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Mountain Dew

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For many Americans, Mountain Dew is a vital part of life. However, its popularity is not limited to the United States. A yellow-green soda pop, Mountain Dew's loaded with a more than generous amount of caffeine. You will either love it or hate it. Whether it's the lemony-lime taste, or the high caffeine content, the drink has become a necessity in many people's lives. So, just what is the origin of this favourite waker-upper?

It all began in the hills of Tennessee...

The Dew's History

Invented back in the 1940s in the south-eastern state of Tennessee, USA, the name Mountain Dew was first trademarked by two brothers, Barney and Ally Hartman, who ran a bottling plant in Knoxville, Tennessee. Originally used as a mixer with whisky, it was a far cry from what it has become today, though people still mix it with various alcoholic beverages.

The perfect Mountain Dew taste many know and love today is credited to Bill Bridgforth, who joined the company in 1958. The original bottle was made to look as though it was a bootlegged beverage like those made in mountain stills and was decorated with hillbillies and outhouses, and pseudo-facts like 'Filled by Ed and Gene'. This, of course, was untrue, but it gave the drink a creative edge over other rival products at that time.

It wasn't until after PepsiCo, Inc. bought Mountain Dew in 1964 that its appeal became nationwide. It has been introduced globally at various stages, but the USA remains its stronghold. The days of outhouses and hillbillies are past: the target audience is now different. Current Mountain Dew's commercials appeal to fun-seeking, wild, outdoorsy teenagers making Mountain Dew one of the popular soft drinks in America.

It didn't take long for PepsiCo, Inc. to realise that Mountain Dew could become a larger franchise. Not since Diet Mountain Dew was introduced in 1988 had this soft drink seen so many popular spin-offs. Variations such as Mountain Dew Code Red, Mountain Dew Live Wire, and Amp (an energy drink made primarily of Mountain Dew) have been released. These creative take-offs have broadened its fan base. Known for years as one of the most highly caffeinated sodas available, recently other beverages such as Jolt and Red Bull, which contain even larger amounts of caffeine, have been introduced into the market.

Exactly How Much Caffeine Am I Consuming?

Okay, so maybe Mountain Dew isn't numero uno on the list of healthy products, but if one must know the nutritional information, here it is on h2g2.

It contains: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar, concentrated orange juice and other natural flavours, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), caffeine, sodium citrate, gum arabic, erythorbic acid (preserves freshness), calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavour), brominated vegetable oil and yellow 5.

Nutrition data for a 12oz1 can of original Mountain Dew:

Total Fats (g)0
Sodium (mg)50
Potassium (mg)0
Total Carbohydrates (g)31
Sugars (g)31
Protein (g)0
Caffeine (mg)54

Unfortunately for you die-hard fans, this sugary tonic is known as one of the worst for your teeth. The decalcification done on one's chompers might be enough to turn anyone off Mountain Dew!

Worried about those 54mg of caffeine2? Let's look at how its caffeine content compares with other popular caffeinated beverages:

BeverageCaffeine Content(mg)
Regular coffee164
Canned iced tea36
Coca Cola45
Pepsi Cola38

Whether you're an aficionado or not, it is impossible to deny the impact it's had on pop culture. From its hillbilly days in small-town USA, to the big-time PepsiCo, Inc. franchise today, Mountain Dew has sucked it up, looked the world right in the eye, and asked, 'Can you do the Dew?'

135.5cl.2Mountain Dew in Canada contains no caffeine - in fact, it may not be a prevalent ingredient in many other countries.

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