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Coffee Experiments: How Much Caffeine Is In A Can Of Mountain Dew vs A Cup Of Coffee

When I was a teenager, I drank a lot of Mountain Dew for the caffeine rush, but as I got older I transitioned away from soda to coffee.

We all know that both Mountain Dew and coffee are high in caffeine, but have you ever wondered how they compare to each other?

Does Mountain Dew have more caffeine than coffee?

Or does coffee have more caffeine than Mountain Dew?

Spoiler alert: Coffee has more caffeine than a can of Mountain Dew.

Well, I wanted to know how these two drinks compare to each other and did all the research so you don’t have to!

Keep reading to discover what I learned about these two highly caffeinated drinks.

Quick Answer: Coffee vs Mountain Dew Caffeine Content

If you don’t want to read all the details, then here’s just the basics of coffee vs Mountain Dew caffeine content.

  • A 12 oz. can of Mountain Dew has 54 mg of caffeine
  • A 16 oz. can of MTN DEW® AMP® energy drink has 142 mg of caffeine
  • An 8 oz. cup of coffee has an average of 95 mg of caffeine
  • A 12 oz. cup of coffee has an average of 160 mg of caffeine
  • A one-ounce shot of espresso has an average of 63 mg of caffeine

So, on a per-ounce basis, coffee has more caffeine than any Mountain Dew drink on the market, including a Mountain Dew energy drink.

There are even some high caffeine teas, like Yerba Mate and Matcha, that have more caffeine than a can of Mountain Dew!

How Much Caffeine Is In Mountain Dew?

Though I don’t really drink soda much these days, Mountain Dew is hands down one of my favorites sodas on the market.

I love the taste and the caffeine kick.

You may be surprised to learn that Mountain Dew doesn’t have as much caffeine as you think it does.

Sure, it has a good amount of caffeine to amp you up, but it’s still likely not the massive amount you suspect.

The CDC has a nifty little chart that gives you the caffeine content of different popular beverages.

Here’s where Mountain Dew drinks land –

  • Mountain Dew (including Diet Mt. Dew) – 54 mg of caffeine per 12 oz can
  • Mountain Dew Amp Original – 142 mg of caffeine per 16 oz can
  • Mountain Dew Amp Game Fuel (regular and zero) – 90 mg of caffeine per 16 oz can
  • Mountain Dew Kickstart Original – 90 mg of caffeine per 16 oz can

So, you need to drink two cans of Mountain Dew to consume more caffeine than an 8-ounce cup of coffee.

Kinda crazy, huh?

How Much Caffeine Is In Coffee?

As you might expect, coffee is the true OG when it comes to caffeine content.

But how you make and consume that java has an effect on it’s caffeine content.

Here’s a quick look at the average amount of caffeine in some popular coffee drinks.

  • Cup of regular brewed coffee – between 70 mg and 140 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup with 95 mg being average, dependent upon type of coffee beans, roasting, type of coffee, and serving size
  • Single espresso shot – around 63 mg of caffeine in a single one-ounce shot
  • Latte and Cappuccino espresso drinks –  around 173 mg of caffeine in a 16-oz drink
  • Macchiato espresso drink – around 85 mg of caffeine
  • Cup of decaf coffee – between 0 mg and 7 mg per 8 oz cup of decaf with 3 mg being average, dependent upon type of coffee beans, roasting, type of coffee, and serving size

What about the caffeine content of Starbucks coffee drinks? They are some of the most caffeinated coffee available for purchase.

The caffeine content of brewed coffee at Starbucks is as follows:

  • Short (8 oz): 180 mg
  • Tall (12 oz): 260 mg
  • Grande (16 oz): 330 mg
  • Venti (20 oz): 415 mg

Furthermore, one shot of espresso at Starbucks contains 75 mg of caffeine.

Consequently, all small, espresso-based drinks also contain 75 mg of caffeine. This includes lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos and Americanos, among others (source).

Larger sizes, which are made with two, or even three, espresso shots (16 oz), likewise contain 150 or 225 mg of caffeine.

Decaf coffee from Starbucks contains 15–30 mg of caffeine, depending on cup size.

Soda With The Highest Caffeine Content

Now that you know the caffeine content of a can of Mountain Dew isn’t all that high, you might be wondering if there are sodas with more caffeine than Mt. Dew.

There are!

Here’s a quick look at the soda with the highest caffeine:

  • Pepsi One – 55.5 mg of caffeine
  • Mountain Dew – 55 mg of caffeine
  • Dr. Pepper – 41 mg of caffeine
  • Coca-Cola Classic – 34 mg of caffeine

Final Word

As you can see, while Mountain Dew does have a good amount of caffeine to get you pumped up, it does not have as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

So, if you drink Mountain Dew and are worried about the caffeine amount, then rest easy knowing that you can drink more Mountain Dews than you can coffees when it comes to caffeine.

Though, with all that sugar in the soda, it’s not really a great idea.

Hope this helps you make smarter decisions about your daily caffeine intake.

And remember that the FDA recommends not exceeding 400 mg of caffeine in a day because it can literally kill you.

But if you have heart problems, then you need to cut your caffeine to less than 200 mg per day.

Spread the word!

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