Rethinking the V8

January 15, 2008 · 20 comments

Yesterday I asked a bit of a rhetorical question when I asked about if it was OK to drink v8 calories as opposed to eating food calories.  I was pretty sure I knew the answer - because V8 gives you a couple of servings of vegetables and is still fairly low calorie, it is good for you.  That kind of liquid calorie is OK.  I thought.

So after I asked the question I got a ton of you saying that’s great, V8 is a fine drink, but watch out for the sodium.  That’s salt to me.  And you were right!  Wow, is it loaded with it.  12oz serving has around 1,000mg of sodium, which is almost half your daily recommended allowance.

I checked on Campbell’s site because I wanted to see what other types of V8 were available, and see how they handled the sodium question.  The interesting thing is that it’s impossible (at least for me) to find the sodium content info on any version of their V8 except for their low sodium version, which they are happy to provide.  Clearly they are hiding something.  Something grotesque!

I’ll probably try the low sodium version but I already know I won’t like it.  How’s that for defeatist?  Maybe if I spice it up with some Tabasco it will be acceptable?  The thing that sucks is after having this pointed out I checked out some of the other foods in my market basket and I discovered that things like olives and in particular any sort of cured meat like deli turkey, smoked ham, etc is loaded with sodium.  So that’s something I may have to start watching.

V8 Fusion does look like an interesting option, I’ll have to look for it next time I shop.

So for now I have 3 more large bottles of Spicy Hot V8 to get through, then I will reassess whether it stays in my diet.

Do you have a food you assumed was good for you only to find out it wasn’t?

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Dona January 16, 2008 at 8:30 am

I have a feeling the low sodium V-8 is some kind of nasty, but that is totally based on my experience with other low sodium products (anyone tried the low sodium catsup - yuck!). As to if I had a food I thought was good and found out it wasn’t - oh yes. I found these great low glycemic snack bars that I really enjoyed. Calories weren’t too bad but it turns out they really have too much saturated fat in them to be considered healthy AND they contained the dreaded palm kernal oil! Have a great day!

Susanne F January 16, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Lemon Pepper Seasoning, OK it is only a spice but never the less; the first thing on the food label is salt !!!

I have stopped using it.

One thing about the v8, when you are thirsty your body needs water and not energy in any form, just plain tap water (or spring water, if you you cannot drink the tap water).

Best from Denmark

Andrew January 16, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Let us know how that low-sodium drink tastes. My experience is that they are usually not very palatable.

heidi January 16, 2008 at 8:06 pm

the low sodium V8 takes some getting used to. The first time I tried it, I wanted to spew! In the beginning I was adding a pinch of “low sodium” salt to it…. yes, there is such a thing. Then I eventually weaned myself off of that and now drink it straight. After drinking it awhile - if you go back to the regular V8 - you’ll actually taste how salty the regular stuff is! As far as the fusion drink goes, I like it. It’s a bit thick unlike your standard fruit juice, but take it for what it is - one serving each of fruits and veggies.

Cammy January 16, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Maybe you can just have the V8 on less sodium-dense days? I know what it’s like to feel like you found a treasure only to have it snatched away. I lost my beloved Fiber One bars that way. I *thought* I read the label before I bought them, but I guess I confused them with something else because these bars have the dreaded hydrogenated palm kernel oil. *Sob!*

Diana the Scale Junkie January 16, 2008 at 10:46 pm

I drink low sodium V8 but even still, its a lot of sodium. I like that its very filling with not a lot of calories, especially when I’m stuck at work late, its better than a vending machine snack. Try it with a dash of hot sauce and a bit of black pepper…YUMMY!!

John January 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm

I wouldn’t worry about this. Unless you have blood pressure problems presently, your salt intake shouldn’t cause too much of a problem. Just drink your V8′s and keep an eye on your blood pressure. If those numbers go up then cut back on the salt. BTW not all people are as sensitive to salt with regards to its impact on blood pressure.

IAAdmin January 17, 2008 at 10:47 pm

Personally, I’m not a fan of any V8 drinks, so it’s hard for me to comment.

But, yesterday I blogged about a great little calorie calculator specifically for Chipotle. It’s a cute little gadget, and watching the calories go up and down is amazing. Back to the sodium, one burrito had over 88% of the recommended daily sodium. Although, I thought this was rather high, it’s nothing compared to a beverage supplying 50% in 12oz.

