Can Kids Drink Mountain Dew? (Quick Answer!)

By KidSpaceStuff •  Updated: 01/02/24 •  7 min read

As you slid a green Mountain Dew can across the bar, have you ever stopped and thought, “Is this drink safe for kids?” Mountain Dew is a staple in many homes and a choice among teenagers. It has a zesty flavor and a lot of caffeine. But there are things we need to think about before giving our younger children their first sip. 

In this post, I’ll talk in-depth about what’s in this popular soda, how it might affect children’s health, and whether or not it’s a good drink for kids.

Can Kids Drink Mountain Dew?

Mountain Dew drink on ice

Source: snackhistory

No ,is the short answer. 

Mountain Dew beverage is not something that kids should drink. It has a lot of sugar and caffeine, harming a child’s health and well-being.

Mountain Dew has more caffeine than other drinks, but the American Association of Pediatrics says kids shouldn’t have more than 45 mg of caffeine daily, so it’s essential to know it is safe.

What is Mountain Dew?

Mountain Dew is a citrus-flavored soft drink produced by the PepsiCo company. It contains more caffeine than other soft drinks such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola. The original formula of Mountain Dew is unique because it incorporates a small amount of orange juice. 

“Mountain Dew” originally referred to Southern and Scots-Irish slang for moonshine, which is homemade whiskey or poitín. When branding their beverage, Barney and Ally chose Mountain Dew, drawing from this old timey slang for moonshine.

Caffeine Content in Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew is a popular carbonated soft drink that contains caffeine. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can help boost alertness and reduce fatigue. There’s a certain amount of caffeine in a can or bottle of Mountain Dew, just like in coffee or tea. 

The exact amount can vary, but a 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew generally has about 54 milligrams of caffeine. This is more than other sodas but less than what you’d find in a typical cup of coffee. So, when you drink Mountain Dew, part of the energy boost you feel comes from its caffeine content.

Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners in Mountain Dew

Like most soft drinks, Mountain Dew has a sweet taste because it has sugar. Sugar is a naturally occurring carbohydrate that gives our bodies energy. But too much sugar can harm your health and lead to weight gain and other problems. Some kinds of Mountain Dew use fake sweeteners instead of sugar to make them lower in calories. 

Artificial sweeteners are chemicals that people make. They taste sweet, but they have few or no calories. Some worry that eating many of these sweets could be bad for your health, even though they can help you eat fewer calories. So, Mountain Dew can be sweetened with natural sugar or fake sweeteners, which have fewer calories.

Age Recommendations for Caffeinated Beverages

Caffeine is a stimulant found in many beverages, including Mountain Dew. While many adults consume caffeine without issues, it’s a different story for younger individuals. For kids and teens, it’s generally recommended to limit caffeine intake. This is because their bodies are still developing, and caffeine can affect their sleep, mood, and even heart rate. 

Specifically, for Mountain Dew, which contains a notable amount of caffeine, it’s suggested that children below 12 years old should avoid it. While occasional consumption might be alright for teenagers, it’s still essential to keep it in moderation and be aware of their total daily caffeine intake. Always remember that everyone’s body reacts differently, and it’s vital to be cautious when introducing caffeine to younger age groups.

Potential Side Effects for Kids

Hey there! So, you want to know about Mountain Dew and its effects on kids. Let’s break it down in a simple way. Here are some potential side effects:

  1. Sugar Overload: Mountain Dew contains a lot of sugar. Consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, cavities, and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  2. Caffeine Jitters: The drink has caffeine. Too much caffeine can make kids jittery and anxious and cause sleeping problems.
  3. Tooth Decay: The acidic nature of sodas can erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities.
  4. Bone Health Concerns: Regular soda consumption has been linked to lower bone density. This means weaker bones that could break more easily.
  5. Unhealthy Habits: Regularly drinking sugary drinks can set kids up for unhealthy eating and drinking habits as they grow up.
  6. Artificial Colors & Additives: These can sometimes cause allergies or other reactions in some kids.

Alternatives to Mountain Dew for Kids

Are you looking for healthier alternatives to Mountain Dew for kids? No problem! Let’s explore some drink options that are both tasty and better for children.

#1: Water 

It’s the best! It keeps kids hydrated, supports overall health, and has zero calories.

#2: Fruit-Infused Water 

Add slices of fruits like oranges, strawberries, or cucumbers to water. It gives a light, refreshing flavor without added sugars.

#3: Natural Fruit Juices 

Choose juices without added sugars. They’re packed with vitamins. Remember, even natural sugars can add up, so moderation is key.

#4: Milk or Non-Dairy Milk 

A great source of calcium and vitamin D. You can opt for cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk based on preferences.

#5: Herbal Teas 

These don’t have caffeine. Some popular kid-friendly flavors are chamomile, peppermint tea, and berry blends. Serve it cold in the summer!

#6: Smoothies 

Blend fruits, yogurt, and some ice or milk. It’s like a treat that’s good for them!

#7: Carbonated Water 

If kids like the fuzziness of sodas, carbonated water (or sparkling water) can be a fun alternative. You can even add a splash of natural juice for flavor.

#8: Homemade Lemonade 

Use fresh lemons, honey or, natural sweetener, and water. It’s a fun recipe for kids to help with, too!

Here’s a great video showing you kids trying mountain dew.

FAQs

Is there a caffeine-free version of Mountain Dew?

Yes, there is a caffeine-free version of Mountain Dew. It’s labeled “Caffeine-Free Mountain Dew” and is available in some markets.

How much Mountain Dew is safe for a child to consume?

The safe consumption amount varies based on a child’s size, age, and overall health. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children aged 12 to 18 consume no more than 100 mg of caffeine per day, roughly the amount in an 8-ounce cup of coffee. For younger children, the recommended intake is much less. A 12 fl oz can of Mountain Dew contains about 54 mg of caffeine, so monitoring overall caffeine intake from all sources is important. Note, however, that even if the caffeine content is below the recommended limit, the high sugar content might not be suitable for regular consumption.

Are there any reported cases of children facing severe health issues due to Mountain Dew?

There are no specific, widely-publicized cases of children facing severe health issues solely due to Mountain Dew. However, excessive consumption of sugary and caffeinated beverages, in general, can lead to various health problems like obesity, dental cavities, and other related issues. Always consult with a pediatrician or healthcare professional about specific concerns.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, Mountain Dew Drinks are not meant for kids, as it contains too much caffeine and sugar.

Mountain Dew is popular with people of all ages, but its energy versions are made especially for adults who want a boost. Also, studies have shown that drinking soft drinks is linked to different nutrition and health results. This means that it’s essential to be careful about drinking these drinks often, especially for younger people.