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?
V8 Splash is not very healthy, as it has 25g of total sugar per serving (8 fl oz), much of which comes from high fructose corn syrup. It also has sucralose, which may worsen gut health, and at least one flavor has artificial colors, which may cause hyperactivity in some children.
Below, I’ll share more details on all those issues. I’ll also address whether V8 Splash is fattening, how it compares to soda, whether it is low in sodium, and much more!
Is V8 Splash Bad for You?
Here are the 11 specific questions I’ll be answering about V8 Splash nutrition. Click any of them to skip ahead to that section—or just keep scrolling to read them all:
There are several flavors of V8 Splash, but most of the ingredients are pretty similar. So let’s look mostly at the Tropical Blend flavor:
V8 Tropical Blend Ingredients: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Reconstituted Vegetable Juice (Water and Concentrated Juice of Carrots), Contains Less Than 2% Of: Reconsistuted Fruit Juice Blend (Water and Concentrated Juices of Apples, Pineapples, Kiwis, Limes), Malic Acid, Natural Flavoring, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Mango Puree, Sucralose.
Here are my takeaway points on these ingredients:
V8 Splash has high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). A 12 ounce bottle of V8 Splash has about 25g of total sugar, and a good portion of that comes from HFCS. That’s not great. Below, we’ll explore more about V8 Splash’s sugar content and HFCS.)
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.
V8 Splash Berry Blend has Red 40. Some flavors of V8 Splash are free of artificial colors, but not all of them. Artificial colors like Red 40 are controversial for causing hyperactivity in some children, and for possible connections to cancer. You can read more on Red 40 here.
As you can see, there are several negatives in V8 Splash’s ingredients. But the biggest concern for most people will likely be the sugar. So let’s look at sugar content in the next sections below.
V8 Splash has about 24g to 27g of total sugar per bottle (12 fl oz), depending on the flavor. The total sugar content of V8 Splash is about 25% more than Gatorade. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 25g of added sugar per day for women and 36g per day for men.
Not all the sugar in V8 Splash is “added sugar,” as some comes from fruit and carrot juice—but most is added sugar. So even one bottle of V8 Splash is likely more than half the added sugar you should have in a day, whether you’re a man or woman.
Keep in mind: No added sugar at all is needed for human health. Really, the healthiest diet would likely just have natural sugar from fruit and whole foods. So in a sense, any added sugar is already a negative.
Here’s a table showing how the sugar content of V8 Splash compares to other sugary drinks:
Total Sugar (in 12 fl oz)
V8 Tomato Juice
Simply Orange Juice
Barq’s Root Beer
Welch’s Grape Juice
We saw above that the sugar in V8 Splash mostly comes from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). So, does that matter? In the next section, we’ll look more closely at HFCS.
Does V8 Splash affect blood sugar? V8 Splash contains significant amounts of sugar, much of which is in the form of high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup has been confirmed to spike blood sugar levels. So yes, V8 Splash affects blood sugar.
Can you drink V8 Splash on keto? V8 Splash is not keto friendly. Pretty much all the calories come from carbohydrates, with 28g of total carbs per 12 fl oz serving.
3. How Bad Is the High Fructose Corn Syrup in V8 Splash?
V8 Splash is not sweetened with normal sugar, but primarily with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). And HFCS has a pretty bad reputation. Many people believe it is worse than normal table sugar. But is it really?
Some research suggests HFCS may increase appetite and contribute to obesity more than regular sugar. However, other research contradicts this. Overall, it’s still debated whether high fructose corn syrup is worse than normal sugar. (source)
But the real bottom line is this: Any high-sugar diet, whether it’s HFCS or normal sugar, can increase heart disease and obesity risk, while raising blood sugar, triglycerides, and blood pressure. (source)
So, when it comes to V8 Splash, the real problem isn’t specifically the high fructose corn syrup… It’s just the amount of added sugar overall. I mean, 25g per bottle is not as bad as many sodas, but it’s still a lot of empty calories and high-glycemic carbs.
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)
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?
V8 Splash has about 15mg to 30mg of sodium per 12 oz bottle. That is only around 1% of the daily recommended limit of 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Therefore, V8 Splash is low 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?
V8 Splash has high-calorie ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and fruit juice concentrates, so it may not be the best for weight loss. However, weight loss depends mostly on your overall calorie balance. Therefore, V8 Splash can be included in moderation on a weight loss diet.
Many people misunderstand what actually causes fat gain and fat loss. It isn’t generally caused by eating specific foods. Fat gain is a result of consuming more calories than you burn overall. The overall quantity of calories is what’s important.
For example, it’s possible to gain fat from healthy foods—if you eat large portions and don’t exercise. In the same way, it’s been proven that you can lose weight by eating McDonald’s, if you eat a small amount.
So, there’s a sense in which no specific food is “fattening.” Only overall diets can be fattening… However, there’s another sense in which V8 Splash could hinder weight loss: It has quite a few empty calories, which don’t really fill you up.
That is, when you drink V8 Splash, you’re getting calories without much satiation. And that can lead you to drinking more calories than you need. And in turn, that can cause weight gain (or a plateau in 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.
So, there is a sense in which V8 Splash could be bad for weight loss, compared to drinking water. But the actual key is your overall diet and calorie balance. One specific food doesn’t necessarily make or break your diet.
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:
V8 Splash vs Coke (per 8 fl oz)
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).
But Coca-Cola has some other bad ingredients, too. Namely, it has phosphoric acid, which seems to be bad for dental health and bone health. And it has caramel color, which may contain a carcinogen.
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?
Generally speaking, yes, it would be bad to drink V8 Splash every day. It contains 25g of sugar per bottle, along with the artificial sweetener sucralose and, depending on the flavor, artificial colors. Especially if V8 Splash is part of an overall high-sugar diet, it is not healthy.
High-sugar diets lead to increased risk of obesity, heart disease, tooth decay, and more health problems. And even if you junk drink one bottle of V8 Splash per day, you may be entering into the realm of “high sugar,” depending on the rest of your diet.
Side effects of drinking V8 Splash every day as part of a high-sugar diet could include cavities, weight gain, blood-sugar spikes leading to acne and other issues, and more—all from the excess sugar.
And that’s not even mentioning the potential behavioral effects of the Red 40 in the Berry Blend flavor.
Now, technically, you could drink one or two sips of V8 Splash a day, and you could still be consuming a low-sugar diet. So, that would probably be fine. But who is stopping after one sip? Let’s be realistic.
The most sensible general guideline would be to only drink V8 Splash on occasion. Don’t make it a daily habit.
11. Is V8 Splash Vegan?
V8 Splash is generally considered vegan. It contains no milk, egg, meat, honey, or other animal ingredients.
In a sense, V8 Splash is even more vegan-friendly than some other sugary drinks. That’s because V8 Splash is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup—not cane sugar that may have been filtered with animal bone char.
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