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What is sports nutrition and is it for me?

Nutrition deals with the composition of foods need to give you all the nutrients you need to live a healthy lifestyle. So it really is for everyone.

Nutrition strategies will allow you to prepare before, during and after your sport or exercise sessions. They help you give your body the necessary macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, fats and water) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). A well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet which matches your energy needs will provide the foundation for fuelling health and performance.

How much should I drink during exercise and what types of fluids should I consume?

No matter what your sport or activity, taking on board fluids and being suitably hydrated is essential. Start drinking well before you begin to exercise. Ideally, aim to consume around 350-500ml, at least two hours prior to exercise. If your urine is dark or highly concentrated, drink another 200-350ml before you start your activity. The colour of your urine is a great guide to your hydration level - it should be the same colour as pale straw.

It's important to maintain your hydration and replace salts lost in sweat as you exercise. Drinking a sports drink containing sodium on a 'little and often' basis will help to restore and maintain fluid balance. Aim for about 150 ml every 10-15 minutes.

Following exercise, any fluid lost should be replaced. Drink 1.5 litres for every kg of body mass lost. Continue to sip palatable, sodium-containing sports drink such as Lucozade Sport Lite or Body Fuel after exercise.

What foods should I eat when I exercise?

Getting the correct fuel for exercise is vital to keeping you healthy - and helping you put in great performances. Carbohydrate is the main energy source used to fuel the muscles and brain and should make up a large proportion of an active individual's diet. However, the body has a limited store of carbohydrate - so you'll need to top it up during longer exercise sessions.

For low-intensity activities or sports lasting less than 60 min in duration, consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal 3-4 hours before exercise should provide sufficient energy to fuel your session. However, for higher-intensity efforts or longer exercise periods of over an hour (such as a long cycle, run or marathon), you should 'top-up' your energy with an additional 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour. This could be in the form of a banana, cereal bar, jelly beans or a sports drink containing carbohydrate such as Lucozade Sport Body Fuel.

What is recovery and why is it so important?

Recovery is the period following exercise that allows the body to return to its pre-exercise state and repair, regenerate and adapt to the exercise bout. Recovery is important, no matter what your sport. When exercise lasts longer than 60 min or is high in intensity, getting the right food immediately after exercise is essential to get the most from your training.

The three key nutritional areas for recovery include:

1. Carbohydrate to help replenish the body's energy stores.
2. Protein to stimulate muscle maintenance, growth and repair.
3. Fluid and electrolytes to help restore and maintain fluid balance.

In addition to replenishing any fluid lost, consuming a combination of both carbohydrate and protein in the first two hours after exercise has been shown to aid the recovery process. Lucozade Sport Body Fuel, Recovery Powder and Recovery Bars provide a great way to meet your hydration and refuelling needs - before you consume a main meal.

What Lucozade sport nutrition products should I use for my sport?

No matter what your sport, there's a Lucozade product to help you prepare, perform at your best and then recover.
If you exercise at low intensity for less than 60 minutes, Lucozade Sport Lite provides the fluids and electrolytes you need to stay hydrated - and it replaces the electrolytes lost in sweat.

For higher intensity or longer activities such as cycling, running and intermittent sports lasting greater than 60 minutes, Lucozade Sport Body Fuel provides hydration, energy and electrolytes to keep you going for longer. Lucozade Sport Body Fuel gels, jelly beans and cereal bars are great ways to top up your energy.

Maximise your recovery after long or tough sessions with Lucozade Recovery Powder and Bars - they provide a good source of carbohydrate and protein to restore energy levels and aid muscle maintenance, growth and repair.

Are sports nutrition products safe?

Nutrition products are safe as long as what you consume is required within the demands of your lifestyle, from a reliable source - and that you follow the recommendations of the manufacturer and healthcare professionals. At Lucozade Sport, all our products are tested by an independent laboratory, HFL, to ensure they are free from WADA-listed prohibited substances, demonstrating a high level of safety, quality and credibility to athletes and individuals competing in sport of all levels.

How does Lucozade help mental performance?

Lucozade Energy has been found to help maintain concentration, focus and alertness, particularly when you are working at your hardest. The unique Lucozade Energy formulation includes glucose syrup, which provides glucose, and a small amount of caffeine, both of which have been demonstrated to improve aspects of mental performance. Lucozade Alert Plus is a low-calorie alternative containing caffeine to help sharpen your mental performance in a shot format.

