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The Caffeine in a Can of Mountain Dew vs a Cup of Coffee!

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How Much Caffeine Is In a Can of Mountain Dew Compared to a Cup of Coffee
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This is how much caffeine is in a can of Mountain Dew compared to a cup of coffee:

A regular/diet can of Mountain Dew has around 54 mg of caffeine per 12 oz, while coffee has 160 mg of caffeine per 8 oz.

A can of regular Mountain Dew has 54 mg of caffeine per 12 oz. A regular 8 oz. cup of black coffee has about 95 mg of caffeine.

Even the Mountain Dew Amp Original has much less caffeine (142 mg per 16 oz.) than espresso of equal proportions as one 1-oz. shot contains 63 mg of caffeine.

Although no one would drink 16 ounces of espresso, ounce for ounce coffee still contains much more caffeine than any Mountain Dew.

I’ve spent hours researching this topic in great detail and came to the conclusion that coffee contains much more caffeine than popular soft drinks.

This is a big finding since Americans simply love their coffee and soda as reports show that people in the US drink more coffee and soda than water on average.

To highlight the caffeine differences between coffee and Mountain dew, in this article I’ll cover:

  • The caffeine content in coffee and soda in general
  • Soda drinks with the most caffeine
  • Caffeine levels in coffee and Mountain Dew
  • Extra facts and bonus tips

Caffeine in Coffee vs Soda

Coffee boasts a considerably higher dose of caffeine than soda.

Here’s a comparison:

  • A regular cup of coffee – An 8 oz. cup has around 95 – 165 mg of caffeine (depending on the origin, processing, and brewing methods)
  • Espresso shot – A typical 1 oz serving has approximately 63 mg of caffeine
  • Mocha/latte coffee –  Your typical 12-oz serving size will contain between 63 – 126 mg of caffeine
  • Decaf coffee – This one has modest amounts of caffeine or only 2 – 5 mg per 8 oz.
  • Cola – One 12-oz can has 35 mg of caffeine on average

Note that soft drinks still contain less caffeine than even very diluted coffee drinks such as caffe latte.

How Much Caffeine Is In a Can of Mountain Dew Compared to a Cup of Coffee, a cup of coffee and heart-shaped coffee beans

Coffee vs Soda: The Health-Oriented Debate

Coffee is definitely a much healthier option than soda.

Coffee and caffeine offer a myriad of potential health benefits such as:

  • Enhanced physical performance
  • Can make you happier
  • Increased energy levels
  • Contains valuable minerals and B vitamins
  • Helps burn fat

If you drink coffee in moderation it will always be much healthier than soda.

Keep in mind that soda is full of sugars and empty calories that make you crave even more sugar.

And according to CDC guidelines, sugar-sweetened beverages consumption can lead to a variety of health problems.

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Mountain Dew Soda, 12 Fl Oz (pack of 24)
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Mountain Dew is Not that High in Caffeine

The amount of caffeine in MD isn’t that high, compared to other highly caffeinated beverages.

If we compare Mountain Dew to other soda drinks it contains significantly higher amounts of caffeine (the Coca-Cola Classic has only 34 mg of caffeine per 12 oz).

It is fairly high for a soft drink, yet not high at all when compared to highly caffeinated drinks like espresso.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s caffeine charts, the different Mountain Dew drinks have the following caffeine content:

  • Mountain Dew – 54 mg per 12 oz (or 71 mg of caffeine per 20 oz)
  • Mountain Dew Amp Original – 142 mg per 16 oz
  • Mountain Dew Amp Game Fuel (regular and zero) – 90 mg per 16 oz
  • Mountain Dew Kickstart Original – 90 mg per 16 oz (while coffee has 160 mg of caffeine per 8 oz)

Compare this to around 160 of caffeine in a standard 8-oz cup of coffee and you’ll quickly realize although MD boasts a decent amount of caffeine, it’s still quite modest in comparison to java.

34 oz of Mountain Dew contains roughly 150 mg of caffeine but ingesting this much soda is far from healthy due to all the extra sugar.

Nonetheless, caffeine makes up only about 20% to 75% per 12 oz in most sodas.

