Is Mountain Dew Actually Vegan?

can vegans drink mountain dew

Vegans find themselves in a predicament when they first go vegan. “Do I need to drop most of my favorite foods and drinks? What kind of vegan alternatives are out there for me?”

Whatever the answers are, once you go vegan, you’re on a journey of endless exploration. I’ve never looked at so many labels, wishing to find a delightful surprise.

Sometimes I find a surprise, but most of the time I’m disappointed. But thankfully, the more time passes, the more likely you are to find vegan products.

Still, we love what we love, and Mountain Dew is an old, all-time favorite for many Americans.

But is Mountain Dew suitable for vegans? Well, Mountain Dew has different varieties of flavors, many of which are vegan.

Also, the folks behind Mountain Dew put out different flavors throughout the year, so I’ll do my best to classify them below. This being said, let’s start this post with a basic question.

What Is Mountain Dew?

Simply put, Mountain Dew is a unique carbonated soft drink. Unique in the sense that there are no copycats or worthy competitors.

The color is unnatural, and the flavor is unlike any recognizable fruit or flavor.

Because of that, Mountain Dew has successfully launched different spin-off flavors, generating the same reaction as the original. No Mountain Dew variety looks and tastes the same.

mountain dew varieties

Some Mountain Dews are yellow, blue, red, and taste “akin” to berry or lime. The names “Voltage”, “Revolution”, or “Supernova” don’t decode the flavor, unlike other sodas in the market. You can’t put a finger on it and that makes Mountain Dew unique.

Back in 1940, Mountain Dew was used as a whiskey mixer, but it evolved into America’s 5th most popular soda. The out-of-the-box approach from the Mountain Dew team involved rebranding each flavor, making it seem like a completely new drink, yet it works all the time.

The only exception seems to be the Black, White and Green Label, which was discontinued in 2019.

mountain dew label

 

If I was asked to describe people that drink Mountain Dew, I’d say “singular”. Mountain Dew doesn’t follow the crowd, the crowd follows Mountain Dew.

What Are The Ingredients In Mountain Dew?

mountain dew

Before I get into the different variations and flavors, it’s important to start with the one drink that started it all. The Mountain Dew Original.

Here is the list of ingredients:

Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated orange juice, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), caffeine, sodium citrate, erythorbic acid (preserves freshness), gum arabic, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), brominated vegetable oil, and artificial colors (yellow 5).

Mountain Dew Original doesn’t have animal-based ingredients.

Therefore, technically, it is vegan.

Artificial Colors and Animal Testing.

Artificial colors are made in laboratories from isolated chemicals or derived from a byproduct of petroleum. Because they are synthetic, one would think they’re vegan.

Sadly, colors are routinely tested on animals such as mice, rats, and dogs.

Some people claim that testing is necessary because it is intended to prove the safety of these ingredients. That’s why it’s such a tricky issue. Whether or not you consume products with artificial colors depends on your definition of “vegan”.

Still, don’t forget that artificial colors/dyes exist due to the vast animal tests conducted in the past.

In my opinion, it all comes down to each one’s personal view.

Are All Mountain Dew Varieties Vegan?

There are several Mountain Dew flavors, and that is partly due to the several Mountain Dew products launched through the years.

There’s the Regular & Diet Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew Kickstarter, Mountain Dew Amp, and Mountain Dew Amp Game Fuel.

Instead of speaking individually about each product and flavor, I’ve created a table to identify whether or not a product is vegan.

Mountain Dew:Problem Ingredients:Verdict:
OriginalYellow 5No animal ingredients.
DietYellow 5No animal ingredients.
Code RedYellow 5, Blue 1No animal ingredients.
Ice Lemon-LimeN/ANo animal ingredients.
Merry Mash-upRed 40No animal ingredients.
Live-WireYellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40No animal ingredients.
VoltageBlue 1, Red 40No animal ingredients.
White OutN/ANo animal ingredients.
Pitch BlackBlue 1, Red 40No animal ingredients.
Diet Code RedBlue 1, Yellow 5, Red 40No animal ingredients.
AMP Original*Blue 1No animal ingredients.
AMP Tropical Punch*Red 40No animal ingredients.
AMP Strawberry Limeade*Red 40No animal ingredients.
AMP Cherry Blast*Red 40No animal ingredients.
AMP GM OriginalBlue 1No animal ingredients.
AMP GM Cherry BlastBlue 1No animal ingredients.
AMP GM Cherry BurstBlue 1, Red 40No animal ingredients.
AMP GM Tropical StrikeYellow 5, Yellow 6No animal ingredients.

*Taurine is found in most energy drinks. It is often suggested that it’s extracted from a bull’s testicle, but it’s actually produced industrially from ethylene oxide and sodium bisulfite. There are no animals harmed in the process.

As you can see, most Mountain Dew products contain artificial colors. Technically, they don’t contain animal ingredients and thus are vegan.

However, you have to make up your mind and determine whether or not you’re okay with it.

Summary: Mountain Dew May Be Vegan (Depending On Your Views)

Mountain Dew, as well as most sodas,  are typically considered vegan.

But just because they’re vegan, that doesn’t mean you should drink them. Sodas have unhealthy ingredients that WILL jeopardize your health in the future.

As such, I would recommend you search for more natural alternatives. Zevia produces delicious, natural sodas without as many crappy ingredients going into it.

Also, my last word of advice is to not lower your guard. Other sodas or beverages may contain ingredients such as cochineal (crimson dye) and ester gum, which are not vegan.

Lastly, let me know if I’m missed anything so that I can always provide you with correct information on all things veganism. Thanks for reading!

 

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About the Author: Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than three years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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