A natural water-based sports drink backed by football star Cristiano Ronaldo is heading for the UK retail market to give Red Bull and Lucozade a run for their money.

The Soccerade range is a flavoured sports water free from artificial ingredients, caffeine and stimulants.

It is owned by Icelandic sports and nutritional company Leppin, which is currently in talks with major retailers and wholesalers to launch the range onto UK shelves in January.

Soccerade which was launched in Iceland more than a year ago followed by debuts in Portugal and Germany is available in Wild Berries, Orange and Cold Blue variants in 500ml sports bottles (rsp: £1.30)

Packaging features imagery of Ronaldo ,who is also a shareholder and will feature in a multimillion-pound marketing campaign kicking off in the new year and consisting of press and radio advertising.

The drink is designed to maintain mental and physical energy by slowly releasing complex carbohydrates into the bloodstream.

The drink's natural credentials would give it an edge over rivals, Soccerade UK commercial director Rob McOwan claimed.

"The range has already proven a big hit in other countries and we expect similar results in the UK," he said. "Although it lends itself to kids as a natural option, it should also strike a chord with health-conscious adults looking for an energy boost."

Soccerade is available now from football clubs and sports centres. Plans were in the pipeline to launch the range across 60 countries over the next year, added McOwan.