How Much Caffeine Does Regular Mountain Dew Really Have?

Most people either can't live without Mountain Dew or want nothing to do with it. The alarming color of the soda, which almost seems like something out of a cartoon, is likely the first thing to put people off, but the next may be the copious amounts of sugar and caffeine. We know that soda gives us quite the sugar high, but if Mountain Dew is your pop of choice, it may not just be the sugar making you zoom. 

The drink was born when brothers Barney and Ally Hartman concocted their ideal whiskey mixer after struggling to get their hands on their favorite from Georgia — Natural Set Up, Thrillist tells us. Some may believe that the lemon-lime spritz was dubbed Mountain Dew with an attempt to market the soda as fresh and rejuvenating, although the term is actually old slang for moonshine, which was fitting for their whiskey companion.

The Hartman brothers enjoyed their beverage behind closed doors until they decided to share the goodness and rebrand the soda to appeal to everyone. Others weren't as excited about Mountain Dew, and ultimately the brothers sold the brand to The Tip Corporation for the measly price of $6.95. The new and improved soft drink was a big hit and was then bought out by PepsiCo in 1964. Pepsi toyed with the recipe and added a surplus of one ingredient in particular: caffeine.

Mountain Dew has more caffeine than most soda

PepsiCo Beverage Facts reveals that 12 ounces of Mountain Dew contains 54 milligrams of caffeine. Coffee lovers may consume a lot more than that in a sitting, but for a soda that kids reach for, that sure is a lot of caffeine. Pepsi fans can chug the same-sized bottle and only consume 38 milligrams of caffeine. The Hartman duo never intended their soda to jazz drinkers up that much, but Pepsi had a different idea once they took over. 

Mountain Dew gained popularity among teens who caught on to the high caffeine content, and Pepsi ultimately profited from that. The huge corporation's marketing team began angling the highly caffeinated soda as an "extreme" beverage, says Reference. In the 1990s, they advertised the soda with the slogan "Do The Dew," associating it with an active lifestyle. The brand even sponsored the X Games and fueled adrenaline junkies with Mountain Dew before they embarked on edgy sports. The slogan caught on so fast it's even listed in Urban Dictionary as "Drinking something out of a bottle or can without touching it to one's lips," which screams an ultimate way of life, if you ask us.