Sports drinks contain so many calories it cancel out the benefit of exercising

The vast majority should stick to drinking water instead, say Oxford University researchers who put hundreds of marketing claims about sports products to the test.

A 380ml bottle of Lucozade Energy contains 266 calories – virtually the same as that in a Mars bar (260 calories) – which would take about half an hour of jogging to burn off.

Dr Matthew Thompson, from the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, said drinking such products “could completely counteract exercising more, playing football more, going to the gym more” in terms of weight loss.

Other products with artificial sweeteners do contain less: Lucozade Body Fuel (500ml), for instance, contains 135 calories.

Dr Thompson and colleagues investigated 431 marketing claims of performance enhancement, for 104 sports products including sports drinks, protein shakes and trainers.

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