RRP: £1.06 per 500ml, or £3 for a pack of 4 x 500ml

–The blurb–

“New Lucozade Sport Lite is designed to give your workout, training or sporting session a boost with only 50 calories per serve. This calorie content is lower than most sports drinks and it is therefore ideal for activities where less energy replenishment is required and you don’t consume more calories than you burn. Lucozade Sport Lite contains electrolytes and fluid which help to keep you hydrated. It also contains B vitamins for energy release in the body.”

–The review–

I’ll level with you: I don’t normally buy any sort of energy drink, whether it’s Red Bull, Lucozade, or whatever cheap knockoff the supermarkets are putting out this week. Partly because I’ve never been into sports, so have never had any practical reason to consume them, but also because they generally have a reputation for being high in calories and/or sugar. If I’m going to drink a sugary drink, it’s usually of the diet variety. So when Lucozade contacted me asking if I’d like to test the diet variety of their drink, I was happy to oblige.

I was sent the cherry flavour, which was unfortunate in a way as I’m sure I would have preferred either of the two other flavours in which Lite is available (Orange, or Lemon and Lime). Nonetheless, fond childhood memories of cherryade at my gran’s house spurred me on. The Lite bottles are tinted the colour of the drink itself, which seems a little bit pointless, and to be honest I find the fact that you can’t see the liquid you’re drinking a little bit disconcerting (which is one of the reasons why, in general, I prefer to drink soft drinks from a plastic bottle rather than a can). However, you can tell from the residue left around the white sports cap that the colour of the cherry Lite is a fairly lurid pink, so you can probably expect something equally luminous from the other versions. Unbelievably, it doesn’t seem to leave your mouth and teeth looking like a Halloween exhibit.

The pressure of the suction from the sports cap is quite strong; I normally drink water from a Bobble, where you have to work a bit harder to get the liquid out, so this came as a bit of a shock, but makes perfect sense for consumption during sports. It also seems secure, allowing spillages or leakages to be avoided.

When I started drinking it, I felt a huge warm rush of energy straight away, which felt strange and neither pleasant nor unpleasant. That’d be the glucose syrup, then, which is present in Lucozade Lite in the second highest proportion after water. I can definitely see how it would give you extra energy during heavy-duty sports, but can’t see how it would be necessary for lighter sports (during which Lucozade Lite is designed to be consumed); when jogging, I have always got along fine with just water. I also wonder about the potential for sugar crash:  I personally didn’t experience this, but wonder if people would if they drank the recommended amount (half a bottle to a bottle before sport to hydrate, half a bottle to a bottle during sport to replenish fluid and salts, and one bottle after sport for the same reason).

In terms of the taste, it was just a little bit too sickly for me, but as mentioned above, there’s a good chance I would prefer one of the other two flavours.

After all of that, though, I am still not sure I would recommend Lucozade Lite for short periods of sporting activity. The sheer burst of energy it gives you just doesn’t seem necessary. I might consider using it if I was considering doing sports for more than one hour straight (but knowing me, this doesn’t seem likely), or if I was going to have a very long day at work with lots of meetings and without access to food (but as I am obsessive about keeping my snack supplies plentiful, this doesn’t seem terribly likely either). There is one other situation in which I would consider consuming it, though, and that would be if I was ill: if I didn’t want to miss work, this would definitely help to keep my energy levels up. If I was off work, perhaps the vitamins it contains (B6, B12, B3, B5) along with its ability to replenish fluids and salts would aid a speedy recovery.

But as for fulfilling its intended purpose? Sorry Lucozade – it’s not for me.