Mountain Dew comes in several different varieties, and all of them promote the idea of an active, adventurous lifestyle. But what if you live a vegan lifestyle as well? Is Mountain Dew vegan?
The popular soda Mountain Dew has been around for more than 80 years.
And since that time it has gone through an interesting marketing journey, with slogans ranging from “It’ll tickle yore innards” to “Do the Dew.”
But can you Do the Dew if you’re vegan?
If you’re a fan of Mountain Dew Original, the good news is that the soda is vegan, as none of the items on its ingredients list contains animal products.
But does that apply to all flavors of Mountain Dew?
What is Mountain Dew?
Mountain Dew was the brainchild of a pair of brothers from Georgia. When Barney and Ally Harman moved from their home state to Knoxville, Tennessee in the 1930s, they realized they had an issue. They couldn’t get their favorite whiskey mixer in their new city.
So they decided to make their own. They called their concoction “Mountain Dew,” slang for moonshine at the time. The original drink was clear and had a citrusy taste.
A few years later, they decided to try to sell it to the masses. At first, they leaned on the drink’s Appalachian roots with brand imagery of hillbillies on the frontier.
But sales struggled, and in the 1950s, a beverage company called the Tip Corporation bought the Mountain Dew recipe and got to work on reformulating it.
A few years after that, PepsiCo bought the rights to it and eventually created the neon green-colored Original Mountain Dew that’s still produced today. Along the way, they also ditched the Hillbilly branding.
In the 1990s, the highly-caffeinated, carbonated soft drink was marketed heavily toward young males as part of an active, extreme sports lifestyle. And because who has time for extra spelling when you’re shredding the BMX course, the soda dropped the vowels from the name. Mountain Dew officially became Mtn Dew.
In addition to the original bright green variety, different flavors were subsequently included to the Mtn Dew line up. Now it boasts no fewer than 7 flavors, including Mtn Dew Code Red, Mtn Dew Voltage, and Mtn Dew Pitch Black (which is actually purple). They also come in zero sugar Mountain Dew varieties.
Plus, the brand offers Mtn Dew offshoots, such as Mtn Dew Kickstart, Mtn Dew Amp, and Mtn Dew Energy, which are all various types of energy drinks.
Now Mtn Dew bills itself as a go-to energy drink for gamers, with a caffeine jolt that can fuel their lengthy gaming sessions.
Is Mountain Dew Vegan?
So is Mountain Dew — or Mtn Dew — vegan? Yes, all flavors of Mtn Dew are vegan. Specific ingredients include carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, orange juice, citric acid, and caffeine. It also includes artificial flavors, preservatives, and additives like sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, gum arabic, erythorbic acid, and calcium disodium EDTA.
Original flavor Mtn Dew also includes an artificial color called Yellow 5. It’s a food dye that helps give the drink its bright, neon color. While it’s widely added to foods and beverages in the United States, the European Union requires products that use it to include a warning label, noting that it “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”
Though PepsiCo makes no vegan claims about its drinks, none of these items are animal ingredients or an animal byproduct, so the Mountain Dew can be considered compatible with a vegan diet.
Are other Mountain Dew products vegan?
Yes, the following Mountain Dew drinks are all vegan:
- Mountain Dew Kickstart
- Mountain Dew Energy
- Mountain Dew Amp
No items on their list of ingredients contain animal products or by-products.
Mtn Dew and artificial colors
While no animal-derived ingredients are in Mtn Dew, various varieties of the drink do contain artificial colors. These substances regularly use animal testing in efforts to demonstrate their safety.
So, for some strict vegans, this may pose an issue as to whether these drinks can still be considered vegan or not. And this simply may come down to your personal preference.
Does Mountain Dew contain Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)?
Until recently, BVO was used in some soft drinks to help prevent ingredients from separating. The substance includes bromine, which is also found in flame retardants. Research showed it could lead to nerve and memory problems in some cases, and it was banned in Europe.
In 2020, PepsiCo announced it no longer uses BVO in its primary Pepsi products, including Mountain Dew. However, it is still found in the Mountain Dew Throwback drink.
How much caffeine is in Mtn Dew?
Mtn Dew packs a solid caffeine punch — more than most regular sodas. A 20-ounce bottle of Original Mtn Dew has a whopping 91 milligrams of caffeine.
The same size bottle of Coke has 57 mg, whereas a 20 oz Pepsi has 63 mg of caffeine.
Still, those are all less than a 20 oz coffee, which includes a caffeine content of nearly 230 mg.
A 20 oz bottle of Mountain Dew contains 77 grams of sugar. That’s about 18 teaspoons of sugar.
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