Mountain Dew Vs a Cup of Coffee – Which One Has More Caffeine?

Mountain Dew

The debate of caffeinated soda vs a cup of coffee has been going on for decades.

However, the two are very different, and to understand one, you must understand the other.

This article will explore this debate and compare the caffeine in a can of Mountain Dew versus a coffee cup to determine which one is more caffeinated.

Mountain Dew:

A regular/diet Mountain Dew can contain approximately 54 mg of caffeine per 12 oz, whereas coffee contains 160 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. A 12 oz can of ordinary Mountain Dew contains 54 mg of caffeine. 

Is Mountain Dew safe to drink?
A standard eight oz. a cup of black coffee has approximately 95 mg of caffeine. Even the Mountain Dew Amp Original contains less caffeine (142 mg per 16 oz.) than espresso in identical amounts, as one 1-oz. shot delivers 63 mg.

Although no one would probably drink 16 ounces of espresso, coffee has far more caffeine per ounce than any Mountain Dew. 


The average serving size of coffee is 8.5 oz (about 237 ml). That’s about 100 mg of caffeine. Coffee includes about twice the caffeine in an 8oz serving as a 12oz serving. A single cup of coffee contains 150-200 mg of caffeine. 

Is coffee good for your health?
One strong cup of coffee could contain up to 200 mg. While this seems like a reasonable amount, you need to note that drinking too much coffee can also cause serious adverse effects. 

The average person should never consume more than 400 milligrams or 4 cups per day.

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

Mountain Dew Doesn’t Have High Caffeine Content.

Compared to other highly caffeinated beverages, the caffeine content of MD isn’t all that high. Compared to other soda drinks, Mountain Dew contains much more caffeine (the Coca-Cola Classic has only 34 mg of caffeine per 12 oz).

It is relatively high for a soft drink. However, it is not excessive compared to highly caffeinated beverages such as espresso. The caffeine level of the various Mountain Dew drinks is as follows, as per the Center for Science in the Public Interest's caffeine charts:
  • Mountain Dew has 54 mg per 12 oz (or 71 mg of caffeine per 20 oz)
  • Mountain Dew Amp Original has 142 mg of caffeine per 16 oz.
  • Mountain Dew Amp Game Fuel (normal and zero-calorie)  has 90 milligrams per 16 oz.
  • Mountain Dew Kickstart Original has 90 mg per 16 oz. 
When you compare this to the about 160 mg of caffeine in a regular 8-oz cup of coffee, you'll immediately learn that while MD has a respectable amount of caffeine, it's still relatively moderate compared to java. 

Although 34 oz of Mountain Dew has approximately 150 mg of caffeine, consuming this soda is far from healthy due to added sugar. In addition, there is a possibility of caffeine overdose, so drink in moderation.

What are the Mountain Dew Side Effects

Too much Mountain Dew or soft drinks, in general, has several adverse side effects, including:

How bad is Mountain Dew for your body?
  • Caffeine has been linked to insomnia, anxiety, exhaustion, high blood pressure, muscular breakdown, and addiction (source)
  • Sugar contributes to tooth decay, liver damage, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity (source)

That is why, to stay healthy, you should avoid drinking excessive amounts of both caffeine and sugar. To do that, you have to drink in moderation.

How to Avoid Mountain Dew Side Effects

To prevent the adverse side effects of drinking too much Mountain Dew, try only consuming a single can a day. By doing this, your body is not exposed to excessive amounts of caffeine or sugar, resulting in adverse effects. 

If you drink too much, your body will flush out the excess caffeine and sugar within 48 hours. You can also try drinking decaffeinated caffeine drinks such as Diet Mountain Dew.

The Soda with the Most Caffeine

Which soda has the most caffeine? Pepsi One is the most caffeinated beverage, with 55.5 mg per 12 oz.

However, according to the University of Utah, the caffeine content of the most popular soda drinks is as follows:

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

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the maximum safe quantity of caffeine that you can consume is 400 mg. 

Therefore, it equates to approximately 4-5 cups of coffee as a quantity of caffeine that is usually not associated with any harmful side effects.

However, you must consider that various persons metabolize caffeine at different rates, and some are more sensitive than others. Therefore, caffeine can make you more susceptible to the effects of some drugs and medical problems.

Furthermore, the FDA advises pregnant or breastfeeding women (or those attempting to become pregnant) and those concerned about caffeine's interaction with a specific ailment or medicine to see their health care practitioner before consuming caffeine. 

Furthermore, it is safer to avoid energy drinks to eliminate the risk of caffeine toxicity. Energy drinks contain far more caffeine than soda-pop. 

Energy drink companies are not required to list the amount of caffeine contained in their beverages, so you have no way of knowing just how much caffeine is in them until you have consumed one.


While Soda and Soda-pop and Mountain Dew (both MD and Amp) have a considerable amount of caffeine, it is not as high as you would think. It is higher than most sodas but far lower than coffee. 

As seen in this article, you should drink soda in moderation because of the sugar content and the adverse side effects of too much caffeine or sugar. 

Avoid ordering a massive shake or a massive soda pop to minimize your caffeine intake. Instead, order something more reasonable in size, and you will have a much healthier diet!


How many cans of soda does it take to overdose on caffeine?

According to the FDA, you can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day, approximately 5 cups of coffee. 

However, this amount is the maximum daily intake of caffeine. You may start experiencing adverse side effects when consuming even 200 mg of caffeine a day. 

The amount that will make a person feel energized and how much sugar they can tolerate differs from person to person, so there isn’t a set limit for each individual. 

However, a high-caffeine drinker who consumes more than 200 mg of caffeine a day could experience complications from caffeine toxicity, such as an upset stomach.

How much caffeine is in a regular 20-oz soda?

A regular 20 oz soda usually contains approximately 71 mg of caffeine.

What Mountain Dew has the most caffeine?

According to this table, the regular Amp Dew has the most caffeine.

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