The V8 brand is most known for its 100% Vegetable Juice. But you may have noticed that V8 Splash is actually a very different product. For example, the first ingredient listed after “water” is “high fructose corn syrup.” So, should you be concerned?
Is V8 Splash Bad for You?
1. What Is V8 Splash Made Of?
- V8 Splash has concentrated vegetable and fruit juice and puree. Real juice! That sounds good, and I suppose it is. But the label says only 5% of the Tropical Blend flavor is actually juice. Also, fruit juice is not as healthy as many people think, due to the high sugar and low fiber content. So, this is not actually a huge benefit.
- V8 Splash has sucralose. Sucralose is a somewhat controversial zero-calorie sweetener. It may help reduce the amount of sugar in V8 Splash a little bit, but it could come with downsides, too, particularly for gut health. More details below.
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2. How Much Sugar Is in V8 Splash?
3. How Bad Is the High Fructose Corn Syrup in V8 Splash?
4. Does V8 Splash Have Artificial Sweeteners?
V8 Splash contains the artificial sweetener sucralose. Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners may worsen gut bacteria, potentially contributing to insulin resistance or other health issues. However, the science on this issue is not conclusive.
Here are a few of the possible health issues with sucralose:
- Sucralose seems to be a migraine trigger for some people. (source, source)
- Sucralose may contribute to insulin resistance through multiple mechanisms.
- Sucralose apparently doesn’t help with weight loss as much as you’d expect.
Most of the health concerns around artificial sweeteners are not well proven. But for many people, the risks may feel scary nonetheless.
There’s still some uncertainty about how the human body reacts long-term to any artificial sweeteners. Here’s a video that covers more on the science around artificial sweeteners, to help you decide if you’re okay with consuming them.
5. Does V8 Splash Have Caffeine?
V8 Splash does not have caffeine. It is not an energy drink. It is not advertised as providing caffeine, and none of the ingredients have caffeine naturally. V8 Splash should not keep you awake.
Caffeine is an interesting ingredient because it has documented health benefits, but it can also be bad in many cases. Studies show it may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s… But it’s habit forming, and too much can disrupt sleep.
In any case, V8 Splash is caffeine free!
6. Is V8 Splash High in Sodium?
Even if you look at the American Heart Association’s lower “ideal limit” of 1,500mg, which they recommend for many populations, V8 Splash still only has around 1% or 2% of that per bottle.
This is very different from V8’s Original Vegetable Juice, which has 640mg of sodium in just an 8 oz serving. That is a very high sodium drink, indeed.
7. Is V8 Splash Good for Weight Loss?
In comparison, when you drink water or another zero-calorie beverage, it fills up your stomach without adding any calories to your diet.
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8. Is the Red 40 in V8 Splash Berry Blend Safe?
V8 Splash Berry Blend has the artificial coloring Red 40. Research suggests that artificial colors cause hyperactivity and behavioral issues in some children. There are also concerns around possible carcinogens in Red 40.
Some research has suggested that as little as 50 mg per day of artificial food colorings could cause behavioral changes in children.
The EU requires foods with Red 40 to bear a warning saying it “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”
In 2004, researchers from Harvard and Columbia University estimated that removing artificial food coloring from the diets of children with ADHD would be about one-third or one-half as effective as treating them with Ritalin.
There may also be cancer risks from some of these artificial colors, but the evidence is not solid. Specifically, Red 40 has small amounts of benzidine, which is a known carcinogen. It’s legally allowed because the amount is small enough to have no presumed effect.
Overall, it may be best to limit or avoid artificial colors like Red 40.
Luckily, not all flavors of V8 Splash have artificial colors. From the package I inspected, I could see that Tropical Blend and Peach Mango do not have artificial colors.
9. Is V8 Splash Healthier Than Soda?
Let’s compare V8 Splash with the most popular soda in the world, Coca-Cola. First, let’s look at some basic nutrition facts:
As you can see Coca-Cola is higher in sugar, calories, and sodium than V8 Splash. Just based on that, it already looks like Coca-Cola is worse. But let’s compare the ingredients, too.
Which drink has worse ingredients, V8 Splash or Coke? Well, both drinks have high fructose corn syrup. V8 Splash also has sucralose, and at least one flavor has artificial colors (Red 40 in Berry Blend).
Overall, I would say Coca-Cola’s ingredients seem a bit worse, although it can be difficult to compare these things, when both are somewhat bad.
The real answer is that neither V8 Splash nor soda are healthy drinks. But if you had to choose, probably V8 Splash is healthier than Coke (and most other sodas, too).
10. Is It Bad to Drink V8 Splash Every Day?
11. Is V8 Splash Vegan?
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