What's the difference between Lucozade Energy and Lucozade Sport?

Lucozade Energy is a concentrated source of carbohydrate energy that can be used to top up your energy levels when you've been working really hard and are starting to flag. Lucozade Sport is an isotonic sports drink. This means it has been specially formulated to keep you hydrated during exercise but also deliver a boost of carbohydrate energy to working muscles. This helps to maximise sporting performance and endurance.

Will Lucozade Energy help me when I'm ill?

Lucozade Energy is not sold as a recovery drink. However, your body still needs energy when you are unwell and you might find it more convenient to get that energy from a drink. However, Lucozade Energy should not be taken as the only or major part of your diet for prolonged periods.

What about us veggies?

All of our Lucozade products are suitable for vegetarians, except for the following:

• Lucozade Sport Pro Muscle High Protein Bar Caramel and Chocolate flavour
• Lucozade Sport Recovery Protein and Carbohydrate Bar Strawberry & Oats Flapjack

Please note that this is correct as of April 2011. As product formulation and ingredients change, this list will be updated.

And for diabetics?

We would recommend that people with diabetes speak to their GP or diabetes dietician for more individual advice regarding the suitability and use of Lucozade products.

Is gluten present in any of the ingredients in Lucozade?

From January 2003, barley flour is no longer one of our ingredients. Since then all of our Lucozade products are made from ingredients that, to the best of our knowledge, do not contain gluten - except for the following:

• Lucozade Sport Body Fuel Carbohydrate Energy Cereal Bar Mixed Berry flavour
• Lucozade Sport Pro Muscle High Protein Bar Caramel and Chocolate
• Lucozade Sport Recovery Protein and Carbohydrate Bar Strawberry & Oats Flapjack

This is accurate as of April 2011. However, we would encourage our drinkers to request an updated list on a regular basis.

How much caffeine is in a bottle of Lucozade?

The amount of caffeine in a 380ml bottle of Lucozade Energy is 46mg. The Lucozade Alert Plus shot contains 120mg.

Are you GM-free?

We don't use any genetically modified ingredients in our Lucozade products because we know some of you don't like it. We even question our suppliers as to whether their ingredients are non-GM. We also test our drinks and ingredients at independent laboratories to make doubly sure. If suppliers can't guarantee non-GM ingredients, we don't use them.

Are you halal?

Lucozade is not manufactured at a halal-approved site; however we understand that many Muslim consumers would consider the drinks suitable for their needs. Of those products which make up the Lucozade Sports Nutrition range, the following products are not suitable for a halal diet:

• Lucozade Energy Original Glucose Tablets
• Lucozade Energy Orange Glucose Tablets
• Lucozade Sport Body Fuel Carbohydrate Energy Tablets Orange Flavor
• Lucozade Sport Pro Muscle Creatine and Carbohydrate Tablets
• Lucozade Sport Body Fuel Carbohydrate Energy Cereal Bar Mixed Berry
• Lucozade Sport Pro Muscle High Protein Bar Caramel and Chocolate
• Lucozade Sport Recovery Protein and Carbohydrate Bar Strawberry & Oats Flapjack

Should anyone avoid Lucozade?

Lucozade should be consumed in moderation as part of a nutritionally balanced diet and active lifestyle.

Consumption of Lucozade is not recommended in the following circumstances:

1. For infants and young children because of its concentrated nature. Specifically manufactured baby drinks or cooled, boiled water should be used for infants.
2. For diabetics on a routine basis, since it is a concentrated source of carbohydrate. However, Lucozade Energy Original may be used by diabetics for the emergency correction of hypoglycaemia or during illness when the usual carbohydrate intake should be maintained. Lucozade Sport products can be used during periods of physical activity but this should be discussed with a GP or diabetes dietician.
3. Where fluid intake must be restricted.
4. Those on a restricted sodium and/or potassium intake should seek medical advice before consuming Lucozade.
5. When energy consumption must be restricted, since Lucozade is a concentrated source of energy.
6. For consumption by individuals suffering from diarrhoea. Due to the high carbohydrate and relatively low electrolyte content, Lucozade is not suitable for fluid and electrolyte replacement.
7. Lucozade Alert Plus is not suitable for consumption by individuals under 16 years of age, pregnant women and persons sensitive to caffeine due to its high caffeine content (120mg/60ml).

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