Food & Nutrition

Is Vimto healthy? We take a look at this popular drink

Middle East Vimto

Published by Finn Hayden

When it comes to quintessential British drinks, Vimto is a brand which is certainly up there. It feels like it's been around for years, and the truth is that it has been - the drink was invented in 1908. Although we're fans of Vimto, we'd never considered it to be a healthy drink, until recently when down a Google rabbit hole, we discovered that Vimto is very popular among Muslims during Ramadan. This is because the sugar in Vimto helps give a boost at Iftar, the first eaten meal when Muslims break their fast. But this got us thinking - is Vimto a healthy drink? Let's take a look:

What Vimto variety are we talking about?

We need to clarify what Vimto variety we're talking about because there are quite a few varieties in the range. For example, the sparkling variety (pictured) is essentially just a sugar-filled soda like Coca-Cola, so we wouldn't really be able to describe that as healthy. We're more looking at the squash variety of Vimto, the type you mix with water. This is by far the most popular type of Vimto and the type that many Muslims drink when they break their fast.
sparkling Vimto

You can also find a special Middle Eastern version of Vimto in some UK shops, and we managed to snag a bottle (pictured), so we'll be referring to the Middle Eastern version in this guide as well as the classic British version.

Middle East Vimto

What are the nutritional statistics of Vimto?

The sugar content of Vimto is what makes it such a popular drink with Muslims, but it is also sadly the main reason the original Vimto squash can't really be described as healthy. Having said that, Vimto squash is not as high in sugar as we would have expected - 100ml of diluted Vimto squash contains 4.7g of sugar. To put that into perspective, the same amount of Coca-Cola contains 10.6g of sugar. So although Vimto does contain quite a significant amount of sugar per 100ml, it is still under half what you'd find in the same amount of Coca-Cola. But it's not just the sugar in Vimto squash that we have an issue with, because there are a few other ingredients that caught our eye -

 

But there are some positives to highlight. For example, we didn't realise that Vimto was a source of both Vitamin C and Vitamin D, which is great to see. It's also made with real fruit as advertised on the front of the bottle, including Grape, Blackcurrant, and Raspberry.

 

Luckily, there is a no added sugar variety of Vimto (pictured) that you can enjoy if you want to get the vitamins and taste without any of the sugar. Although we appreciate that for Muslims looking to get a little sugar boost after breaking their fast, this sort of defeats the purpose of drinking Vimto for you!
Sugar free Vimto
The Middle Eastern version of Vimto has quite a different nutritional breakdown compared to the classic British version. The first big difference that you'll notice is the sugar - this is much sweeter than the British Vimto, and sugar is the first ingredient listed on the back of the bottle. This version of Vimto also contains no artificial colours and no artificial sweeteners. Big there is no denying that it's packed with sugar, although this is exactly what has made it so popular to drink after Ramadan.
Vimto

So, can we describe Vimto as a healthy drink?

So in short, we definitely don't think Vimto is bad for you, especially compared to other sugar-filled drinks. But it does contain quite a bit of sugar per 100ml, and for that reason we wouldn't recommend drinking Vimto often if you're trying to lose weight or stay healthy. But as a drink to provide a small sugar boost, it is ideal (as proven by the millions of Muslims who drink Vimto when they break their fast).

So hopefully this guide has helped you to see how healthy Vimto actually is! Let us know if you drink Vimto and what you think of our guide in the comments below.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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