I’ve always been a huge fan of vegetable juices—in fact, I start my day with celery juice every single morning. I practice a strict green juice fast every quarter or so, and I’ve been known to make a pretty delicious mimosa with fresh pressed orange juice for weekend brunch.
That said, when I was asked to incorporate V8 juice into my diet for a week, I was hesitant. I love a fresh pressed veggie juice (I even have my own Breville juicer that I keep on my counter), so the idea of swapping out my fresh juices for a bottled juice I associate with Bloody Mary cocktails seemed grim—at least until I did a bit of research about V8 juice.
According to a Healthline report, V8 juice is actually surprisingly nutritious. It’s made from a large assortment of vegetables, including tomatoes, carrots, beets, celery, lettuce, parsley, spinach, and watercress. It also packs two servings of vegetables per glass with a huge dose of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium.
I was intrigued by the seemingly impressive health benefits-to-effort ratio (all my regular juices are homemade and it’s a lot of work!) so I decided to give it a go. Here’s exactly what happened to my body after a week of drinking V8 juice.
I haven’t had V8 in years and years—in fact, I think the last time I had a glass of V8 was in college when I was attempting to make a vegan version of a Bloody Mary. I don’t remember liking it at all… so as I poured my first glass I was a little nervous.
It wasn’t great—but definitely not as bad as I remember it being when I was in college! I gulped down my first glass around lunch time in place of a smoothie and didn’t think much of it. Then I had a second glass before dinner when I would usually have a green juice.
Let’s just say I wasn’t looking forward to my daily V8 ritual—and it’s only day two! I’m just not a huge fan of tomatoes, but I did like that I didn’t have to physically make my own fresh pressed juices. It’s a huge time saver!
By the third day, I noticed I was getting a bit bloated and also gained a couple of pounds. I thought that was kind of weird, considering I work out everyday and have been losing weight over the past few months. I decided to cut back to one glass at lunch until I felt better.
By the next day, I actually felt just as bloated as before—so I did some digging around on the internet. It turns out that V8 is particularly high in sodium because they use salt as a flavor enhancer and a preservative. Adding more sodium to your diet than your body is used to can cause water retention, so I assume this is the reason why I had felt super bloated and gained a bit of weight. I decided to continue drinking just a single glass, rather than two, and replaced my evening glass with a homemade green juice.
At the end of the week, I was pretty excited to be finished with V8—as someone who eats mainly fresh vegetables and very low sodium, it just didn’t work for my diet. That being said, my partner decided to join me for the week and he really enjoyed it. His diet isn’t as clean as mine and he said that he felt more energized and healthy getting those extra doses of vitamins and veggies.