Mt Dew: A Love Affair

As a small child I encountered Dr Pepper and immediately fell in love.  While others drank their Coke, RC Cola, and flavored pop like Cream Soda, Root Beer, Orange and Grape – Dr Pepper was the drink for me.  Eventually I moved to another part of the country where Pepsi was king and came across Mountain Dew.

By the time I was in junior high I had started working at this place with an old school Pepsi machine that dispensed bottles and provided me all the free Mt Dew I needed while at work.  In high school my friends and I would consume copious amounts of the stuff and the only reason I can come up with how I stomached all those calories is Mt Dew used to contain far fewer calories than it does today.  In fact, many people like to talk about just how bad Mt Dew and other caffeinated, sugar filled, chemical-laden sodas/pop/soft-drinks are.  Cause they’re bad for us, right?

I can’t say my innards have every been tickled or that I got a girl to like me because of Mt Dew, but I have done a lot of target shooting with this preferred beverage keeping me “hydrated.”

All one has to do is a quick internet search to find out Mountain Dew can dissolve a mouse, rot your teeth, screw up your pH levels, or cause memory loss and organ failure.  Some of the Brominated Vegetable Oil stories have been slightly debunked, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say you should consume that.  I’ve even heard that Mountain Dew exacerbates asthma, but you’ll notice in this article there was a similar correlation between smokers contracting a respiratory condition.

To be fair I understand all the bad things about drinking pop, soda or whatever you call it.  A friend of mine, who happens to be a rare lung disease nurse, says the biggest thing to worry about with Mountain Dew and similar drinks is the phosphoric acid they contain.  It can negatively affect your bones, teeth and kidneys, but my friend is most concerned with how it makes muscles gummy or less responsive, which isn’t good for your diaphragm.

So is there anything good about Mountain Dew?  Well there’s caffeine and I happen to think it tastes good.  Caffeine is known to be a natural bronchodilator.  It’s no where near as effective is puffing a rescue inhaler, but it does help.  I’ve heard stories of doctors giving asthma patients cups of strong coffee or other highly caffeinated drinks to assist with asthma.  Every time my pulmonologist has me do a pulmonary function test I’m asked to abstain from caffeine beforehand.  At some point in high school I noticed drinking Mt Dew helped alleviate the side-effects of my asthma medications.  Just that alone can be worth it at times, especially when you’re dealing with insomnia.  While too much Mt Dew could make me tired while driving at night, I can’t count how many times it’s helped put me to sleep.  Sometimes reclining just the slightest makes my oxygen saturation drop making it impossible to become comfortable or sleep.

I think the real concern here, like with many other things, is moderation.  I don’t drink Mt Dew every day, nor do I pick up a 2L to drink in the car anymore for a road trip.  I have a personal rule to drink twice as much water after a Mt Dew and that’s in conjunction with my other rule to drink at least a gallon of water every day.  When all is said and done, I figure pop is better for my health than alcohol or the many other harmful things I could be putting into my body.