Lucozade addict gets through eight bottles a day - and says the drink is harder to give up than Class A drugs
‘I took cocaine every day, even on my wedding day, but it was a piece of cake to give up - I’d find it really hard to ever give up Lucozade.’
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A grandad is addicted to Lucozade despite having three heart attacks - and says the bright orange drink is harder to give up than Class A drugs. Garry Johnson began drinking coffee aged 12 and loved the caffeine buzz.
The now-retired painter and decorator took cocaine and amphetamines in his teens, and after 15 years of on-off drug use went cold turkey when his son Sam was born in 1992. Keen to stay energised, he took up drinking 380ml bottle bottles of Lucozade Original - and now necks eight a day.
He’s had the habit for 29 years and it currently costs him around £150 a month. At today’s prices, his nearly three decade habit would have cost him more than £42,800.
The 65-year-old had three heart attacks between 2012 and 2014 because of a hereditary heart condition, and doctors encouraged him to ditch caffeinated drinks. He gave up dairy and every other form of caffeine - but he still necks more than three litres of Lucozade a day.
He said Lucozade is proving harder to give up than Class A drugs - because of the “after effect - like that lovely feeling in your mouth after you eat an expensive bit of chocolate.” Garry, from Basildon in Essex, said: “I took cocaine every day but it was a piece of cake to give up - but I’d find it really hard to ever give up Lucozade.
“I love it - not just the taste but the affect on my body makes me feel great. If I do go two or three hours without one, I fancy one - God knows how I’d be after two days.
“Lucozade is the thing I wont give up. I’m still full of energy at 65 and people say I look 50!”
Single dad-of-three Garry was “obsessed” with David Bowie, who was known for his class-A habits and started taking speed and cocaine aged 15. He said: “When I watched him play Starman as Ziggy Stardust on Top Of The Pops, my life changed overnight.
“I like to be up all the time, so I always liked stimulants, like David Bowie. After starting on speed, I would take cocaine six or seven nights a week, every week.
“It just gave me a buzz before I went out - I even took cocaine on my wedding day.” Garry stopped aged 30, when his son Sam, now 31, was born and went cold turkey because being a new dad was “stimulant enough”.
He started drinking Red Bull but found himself with migraines - and eventually moved onto Lucozade. He initially drank six a day, but has had eight a day for the last seven years.
Now he goes to Tesco every day and buys one or two four-packs - depending how many bottles he already has stacked up in the fridge ready to drink. “I’ve always needed some kind of stimulant and eventually I realised Lucozade is perfect for me,” he said.
“After my heart attacks they told me to quit the energy drinks but I recently had new heart tests and my results are better than they’ve ever been. I guess I’ve just found one that suits my body.”
But Garry said he doesn’t even want to give up because it’s a “part of his identity” - like a person’s favourite shirt or their daily breakfast. He justifies the cost because he doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke.
He said: “£5 a day - that’s less than a pint of beer today in some places.” At a more recent doctor’s appointment, Garry said tests revealed his heart is working perfectly.
The grandfather-of-two also said he is mistaken for being 15 years younger than he is - which he puts down to drinking Lucozade rather than drinking or smoking. He added: “I’ve got a full head of hair and my hair is black as it always was, there’s not a grey hair in it.
“Don’t know if that’s to do with the Lucozade or not, but it could be!”