Caffeine is a bitter-tasting natural drug found in the leaves and seeds of many plants. This stimulant affects the brain and nervous system, causing you to feel more refreshed, focused, and alert.
Its bitter taste is unnoticeable when added to foods and drinks and mixed with different flavors and sweeteners. As a result, people consume various caffeine products, including coffee, tea, energy drinks, chewing gum, pain relievers, and over-the-counter medicines.
Another plentiful source of caffeine is soda. Millions of people drink soda every day, and one of their favorite brands is Mountain Dew. This soft drink is known for its bright electric green color and high caffeine content.
Yet, the original Mountain Dew was a completely different drink. Here is some background information about Mountain Dew, its caffeine content, and how it compares to other caffeinated beverages.
A Brief History of Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew has always been a carbonated soft drink, but it did not always have caffeine or its neon green color. Instead, the original Mountain Dew was clear and had a lemon-lime flavor like 7UP.
Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman created the formula for Mountain Dew in 1940. They wanted a soda they could mix with their favorite whiskey or other liquors.
In 1948, Mountain Dew became a trademarked name. Yet, the drink struggled to gain in popularity until the Virginia Tip Corporation bought the company.
VTC intensified the lemon-lime flavor and added a copious amount of caffeine. This strategy worked. By 1964, Pepsi bought the drink due to its widespread popularity.
However, there was only one type of Mountain Dew until 1988, when Pepsi introduced Diet Mountain Dew. Today, consumers can buy several Mountain Dew products, including specialty flavors, limited-time flavors, favorite regional flavors, retailer-specific brands, and energy drinks.
You can go to any grocery store and find Mountain Dew and plenty of other caffeinated soft drinks like Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Mountain Dew contains one of the highest levels of caffeine per a 12 oz. Serving among all soft drinks, yet it does not have the most caffeine.
However, it also has one of the highest amounts of sugar among all soft drinks. The amount of sugar in Mountain Dew distinguishes it as having the most caffeine in a soda with sugar.
Mountain Dew has a lot of caffeine, but you may wonder how its caffeine content compares against coffee or tea? Surprisingly, coffee has way more caffeine than Mountain Dew per standard serving, and tea has a little bit less caffeine than Mountain Dew in a typical serving.
Mountain Dew has plenty of caffeine. Yet, it is also full of sugar, artificial flavors, food coloring, and other unnatural chemicals that are not good for your health.
You can avoid these harmful additives and get a bigger caffeine punch by drinking brewed black coffee. You can also prevent these additives and get slightly less caffeine by drinking black or green tea.
Mountain Dew has a good deal of caffeine if you need to get a burst of energy and stay focused on your work. Yet, there are many healthier options that you can choose from to get that caffeine lift.
For example, coffee and tea without sugar have many vital nutrients that can help you lower the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Coffee and tea can also help you lose weight and strengthen your immune system.
Unfortunately, Mountain Dew has dealt with many lawsuits from accusations that the drink causes severe mouth decay. So it is not surprising that all sugary drinks like Mountain Dew can be bad for your health.
Is Mountain Dew Safe to Drink?
You may be skeptical about drinking something with a bright neon yellow-green color and looks like it can glow in the dark. You may enjoy the amount of caffeine it has, yet it has many other ingredients that may not be the best for your health.
For example, many people like the citrus flavor, but caffeine makes the drink addictive. Plus, the high sugar content is allegedly the cause of what is known as Mountain Dew Mouth.
Mountain Dew Mouth became a severe issue when there were claims that children in the Appalachian region were dealing with severe cases of tooth decay. Mountain Dew consumption was the common link in the cases of tooth decay.
Mountain Dew was never proven to be the sole cause of the rise in tooth decay in the Appalachian region. However, there is no doubt that drinks and foods high in sugar can lead to tooth decay and other health problems.
Mountain Dew has 54 mg of caffeine in a 12 oz can. 54 mg is a lot of caffeine, but you may be surprised that it is not as high as other sodas. It is also not as high as other caffeinated drinks.
Here are the caffeine amounts in other Mountain Dew drinks, sodas, coffee, tea, and energy drinks:
· Mountain Dew Amp Original – 16 oz. can = 142 mg of caffeine
· Mountain Dew Amp Game Fuel – 16 oz. can = 90 mg of caffeine
· Mountain Dew Kickstart Original – 16 oz. can = 90 mg of caffeine
· Regular Pepsi – 12 oz. can = 37.5 mg of caffeine
· Pepsi Zero – 12 oz. can = 69 mg of caffeine
· Dr. Pepper – 12 oz. can = 41 mg of caffeine
· Coca Cola Classic – 12 oz. can = 34 mg of caffeine
· Coffee – 8 oz. = 95 mg of caffeine, 12 oz. = 160 mg of caffeine
· Espresso – 1 ounce = 63 mg of caffeine
· Latte and Cappuccino Espresso – 16 oz. = 173 mg of caffeine
· Brewed Starbucks Coffee – 12 oz. Tall = 260 mg of caffeine
· Brewed Black Tea – 8 oz. = 47 mg of caffeine
· Brewed Green Tea – 8 oz. = 28 mg of caffeine
The high amount of caffeine, sugar, and artificial flavors and colors make Mountain Dew very unhealthy to drink regularly. Yet, Mountain Dew remains an iconic soft drink in America. Mountain Dew should only be an occasional treat and not something you should have every day as a source of caffeine.