How much sugar is in HARD MTN DEW?

HARD MTN DEW is a popular flavored malt beverage made by PepsiCo. It contains alcohol along with the classic Mountain Dew flavor. With its sweet citrus taste, HARD MTN DEW is a popular drink option. However, like regular soda, it does contain a significant amount of added sugar.


HARD MTN DEW is an alcoholic version of the regular Mountain Dew soda. It has 5% alcohol by volume. The drink comes in colorful cans featuring the bold MTN DEW logo and imagery. It is marketed as having the great citrus taste of Mountain Dew along with an alcohol kick.

HARD MTN DEW comes in a variety of flavors including the original citrus style as well as Black Cherry, Baja Blast, and Watermelon. It is made and distributed by PepsiCo under their partnership with the Boston Beer Company.

This flavored malt beverage is meant to appeal to fans of the flagship Mountain Dew brand who also want the experience of drinking an alcoholic beverage. The flavors are bright and refreshing while having a modest 5% ABV similar to many beers or ciders.

Nutrition Facts for HARD MTN DEW

Like any food or beverage product in the United States, HARD MTN DEW must provide nutritional information on its packaging. This includes listing the serving size and key stats like calories, carbohydrates, sugars, protein, and alcohol content.

Here are the nutrition facts for a 12 fl oz can of regular HARD MTN DEW:

  • Serving size: 12 fl oz
  • Calories: 228
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Sugars: 38 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Alcohol: 5% ABV

As you can see, a major source of the calories and carbohydrates in HARD MTN DEW comes from added sugars. A 12 ounce can contains 38 grams of sugar, which equates to about 9.5 teaspoons.

The different flavors of HARD MTN DEW contain slight variations in their nutrition facts, but they are all quite high in sugar content. For example, Black Cherry HARD MTN DEW has 44g of sugar per can.

Sugar Content of Regular Mountain Dew vs HARD MTN DEW

How does the sugar content of HARD MTN DEW compare to a can of regular, non-alcoholic Mountain Dew soda?

Here are the nutrition facts for a 12 fl oz can of standard Mountain Dew:

  • Serving size: 12 fl oz
  • Calories: 170
  • Carbohydrates: 46 g
  • Sugars: 46 g

A can of regular Mountain Dew actually contains slightly more sugar at 46 grams per can, which is about 11.5 teaspoons worth. The alcohol content in HARD MTN DEW contributes additional calories, but the sugar content is slightly reduced compared to original Mountain Dew.

Daily Recommended Sugar Intake

Consuming 38-46 grams of sugar from a single can of HARD MTN DEW or regular Mountain Dew is quite high relative to the recommended daily sugar intake.

Here are some key facts on daily sugar recommendations:

  • The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams (9 teaspoons) for men.
  • The USDA Dietary Guidelines suggest limiting added sugars to less than 10% of daily calorie intake. For a 2000 calorie diet this would equal 50 grams or less of added sugars.
  • The World Health Organization recommends reducing added sugars to less than 5% of daily calorie intake for optimal health.

A single can of HARD MTN DEW contains 38 grams of sugar, which exceeds the ideal daily amount for women. Consuming multiple cans could easily surpass the recommended daily sugar intake for both men and women.

Sugar Content in Other Alcoholic Beverages

HARD MTN DEW is not unique for being a sugary alcoholic beverage. Many popular malt beverages, cocktails, wines, and ciders also contain significant amounts of sugar.

Here is how the sugar content of HARD MTN DEW compares to other alcoholic drink options:

Beverage (12 oz serving) Sugar (grams)
Smirnoff Ice 40
Mike’s Hard Lemonade 44
Bacardi Breezer Orange 36
Rosé Wine 2-4
Piña Colada Cocktail 50
Hard Cider 10-35

Many flavored malt beverages have similar amounts of sugar as HARD MTN DEW. Cocktails and ciders can also vary a lot in added sugars. Wines generally have very minimal sugar in comparison. So HARD MTN DEW is average in sugar content for this category of beverage.

Health Impact of Sugary Alcoholic Drinks

There are some drawbacks to the high amount of added sugar in HARD MTN DEW and similar alcoholic drinks:

  • Consuming calories in liquid form is linked to poorer appetite control and overeating compared to solid foods.
  • Frequent sugar spikes can increase risk for cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes over time.
  • The sugar alcohol combination can contribute to dehydration.
  • High sugar intake from beverages is associated with weight gain and obesity.

While enjoyable in moderation, regularly drinking highly sugary alcoholic beverages like HARD MTN DEW may negatively impact health, especially at excessive intake levels.

Strategies to Reduce Sugar Intake

If you want to drink HARD MTN DEW or similar drinks, here are some tips for reducing sugar intake:

  • Pace yourself by sipping slowly rather than gulping down the drink.
  • Dilute with ice, water, or soda water to reduce intensity of sweetness.
  • Switch to a low-sugar or sugar-free mixer.
  • Order alternate low sugar options like light beer, dry wine or spirits.
  • Eat before and while drinking to slow absorption and prevent overconsumption.
  • Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.
  • Be mindful of recommended alcohol intake limits.


HARD MTN DEW contains 38 grams of sugar per 12 ounce can, which is quite high compared to health recommendations but on par with other flavored alcoholic beverages. Consuming multiple servings could easily exceed daily sugar limits. While enjoyable in moderation, frequently drinking HARD MTN DEW may negatively impact your health due to its high sugar and alcohol content. Use strategies like pacing yourself, diluting with water, and alternating with low sugar options to reduce intake of added sugars.

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