What’s in Your Mountain Dew?

Taylor Stephan | | BrainsBrains
soft drink, Mountain Dew
Regular and Diet Mountain Dew. Photo Credit: Mashed

Do you “Do the Dew?” Mountain Dew is a staple of American soda. The highly-caffeinated, citrus-esque soda has gone through many iterations in its almost 80 years of existence. It was originally developed in Tennessee as a mixer for liquor, but since its purchase by PepsiCo in 1964, it has morphed into an action sports focused soft drink.

The current version of Mountain Dew is the 4th most popular soft drink in the U.S and has a 6-7% market share overall. Most of its advertising today is focused on a highly active, action-sports-centered, lifestyle. There are several versions other than the citrus flavor such as Baja Blast (most well known due to Taco Bell), Code Red, sugar-free, caffeine-free, and many more.

advertising, Mountain Dew
1950’s Mountain Dew advertisement. Photo Credit: Smithsonian Mag

What makes up this electric colored drink you may ask? The 1940s version of Mountain Dew was caffeine-free, clear-colored, and lemon-lime forward. Today’s version bears little resemblance to its former self.

13 Ingredients

  • Carbonated Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Concentrated Orange Juice
  • Citric Acid
  • Natural Flavors
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • Caffeine
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Gum Arabic
  • Erythorbic Acid
  • Calcium Disodium Edta
  • Yellow 5

I’d be lying if I said I knew what exactly some of those ingredients are. Most are additives for preservation (citric acid, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, erythorbic acid, and calcium disodium edta) or sweetness (high fructose corn syrup, concentrated orange juice) or color (yellow 5).

Per 20 fluid oz. Bottle (1 serving size)

  • Calories: 290
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 105mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 77mg
  • Total Sugars: 77g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Caffeine: 91mg
soft drink
The “Mountain Dew Belt.” Photo Credit: HuffPost

Now, I’m no health expert, but I’d say it’s probably best to enjoy your Mountain Dew in moderation.

Let’s finish with a great interview by 19-year-old Shaun White after winning Gold at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turn, Italy…

Shaun White: “They had all seen the Games and they were just so excited to see me and they’re like ‘you have the gold?’

“And I mean, like, I had unlimited, like, service after that. I was getting drinks and I was getting snacks and I was taking photos in the back with all the stewardesses…”

Interviewer: “Wait a minute. Drinks? You’re 19 years old?”

Shaun White: “I’m talking about Mountain Dews, baby.”


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