Blake O'Hare .com

Good Ol' Mountain Dew

Tag: Health
At work, I get free sodas. I was partial to Mountain Dew, as I imagine many of you are, also. Since they're free, I lately find myself drinking 2 or more Mountain Dews per day. Now that Mountain Dew accounted for about half of the liquid entering my body, I decided to dew some Wikipediaing, just to see what I was dewing to myself.



Carbonated Water

  • About as neutral as regular water.
  • There are a few additives that have little-to-no health side effects or benefits.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

  • High fructose corn syrup is about half and half glucose and fructose.
  • Used instead of real cane sugar because it's cheaper and has a longer shelf-life.
  • Increases risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Causes obesity "in lab rats".
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup is hotly debated. Here's the truth of the matter: it's not inherently a bad substance. It's simply so concentrated that it becomes easier to consume more diabetese inducing goodness per volume without feeling like you're getting full the way you would if you simply ate straight up sugar or fruits. And that's why it's dangerous when it's the basis sweetener for...everything.

Concentrated orange juice and other natural flavors and Citric acid

  • Hooray for Vitamin C.
  • Vitamin C forms Benzene (which can cause cancer) when combined with Sodium Benzoate. Let's just hope we don't accidentally eat or drink anything with Sodium Benzoate in it!

Sodium Benzoate

  • Preserves Freshness by killing stuff.
  • Works only in substances with a pH less than 3.6
  • Hooray! Benzene!


  • Is a drug
  • Actually has benefits in moderation
  • When overused, causes anxiety, insomnia, headaches, heart palpitations, ulcers, and acid reflux.

Sodium citrate

  • Adds sourness
  • Is a buffering agent (helps maintain pH)
  • Is a laxative

Gum Arabic

  • Not entirely sure why it's in my drink. For texture maybe?

Erythorbic acid

  • Nothing interesting to note about this one. "Preserves Freshness". Okay.

Calcium Disodium EDTA

  • This is an attempt to stop the sodium benzoate and citric acid reaction from forming benzene mentioned earlier. But seriously, there's something inherently troubling about drinking a concoction of poison and antidote in juuuuust the right proportion.

Brominated Vegetable Oil

  • vegetable oil with bromine bonded to it. Wouldn't have guessed.
  • Bromine gives mountain dew its cloudy appearance.
  • Brominated Vegetable Oil in large amounts causes hallucinations, seizures, depression, memory loss, and other great brain-related hilarities. If you drink 3 or 4 cans or 1 or 2 large bottles of Mountain Dew every day as part of your routine, you may start to have neurological symptoms after a few years.

Yellow 5

  • Contrary to popular belief, Yellow 5 does not affect the size of genitalia.
  • Yellow 5 is the least of your worries at this point.

Needless to say that the free Welch's Orchard fruit juice sitting across from the Mountain Dew is looking much more appealing now.