Wendyl Wants To Know

Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl wants to know: Mum's tonic still packs sweet punch

3 comments
Dose of glucose in a drink that was used as a pick-me-up for sick kids makes fresh oranges a better bet

Lucozade Orange Energy Boost - $2.79 for 380ml. Photo / Wendyl Nissen
Lucozade Orange Energy Boost - $2.79 for 380ml. Photo / Wendyl Nissen

In the old days, your mother would bring you a bottle of Lucozade when you were unwell. She knew that when the body was ailing it needed glucose for energy.

These days Lucozade has joined the army of energy drinks available in the supermarket, but it has one difference. The sweet taste comes from glucose, rather than sugar or fructose.

This, according to some health advocates, is better for you because glucose is metabolised differently in the body and does not have the harmful weight-gain effects found in sugar and fructose.


Ingredients

Carbonated water D-glucose (10 per cent) — This is glucose, otherwise known as dextrose or in some cases grape sugar. Glucose differs from sugar (sucrose) and fructose in that it metabolises differently in our bodies, going straight to energy in the body rather than being stored as fat. Some health advocates believe that glucose has a less detrimental effect on our bodies than sucrose and fructose, and so many people avoiding sugar for health reasons are turning to glucose drinks instead.

Glucose Syrup (8 per cent) — This is glucose but in the form of a syrup. The sweetener in this drink may be glucose but it still reached 54g per serving which is a massive amount in terms of sugar — at 12 teaspoons — but glucose is less sweet than sugar so you need more of it to flavour this drink. Both have the same amount of calories at 4 calories per gram.

Orange juice (5 per cent, from concentrate) — This is orange juice reconstituted from an orange juice concentrate.

Food acid (330) — This is citric acid which could be in here for flavouring or as a preservative.

Stabiliser (414) — This is gum Arabic produced from the Acacia tree.

Preservatives (202, 221) — These are potassium sorbate (202) and sodium sulphite (221). Some people are allergic to sulphur and should avoid this preservative.

Antioxidant (300) — This is ascorbic acid or vitamin C.

Flavourings — These will be artificial.

Colour (160a) — This is a natural orange colouring called carotene.


My recommendations

This doesn't taste as sweet as other energy drinks I've tried, but it does contain 54g of glucose, which is quite a lot. Glucose may metabolise better but too much of it will still be bad for you.

And it also has artificial flavour and a number of preservatives and stabilisers.

If you want to switch to glucose for health reasons, buy it in powdered or syrup form at your supermarket or health shop and use it that way.

If you're looking for a healthy, energy-giving drink for a sick child, then juice some oranges.


Highlights

• Uses glucose as a sweetener which some health advocates say is better for you than sugar.

• Contains 54g of glucose.

• Uses artificial flavour.


Do you have a food product you would like Wendyl to feature? Email wendylwantstoknow@gmail.com with suggestions. Unfortunately Wendyl cannot correspond with readers. Read Wendyl's columns on other food products here.

- NZ Herald

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