Note that this post contains affiliate links and we may earn a small commission to help support the site at no extra cost to you if you buy something.

How Much Caffeine Is In a Can of Mountain Dew Compared to a Cup of Coffee

How Much Caffeine Is In a Can of Mountain Dew Compared to a Cup of Coffee?

Did you know that Americans prefer coffee over bottled water? Well, data shows that in 2016 the average American drank 33.5 gallons of bottled water and a whopping 88.8 gallons of coffee (1). Soda takes an honorable second-favorite place (49 gallons of pop/year). But soda and coffee have one major thing in common – they are both caffeinated. Yet, how much caffeine is in a can of Mountain Dew compared to a cup of coffee?

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

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

Keep reading if you are a fan of coffee and Mountain Dew drinks (and soda in general) as we will list other differences and facts between the two below!

Caffeine in Coffee vs Soda

Coffee boasts a considerably higher dose of caffeine than soda.

Here’s a comparison:

  • 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 – Which is Healthier?

Coffee is definitely a much healthier option than soda.

Coffee and caffeine offer a myriad of potential health benefits such as (2):

  • 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 the CDC, sugar-sweetened beverages consumption can lead to a variety of health problems (3).

Is Mountain Dew High in Caffeine?

No, if we compare it to coffee.

However, 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).

According to caffeine charts, the different Mountain Dew drinks have the following caffeine content (4):

  • 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.

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

What Are the Side Effects of Drinking too Much Mountain Dew?

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 (5)
  • Sugar – Tooth decay, liver damage, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity (6)

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

Is 54 mg of Caffeine a Lot?

No, because 54 mg can be considered a small dose of caffeine.

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 (7).

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.

What Soda Has the Highest Caffeine?

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 (8):

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

Why is Mountain Dew Caffeine Level So High?

In fact, the amount of caffeine in MD isn’t that high.

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

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

People mainly drink Mountain Dew for its caffeine levels, while some of them simply want caffeine without coffee.

Bonus Recipe: Mountain Dew + Espresso

What you’ll need:

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


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


So, the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee is significantly higher than 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!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *