You’re pregnant and craving tomato juice, but you see Clamato juice instead. Is it safe to drink if it contains clams?
Clamato juice should be completely safe to drink while pregnant as long as there is no risk of allergy, the juice hasn’t been allowed to sit out and become spoiled, and it isn’t expired. Because clamato juice is pasteurized there is no increased risk of foodborne illness but it can contain high amounts of sodium, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup.
Let’s look ahead to see if Clamato juice is worth the hype or if you should avoid altogether.
What is Clamato juice?
Clamato juice is a combination of tomato juice, clam juice, spices, sugar, and MSG. Owned by Mott’s, this drink began in 1969 by farmers in California, who wanted a drink that made their long days more tolerable. Consumed throughout North America but mainly popular in Canada and Mexico, Clamato juice is used for making Micheladas (combined with beer) and bloody Caesars (combined with vodka). It can also be used in other drinks and food, and drank by itself as well.
Is Clamato juice the same as tomato juice?
No. It is a combination of tomato juice, clam juice, and spices. Tomato juice is by itself.
Is Clamato juice safe during pregnancy?
Yes, in moderation. It does contain Vitamins A and C. Some women will make virgin bloody Caesars (no alcohol) or drink it straight.
In general, if you had no issues drinking clamato juice before you became pregnant then there is little risk of drinking it while you are pregnant. With that being said, there are some dietary factors with clamato juice that suggest you probably shouldn’t drink too much of it.
There are a few things to keep in mind.
- Heartburn: A lot of pregnant women experience heartburn or acid reflux from tomatoes and high acid foods (ketchup, sauce, etc.). It is best to avoid a lot of acidic consumption.
- Sodium: Clamato juice contains anywhere from 790-820mg of sodium in an 8 oz. serving. Maybe drink half that amount or opt for the low sodium. Check with your doctor.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): This can be found in a lot of processed foods. There have been some studies that state a diet high in high fructose corn syrup can cause issues with pregnancy such as low birth weight and future cardio metabolic diseases in the children. It is best to avoid HFCs or consume in moderation.
- MSG (Monosodium glutamate): This is a flavor enhancer found in a lot of food and drinks. While it is deemed safe by the FDA, there is a controversy because it can cause the “Chinese food syndrome” of eating until full and then eating a little later again.
Everything in moderation!
If you experience any symptoms related to MSG while pregnant, contact your doctor right away:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chest pain
- Clam broth: generally, you should avoid raw seafood while pregnant. The juice contains clam broth, which is cooked and pasteurized so it should be fine. If you are concerned, check with your doctor or just don’t drink it.
- Tomatophagia: If you are craving a lot of tomatoes, it could be a sign of tomatophagia, which could be a sign of iron-deficiency anemia. It is quite common. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about this. They can help you adjust your diet and give you the nutrition you need. If there is no underlying condition, there are a lot of foods that have the same nutrients as tomatoes.
Symptoms of anemia during pregnancy can include:
- Pale skin
- Cold hands and feet
Food poisoning from Clamato juice
There are no direct studies that there is any extra inherent risk of food poisoning from a beverage like clamato juice.
Since clamato juice is a juice that can spoil, however, you will need to ensure that you aren’t drinking anything that has been left out and allowed to reach room temperature for two hours.
Before drinking Clamato juice, check with your doctor. And always be sure to:
- Read the label, especially if there are ingredients you are allergic to or are making you nauseous.
- Check the expiration date.
- Don’t drink it if it’s been sitting out open.
- When in doubt, throw it out!
Alternatives to Clamato juice while pregnant
If you are leery or your doctor says not to drink Clamato juice, there are other options.
- V8 juice is a good alternative. Along with tomato juice, it is packed with many vegetables. There are even ones mixed with fruits as well. Packed with vitamins and minerals, these are sure to curb your cravings. You can always opt for plain tomato juice as well.
- Low sodium juice is healthier and still flavorful. V8, Clamato, and other brands are available with low sodium options.
- Homemade is a creative way to make some juice. You can do homemade Clamato There are also recipes for plain tomato juice or vegetable juice as well. Just make sure everything is washed and cooked thoroughly.
In moderation, this drink can be a nutritious and delicious benefit to your pregnancy. Always check the product label and talk to your doctor about any concerns.