Mountain Dew isn’t healthy; the only redeeming quality is that it prevents dehydration. We’ve compiled a list of 7 reasons why Mountain Dew is bad for you.
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Mountain Dew isn’t healthy for you. The only redeeming quality of this popular soda is the liquid preventing dehydration, but the high levels of sugar and citric acid (among other chemicals) cancel this positive attribute. To clarify these harmful compounds and what they do to your health, we’ve compiled our list of 7 reasons why Mountain Dew is bad for you.
You will learn that Mountain Dew contains caffeine associated with students’ depressive symptoms; it can damage your oral health and increase your stroke and diabetes risk. Soda intake is associated with poor eating habits, and Mountain Dew contains sodium benzoate and brominated vegetable oil that aren’t good for your health.
A research study looking at caffeine intake use among grade 5-10 students found that depressive symptoms increased with caffeine intake. This makes policymakers wonder if caffeine-containing drinks, including coffee and soda, should be banned in schools (1). Mountain Dew contains 54mg of caffeine per bottle, making it a significant contributor to your daily intake.
Mountain Dew Mouth is a term for tooth decay and poor oral health and accompanies routine soda drinking. Labels of tooth decay and Mountain Dew Mouth are now regular costars and popular soda brands, including Mountain Dew (2). A combination of high sugar and citric acid wears away the enamel on teeth and causes cavities and decay (3, 4, 5).
Many people who drink soda experience dry mouth, prompting a study looking at whether caffeinated soft drinks can impair salivary production. While researchers found no salivary rate changes in participants who drink soft drinks, this likely occurs because the high sugar levels spike your blood sugar (which results in dry mouth) and take a lot of water to process, dehydrating your body (6).
A large-scale Nurses’ Health Study showed that higher consumption of sugar-sweetened soda (including low-calorie sodas) was associated with a higher risk of stroke. The results were based on a total of 841,770 people and were statistically significant (which means that it’s not a chance result but a consistent finding). Researchers suggest cutting down soda and high-sugar beverages to reduce your stroke risk (7).
If you drink sugar-free energy drinks, check out “Is Sugar Free Red Bull Bad For You?”
Sugar in sodas, like Mountain Dew, is positively associated with the development of type 2 diabetes, a disorder in which your body cannot process and utilize the sugars you eat, resulting in high blood glucose levels and several health consequences. While diet sodas are available (using aspartame or other sugar replacements), this study found that diet soda was still associated with diabetes risk, but to a lesser extent (8).
The sugar in Mountain Dew is primarily high-fructose corn syrup, a processed and cheaper alternative to sugar. Not only does this syrup spike your blood sugar faster, making you feel unwell and damaging your health, but it also has induced metabolic problems and brain signaling changes in research studies (9).
If you drink Powerade after training sessions, you should read “Is Powerade Bad For You?”
Studies have repeatedly shown that soda intake is associated with higher sugar and carbohydrate consumption (drinking calories is never wise, nutritionally) and higher fat and junk food intake. This also means that soft drink consumption is associated with a lower intake of vitamins and nutrients (nonexistent in processed junk foods) (10). Drinking soda daily begins to take the place of important vitamins and minerals you need to get from healthy foods, filling your stomach with empty calories.
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Sodium benzoate is a preservative added to several types of soda to increase its shelf life. In clinical trials, sodium benzoate impaired memory and motor coordination, increased malondialdehyde levels in the brain (a marker of oxidative stress) and produced ADHD in children (12). While trials are still ongoing, this additive has been questioned several times in recent history regarding whether it is truly safe for human consumption. Soda is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as consumption is linked to fetal cognitive impairment and child obesity (12). In rat models, sodium benzoate induced anxiety and motor problems when consumed (13). In a cell model, sodium benzoate induced mutations and toxicity, suggesting further safety analyses need to be performed (14).
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) ensures the citrus flavor doesn’t separate from the carbonated soda, which happens naturally over time. BVO has some side effects, including messing with fatty acid metabolism and impaired behavioral and reproductive development, as shown in animal models. (15, 16)
From sugar to acid to additives, this beverage does nothing nutritionally for your body and can induce several diseases. The healthiest drink for your body is water and, if you must drink Mountain Dew, drink it rarely and make sure you rinse your mouth out afterward to avoid letting the citric acid and sugar remain on your teeth.
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