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Is Mountain Dew Baja Blast Bad For You?

Also Known As: Baja Blast, Taco Bell exclusive soda



Short answer

Mountain Dew Baja Blast is high in sugar, with one can exceeding the daily added sugar limit set by the American Heart Association. It also contains caffeine and artificial colors that may pose health risks. Its acidity can affect dental health. Moderation and healthier drink alternatives are recommended to reduce potential health concerns.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Sugars and Caloric Content of Mountain Dew Baja Blast

When examining the nutritional profile of Mountain Dew Baja Blast, the sugar content and associated calories are significant factors to consider. Historically, sugary soft drinks have been linked to various health concerns when consumed in excess. Here's a closer look at what the numbers say about this tropical lime-flavored beverage.

One 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew Baja Blast contains:

  • Approximately 170 calories
  • 46 grams of sugar

This amount of sugar represents a substantial portion of the recommended daily intake. According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugars one should consume in a day is 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women. Therefore, a single can of Baja Blast exceeds the recommended daily limit for added sugars for both men and women.

The type of sugar found in Mountain Dew Baja Blast is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is frequently used in the food industry, especially in sweetened beverages. Multiple studies, such as those published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest a strong link between the consumption of HFCS and the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. For example, a study from 2015 indicated that high intake of fructose could lead to increased visceral fat accumulation and insulin resistance, highlighting the potential risks associated with such sweeteners.

It's also important to note that the caloric content of sugary drinks like Mountain Dew Baja Blast is often considered 'empty calories', meaning they provide energy but little to no nutritional value, such as vitamins or minerals. These empty calories can contribute to weight gain and displacement of more nutritious foods in the diet.

Let's not forget about the impact of these sugars on dental health—frequent consumption of sugary drinks is a major risk factor for developing dental caries, more commonly known as cavities. A study in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry has highlighted the association between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and increased incidence of dental decay.

In summary, the sugar and caloric content of Mountain Dew Baja Blast makes it a beverage that should be consumed with caution, especially for individuals monitoring their intake of added sugars, calories, or those with specific health concerns such as diabetes. Moderation is key, as with all sweetened beverages, to avoid the potential negative health effects linked to high sugar consumption.

Caffeine Levels: How Much is Too Much?

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can offer a temporary boost in alertness and energy. However, its consumption must be carefully managed. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that adults can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which equates to roughly four or five cups of coffee, although individual tolerances can vary significantly.

Mountain Dew Baja Blast contains a distinctive amount of caffeine that must be considered within the context of one's overall daily intake. This bright, tropical-flavored beverage contains approximately 54 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounce serving. Here is a quick breakdown of how this compares with other Mountain Dew products:

Product Caffeine Content (12 oz serving)
Mountain Dew 54 mg
Mountain Dew Baja Blast 54 mg
Mountain Dew Code Red 54 mg
Diet Mountain Dew 54 mg
Mountain Dew Zero Sugar 68 mg

Consistently consuming high amounts of caffeine from sources like Mountain Dew Baja Blast can lead to negative health outcomes, particularly if combined with other caffeinated foods and drinks. Some caffeine-related side effects include:

  • Restlessness and shakiness
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid or abnormal heart rhythm
  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety
  • Dependency, leading to withdrawal symptoms

Furthermore, certain populations should be extra cautious with caffeine intake. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant individuals should limit their caffeine consumption to less than 200 milligrams per day to avoid potential risks to the fetus. Adolescents should also limit their caffeine intake, as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which discourages caffeinated beverage consumption among children and teenagers.

When enjoying Mountain Dew Baja Blast, it's important to take into account the cumulative caffeine consumed throughout the day from all sources, including chocolate, tea, coffee, other sodas, and some over-the-counter medications. As with any caffeinated product, moderation is key. Ensuring that your total daily caffeine consumption stays within the recommended limits will help mitigate any potentially unfavorable health effects.

Possible Health Risks from Artificial Colors and Flavors

When delving into the ubiquitous world of popular soft drinks, we often encounter a myriad of artificial colors and flavors that make up their unique tastes and appearances. Mountain Dew Baja Blast is no exception, sporting a vibrant teal color that distinguishes it from other beverages. However, it's crucial to acknowledge the potential health implications associated with the artificial additives that give this drink its signature look and taste.

Artificial colors, such as Blue 1 and Yellow 5 used in generating Baja Blast's hue, have been the subject of much scrutiny and debate within the scientific community. While these additives are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is ongoing research into their long-term health effects. Some studies have suggested a possible link between artificial food colors and behavioral changes in children, including hyperactivity and attention difficulties. A noteworthy review published in the journal Public Health Nutrition highlights these concerns, emphasizing the need for more in-depth research.

As for artificial flavors, they are a blend of numerous chemical compounds designed to mimic natural tastes. While they are also FDA-approved, the proprietary nature of these flavoring formulas makes thorough analysis challenging. The lack of transparency can leave consumers unsure of the potential impacts these chemicals may have when consumed regularly over time. For instance, a study examining the cumulative effect of artificial additives on health outcomes, highlighted in Environmental Health Perspectives, calls for heightened vigilance in monitoring these substances in our diet.