How Much Caffeine Is In a Can of Mountain Dew Compared to a Cup of Coffee, a tired man looking at the mirror

Mountain Dew Side Effects

Consuming too much MD or soft drinks, in general, comes with several side effects such as:

  • Caffeine – Insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, high blood pressure, muscle breakdown, addiction (source)
  • Sugar – Tooth decay, liver damage, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity (source)

That’s why you should avoid drinking excessive amounts of both caffeine and sugar to stay healthy.

Note: 54 mg of Caffeine is NOT a Lot

That’s because 54 mg can be considered a small dose of caffeine and this is how much caffeine a regular can of Mountain Dew contains.

A normal dose of caffeine would be between 50 to 200 mg per 12oz.

And anything beyond 400 mg can be considered hardcore and not for everyone.

Extreme Amounts of Caffeine can be Deadly

In 2017 the Washington Post reported that a teenager died of a caffeine overdose.

Apparently, the young man named Davis Allen Cripe had a large Mountain Dew, a McDonald’s latte and a 16 oz energy drink within a span of two hours.

That’s approximately 730 mg of caffeine in total!

But it was not about the MD, or energy drinks or McDonald’s’ coffee.

The real culprit was the unhealthy amount of caffeine that caused dire consequences.

The Soda with the Highest Caffeine Content

Pepsi One tops the charts with 55.5 mg of caffeine per 12 oz.

But here’s how much caffeine the most popular soda drinks contain, according to the University of Utah:

  • Pepsi One – 55.5 mg
  • Mountain Dew – 55 mg
  • Dr. Pepper – 41 mg
  • Coca-Cola Classic – 34 mg

This is How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee

  • 1 cup of brewed coffee (8 oz) – 94.8 mg of caffeine
  • 1 cup of espresso (1 oz) – 62.8 mg of caffeine
  • 1 cup of instant coffee (1-2 tablespoons) (8 oz) – 31.4-62.8 mg of caffeine
  • 1 cup of decaffeinated coffee (8 oz) – 2.37 mg of caffeine

Note that these specific amounts of caffeine for the different types of coffee are all based on information from USDA’s FoodData Central databse.

Maximum Recommended Daily Intake of Caffeine

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cites 400 mg of caffeine as the maximum safe amount that you can consume.

This equals roughly 4-5 cups of coffee as an amount of caffeine that’s typically not related to any dangerous side effects.

But you have to take into account that different people metabolize caffeine at different rates and some are more sensitive than others.

Some medications and specific conditions can make you more sensitive to the effects of caffeine.

Moreover, the FDA recommends that pregnant or breastfeeding women (or those trying to become pregnant) and people concerned about caffeine’s interaction with a certain condition or medication need to contact their health care provider regarding caffeine consumption.

Bonus Recipe: Mountain Dew + Espresso

What you’ll need:

  • A can of Mountain Dew
  • Lemon
  • Espresso
  • A tall cup of ice

Instructions:

  • Pour Mountain Dew over ice
  • Add a shot or two of espresso
  • Add a squeeze of lemon
  • Enjoy

Conclusion

So, the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee is significantly higher than in a can of Mountain Dew.

And coffee is a lot healthier than any soda as it doesn’t contain high levels of sugars and acids.

So the overall ‘winner’ would be coffee, although it still has to be consumed in moderation.

Now, are you a fan of Mountain Dew?

Have you ever tried the Mountain Dew and espresso cocktail?

Leave your comments below!

References:

  1. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/international-coffee-day-americans-drink-more-coffee-than-soda-tea-and-juice-combined-2017-09-29
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/sugar-sweetened-beverages-intake.html
  4. https://cspinet.org/eating-healthy/ingredients-of-concern/caffeine-chart
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-side-effects
  6. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/how-sugar-affects-your-body
  7. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/05/16/a-teen-chugged-a-latte-a-mountain-dew-and-an-energy-drink-the-caffeine-binge-led-to-his-death/
  8. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/how-sugar-affects-your-body
  9. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171890/nutrients
  10. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171891/nutrients
  11. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171893/nutrients
  12. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171889/nutrients
  13. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much

Last update on 2021-10-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Simon Slavchev

Simon Slavchev

Did somebody say coffee? Two shots of espresso for me, thanks. Oh, nevermind - I'm Simon, nice to e-meet you, dear CoffeeLifior! I like to write, drink coffee and I believe in Jesus. Highly-caffeinated drinks are my thing, but you can occasionally see me sip on decaf (my wife never finishes her coffee). Speaking of which, I'm off to grab another cup of caffeinated goodness now, laters!

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