from having visited the place while studying in this country and one of the other things I discovered about her was that her greatest taste discovery while over here was Ribena, which is completely unknown in the States, so it’s good to see Ribena mentioned here, too. It’s funny to think of blackcurrant as an ‘exotic’ fruit and yet it clearly was to my Art Deco architecture-loving friend!
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Can’t beat good old Ribena. Cure-all. Even death is solved with that concentrate drink from the heavens. Can’t say the same the Lucozade, though, although it’s possibly a smidgen healthier than Red Bull.
I’ve seen some stuff on YouTube about cranberries and blueberries being good for people with gastric ulcers so I wonder if blackcurrants will be similar from that point of view. If so, I might ‘invest’ in some Ribena.
I’ve personally only touched Red Bull while at a Northern Soul ‘do’ to keep me going.