  • Hyperactivity in Children: Studies suggest a correlation between the consumption of artificial colors and increased hyperactivity in some children.
  • Allergic Reactions: While infrequent, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to artificial colors or flavors, necessitating careful consideration for those with existing allergies.
  • Unknown Long-Term Effects: The potential long-term effects of prolonged artificial additive consumption continue to be an area ripe for further exploration.

In summary, while the current regulatory stance deems artificial colors and flavors in beverages like Mountain Dew Baja Blast to be generally safe for the public, the presence of these synthetic elements should be thoughtfully considered by health-conscious individuals. Particularly those with sensitivities or specific health concerns may opt to limit their intake of artificially-enhanced products in favor of more naturally composed alternatives.

Examining the Acidity and Effect on Dental Health

The acidity of beverages is an important factor when considering their impact on dental health. High levels of acidity can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel, which is the hard, protective outer layer of your teeth. This erosion can result in increased sensitivity, cavities, and even tooth decay. Mountain Dew Baja Blast is a highly acidic beverage, contributing to such dental issues if consumed frequently. The pH of this drink typically falls below 3.0, making it more acidic than many other soft drinks.

Here's a breakdown of the dental risks associated with acidic beverages like Mountain Dew Baja Blast:

  • Enamel Erosion: Acidic beverages can soften and gradually wear away the tooth enamel, exposing the underlying dentin, which is less dense and more prone to cavities.
  • Increase in Cavities: With enamel erosion, teeth become more susceptible to cavities because the weakened enamel is less competent in warding off the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
  • Teeth Discoloration: Once the enamel erodes, the yellowish dentin underneath can become more visible, leading to a noticeable discoloration of the teeth.
  • Sensitivity: Consumption of cold or hot foods and drinks can cause discomfort once the insulating layer of enamel is compromised.

Studies have supported these concerns. Research conducted by the American Dental Association has shown a correlation between the consumption of acidic soft drinks and dental erosion. A study in the Journal of the American Dental Association indicated that non-cola drinks, such as Mountain Dew variants, have relatively high abilities to cause enamel erosion (noting pH levels and titratable acidity as contributing factors).

To mitigate these risks, consider the following tips:

  • Moderate Consumption: Limit the intake of highly acidic beverages and opt for drinks with lower acidity levels or neutral pH.
  • Use a Straw: When consuming acidic drinks, use a straw to minimize contact with teeth.
  • Rinse with Water: After consuming an acidic drink, rinse your mouth with water to help neutralize the acids.
  • Wait Before Brushing: Wait at least 30 minutes after consumption before brushing your teeth to avoid brushing acid onto the enamel.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Maintain regular visits to the dentist to monitor and maintain dental health.

By incorporating these practices into your routine, the negative effects of Mountain Dew Baja Blast on dental health can be significantly reduced, helping to maintain a healthier smile.

Comparison with Regular Mountain Dew and Other Sodas

When determining the health impact of Mountain Dew Baja Blast, it's instructive to compare it with its brand counterpart, Regular Mountain Dew, and other popular sodas. This comparison can reveal subtle differences in nutritional content and ingredient composition which may influence your beverage choices.

First, let's consider the core components—calories, sugars, and caffeine, common markers where sodas are often critiqued:

  • Calories: Both Regular Mountain Dew and Baja Blast contain a similar calorie count, hovering around 110 calories per 8 fl oz serving. When compared to some colas and fruity sodas, these numbers are slightly above average, potentially contributing to weight gain if consumed in excess.
  • Sugars: Sugar content is high in both variants, with Baja Blast and Regular Mountain Dew containing approximately 31g of sugar per 8 fl oz. This is on par with other sweetened sodas, which are typically laden with added sugars. High sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dental caries.
  • Caffeine: Mountain Dew is known for its higher caffeine content compared to many other sodas. Baja Blast contains slightly less caffeine, at about 36mg per 8 fl oz, compared to Regular Mountain Dew's 37mg per 8 fl oz. Although this difference is minute, it could be relevant for those monitoring their caffeine intake closely.

Aside from these primary nutritional aspects, it's also important to examine the ingredient lists of Baja Blast in relation to Regular Mountain Dew:

  • Artificial Colors: Baja Blast has a distinctive turquoise color, deriving from Blue 1 and Yellow 5 dyes. Regular Mountain Dew, meanwhile, gets its color from Yellow 5. These artificial colors are FDA-approved but have been connected to hyperactivity in sensitive individuals and may cause allergic reactions.
  • Flavor Profile: Baja Blast is formulated to have a unique tropical lime taste, which means it might contain different artificial or natural flavor compounds compared to Regular Mountain Dew. These flavorings are generally recognized as safe, but individual sensitivities to flavor additives can occur.

Focusing on additives like preservatives and acidity regulators, Mountain Dew drinks contain ingredients such as sodium benzoate and citric acid. While these are common in many sodas and are generally safe in regulated amounts, there is ongoing discussion about their potential health effects over long-term consumption.

Finally, comparing Mountain Dew Baja Blast to other sodas across the spectrum reveals that most sodas share a similar nutrient profile, with particular concern focusing on their contributions to sugar and caloric intake. However, differences do exist in terms of caffeine and the proprietary blends of flavors and colorings, which can be more or less appealing or tolerable to different individuals.

It's essential to remember that while occasional consumption of sodas like Mountain Dew Baja Blast is usually not a health hazard, regular and excessive intake can contribute to negative health outcomes. Therefore, it's advised that sodas are consumed in moderation, taking into account individual dietary needs and health goals.

Scientific research and expert opinions maintain a consistent message that moderation is key when it comes to sugary sodas. The American Heart Association suggests that men should consume no more than 36g and women no more than 25g of added sugar per day, an important consideration given the high sugar content of sodas like Mountain Dew Baja Blast.

Moderation and Healthier Drink Alternatives

When considering the health impact of any sweetened beverage like Mountain Dew Baja Blast, the key principle is moderation. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the recommended limit of added sugars is no more than 36 grams per day for men and 25 grams per day for women. A single 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew Baja Blast contains approximately 43 grams of sugar, surpassing the daily limit with just one serving. Consistently consuming sugary drinks can lead to a host of health concerns, including but not limited to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and dental decay. While an occasional treat is unlikely to have a dramatic impact on overall health, it's crucial to be mindful of how often drinks like Baja Blast are consumed.

For those who enjoy the unique taste of Mountain Dew Baja Blast but are concerned about the potential health risks, there are several healthier alternatives to consider:

  • Sugar-Free Option: Switch to the sugar-free version of Baja Blast, if available. Be mindful that sugar-free versions may contain artificial sweeteners, which themselves are a subject of health debates.
  • Flavored Sparkling Water: If carbonation is part of the appeal, try flavored sparkling waters. Many brands offer a variety of fruit flavors without the added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
  • Homemade Infused Water: Create a similar tropical-inspired flavor by infusing water with natural ingredients like pineapple, lime, and mint leaves for a refreshing and hydrating drink without the added sugars.
  • Diluted Juice: Diluting a small amount of real fruit juice with sparkling or still water can provide a sweet taste without overwhelming your system with sugar.
  • Tea: Herbal and green teas can be served chilled with a squeeze of lemon for a low-calorie alternative. Sweetening with honey or stevia can also mimic sweetness but in a more controlled manner than a pre-sweetened drink.

Crafting a beverage that satiates the craving for a Mountain Dew Baja Blast without compromising health is a creative endeavor. It's an opportunity to explore new tastes while keeping sugar consumption in check. Remember that altering beverage choices is an attainable step towards a healthier lifestyle, and every small change can make a significant difference in the long term.

For those interested in integrating healthier beverage options into their diet, nutritionists and dietitians often recommend these strategies:

  • Reading labels to stay informed about sugar content.
  • Gradually reducing the intake of sugary drinks to minimize cravings.
  • Keeping healthier alternatives readily available to avoid falling back on less healthy options.
  • Setting realistic goals for beverage consumption that align with overall health objectives.

Utilizing these tactics can help ease the transition away from sugary drinks like Mountain Dew Baja Blast and towards more health-conscious beverage decisions.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, regular consumption of Mountain Dew Baja Blast, which contains approximately 170 calories and 46 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can, can contribute to weight gain. These calories are often considered 'empty' as they provide little nutritional value and can lead to increased calorie intake without the benefits of essential nutrients.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in beverages like Mountain Dew Baja Blast has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. HFCS can lead to visceral fat accumulation and insulin resistance, which are risk factors for several chronic diseases.

Mountain Dew Baja Blast's high sugar content and acidity can be particularly harmful to dental health. It can cause enamel erosion, tooth discoloration, and increase the risk of cavities. While these issues are common with many sodas, Baja Blast's high acidity levels might make it more damaging to teeth.

Healthier alternatives to Mountain Dew Baja Blast include sugar-free sodas (with caution due to artificial sweeteners), flavored sparkling water without added sugars, homemade infused waters with natural ingredients, diluted fruit juices, and chilled herbal or green teas lightly sweetened with honey or stevia.

Ask a question about Mountain Dew Baja Blast and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • restlessness
  • shakiness
  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • rapid or abnormal heart rhythm
  • dehydration
  • anxiety

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain
  • type 2 diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
  • dental caries
  • enamel erosion
  • tooth decay
  • sensitivity
  • possible behavioral changes
  • allergic reactions
  • dependency

Ingredients to be aware of


  • increased alertness and energy (caffeine)

Healthier alternatives

  • sugar-free version
  • flavored sparkling water
  • homemade infused water
  • diluted juice
  • chilled herbal or green tea with lemon
  • stevia or honey as sweeteners

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Zevia Zero Calorie Soda

  • Zero calories
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Mountain Zevia flavor
  • 24-pack convenience
  • Sugar-free refreshment
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 01-23-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 01-23-2024

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