Turnip January 18, 2008 at 1:33 am

V8 Fusion tasted too much like carrot juice, if it’s what I’m thinking of. Spicy hot V8 was the best for Bloody Mary’s. Now if drinking your calories is your thing, I have the best invention of all time. No lie. I swap 2 meals a day with a powdered mix. There are 2 I swear by. Spiru-tein Peanut Butter-Chocolate, and Fruit-tein Red.

I mix 1 scoop power, 8 Ice Cubes, 1 cup milk, and a tablespoon of flaxseed oil. Let me tell you, it takes exactly like ice cream, just drink it like a milkshake.

Julie January 20, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Being I am not a fan of vegetable juice, I was thrilled to learn about V8 Fusion. I love the taste.

Cindy February 6, 2008 at 11:23 pm

I love Spicy Hot V8. I’ve been drinking it for years, and I’ve always know about the sodium. Fortunately I am a runner and sweat out the salt, so I have no problem with it!

John September 22, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Been drinking 2-3 times/day; total of about 1000ml for years. I was drinking the Spicy V8 and noticed the higher sodium, so I switched to the Low Sodium version about a year ago. Its fine. I usually hit it with a few squirts of Tabasco or other hot sauce to liven it up. Also good in a bloody mary with a stalk of celery, if you ever have the need for a little vodka jolt….:)

Randy Holtz November 2, 2008 at 10:37 pm

everybody is wrapped up about the high amount of sodium in v8! what? If we are talking about the low sodium brand I’m drinking, don’t sweat it; literally because worrying about it wil raise your blood pressure more than the sodium content. Also, the incredibly high potassium to salt ratio of v8 is the key factor in lowering blood pressure. Most cases of high blood pressure is a result of a potassium deficiency rather than an over abundance in sodium.

Well I was talking about the spicy-hot V8, not the low sodium. I’ve tried the low-sodium and didn’t like it. I will admit I know nothing about potassium to salt ratio but that sounds plausible. I’ll add it to the list of things I want to research.

Andy November 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Years ago when I was dieting on V8, due to the sodium content I switched over to Knudsen’s Very Veggie Low Sodium, which has a much lower sodium content than even Low Sodium V8 (30-40 mg per serving versus about 150, as I recall it). But then the Knudsen’s definitely tasted flat so I spiced it up a bit with Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. I would add about a tablespoon of the L&P which was a couple of hundred mg of sodicum, but that was for the whole bottle-a quart, so still much lower sodium than the V8.

Sounds like a good tip, I love Worcestershire Sauce!

Ken November 5, 2008 at 5:00 pm

While I’m not suggesting that massive amounts of sodium are good for you, sodium will not make you any fatter. Additional salt will cause you to retain additional water, which will cause your weight to go up, but only temporarily. In the long run, it’s not worth worrying about in terms of weight loss. In the short term you can cut your sodium to hit a number on the scale or fit into a pair of jeans, but that, too, is temporary.

If you have high blood pressure, you might need to cut sodium for other reasons. But it won’t help eliminate fat.

Good points, I didn’t mean to imply that salt had anything to do with fat. I’m not a doctor, but I am pretty sure you are right. But I do think that the daily standards are there for a reason, and I would get worried about any element that was ingested beyond the recommended amount.

Randolph December 15, 2008 at 12:36 pm

An can of V8 has 690mg of sodium in it and the recommended daily allowance is between 1500 and 2400.
You’ve got another 60% of sodium to go eat to get your daily recommended allowance if you eat 2400mgs a day. Unless the RDA is way off or you’re special in some way, I don’t think one can of regular V8 is a big concern.

Erica August 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm

If you are going to try low sodium and want to spice it up put a little lemon pepper and a few drops of hot sauce into it to make it spicy. (kind of like a bloody mary without the liquor) Tastes exactly the same to me. Just something to try…

kyle August 26, 2009 at 12:28 pm

So does the V8 fusion have the same benefits as the V8 veggie juice?

nick September 7, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I find regular V8 has too much sodium, the Low Sodium V8 has too much potassium and tastes strange.

However, I find around a 50/50 mix of the two results in a better balance, without the excessive characteristics of either one.

Kim September 21, 2009 at 3:33 am

I LOVE the taste of the low sodium V8, I was pleasantly suprised by it not sucking. I have never tried regular v8 I always go for low sodium when I can because I have thyroid issues. I have tried the V8 fusion and I wasn’t as much of a fan which suprised me since I love raw fruit by itself.

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