Is All Mountain Dew gluten-free?

Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people choosing to avoid gluten for medical reasons or simply as a lifestyle choice. For those following a strict gluten-free diet, it’s important to pay close attention to product labels to ensure the foods and beverages you’re consuming are 100% gluten-free.

One popular soft drink that often comes up in the context of gluten is Mountain Dew. With its bright green color, unique citrus taste, and distinctive brand, Mountain Dew has been a favorite soda for decades. But is it safe for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Can you enjoy Mountain Dew on a gluten-free diet? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Gluten?

Before diving into whether Mountain Dew contains gluten, it helps to understand what exactly gluten is. Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).

Gluten helps give elasticity to dough, allowing it to rise and keep its shape. It’s found in many types of foods – most notably breads, pastas, cereals, baked goods and beer.

For those with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, consuming gluten triggers damage in the small intestine, causing a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms and problems absorbing nutrients. People with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may experience issues like bloating, headaches or fatigue when they eat gluten.

The only treatment for celiac disease is following a strict lifelong gluten-free diet, avoiding all foods and drinks with gluten-containing ingredients. Even small amounts of gluten can cause issues for those who are gluten-sensitive.

This is why it’s important for those avoiding gluten to pay close attention to labels of packaged foods and drinks when making purchases.

Gluten-Free Diet Overview

When you’re living gluten-free, grains like wheat, rye and barley are off the menu. That means no bread, baked goods, cereals, crackers, pasta, etc. Oats are naturally gluten-free but are often contaminated with gluten, so gluten-free oats are recommended.

Instead, those avoiding gluten can eat:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry
  • Eggs and dairy products
  • Rice, quinoa, gluten-free oats
  • Beans, legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

When it comes to beverages, plain water, milk, juices, coffee and tea are gluten-free. But some flavored drinks, mixers, beers and malt beverages do contain gluten.

This brings us back to the key question at hand: When it comes to Mountain Dew, can those avoiding gluten indulge freely or is caution required?

Is Mountain Dew Gluten-Free?

The good news is that standard Mountain Dew is considered gluten-free. Most varieties of Mountain Dew contain carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated orange juice, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium benzoate, caffeine, sodium citrate, erythorbic acid, calcium disodium, brominated vegetable oil, and yellow 5.

None of these ingredients contain gluten. Both PepsiCo, the maker of Mountain Dew, and the Celiac Disease Foundation confirm that regular Mountain Dew is gluten-free.

So someone following a gluten-free diet can feel comfortable drinking standard Mountain Dew. However, there are a few additional factors to keep in mind:

Cross-Contamination Risk

While the ingredients are gluten-free, cross-contamination is still a possibility in facilities that also process wheat-based products. Those who are highly sensitive should take note.

PepsiCo states they follow rigorous quality and safety procedures to avoid cross-contamination. But the company does not specify the presence of a gluten-free facility.

So while the chance of gluten exposure is low, it can’t be ruled out fully. At-risk individuals should use their own discretion.

Modified Versions May Differ

While classic Mountain Dew is gluten-free, occasionally limited edition versions come out with alternate formulas. Some examples include:

  • Mountain Dew Solar Flare
  • Mountain Dew Game Fuel
  • Mountain Dew Merry Mash-Up

These specialty varieties may have additional ingredients that could potentially include gluten. The best practice is to always check labels and ingredient lists, especially on less common versions. Don’t assume all Mountain Dew beverages are automatically gluten-free.

Served at Restaurants

Those with celiac disease need to be extra cautious when ordering drinks from restaurants, concession stands or soda fountains. Even if the core beverage is gluten-free, cross-contamination can occur with drink nozzles, spouts, shared equipment and improper cleaning.

Unless you can confirm that a restaurant follows careful protocols to avoid cross-contact with wheat, it’s safest to avoid fountain drinks and bring your own Mountain Dew from home or a sealed bottle/can when eating out.

Key Takeaways

To recap the key points on Mountain Dew and gluten:

  • Standard Mountain Dew contains no gluten ingredients
  • The producer and Celiac Disease Foundation confirm it’s gluten-free
  • Rare versions may differ, so check labels to be safe
  • Cross-contamination is unlikely but possible
  • Exercise extra care when ordering fountain drinks

So in general, Mountain Dew is considered gluten-free. But as with any product, it pays to be informed, double-check labels, ask questions and use common sense precautions if you’re gluten-sensitive.

When in doubt, reach out to the manufacturer directly for their stance or choose another beverage with certainty of being gluten-free. With the proper knowledge and preventative measures, those avoiding gluten can still enjoy an ice-cold Mountain Dew.

Mountain Dew Nutrition Facts

Beyond gluten, understanding the full nutrition facts helps you make informed choices about your beverage options. Here’s a look at the nutrition information in an 8 fl oz serving of original Mountain Dew:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 90
Total Carbohydrates 25 g
Sugars 24 g
Sodium 55 mg
Caffeine 54 mg

Key points:

  • High in calories and carbohydrates, largely from added sugars
  • Provides no protein, vitamins or minerals
  • Large source of caffeine
  • High sodium, bad choice for salt-sensitive individuals

When it comes to nutrition, Mountain Dew is lacking. With no redeeming nutrients, it’s best consumed only occasionally in small portions. Caffeine-free versions are available for a somewhat healthier alternative.

For those on a gluten-free diet, keep in mind that just because a product is gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy. Check nutrition facts and ingredients for the full picture.

Alternatives to Mountain Dew

If you’re craving the fizzy citrus taste of Mountain Dew but want a healthier gluten-free drink option, several alternatives exist:

Sparkling Water with Lime

For a refreshing, crisp drink without artificial colors or sweeteners, try sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Popular sparkling water brands like La Croix, Bubly and Perrier are all gluten-free.

100% Orange Juice

Opt for freshly squeezed orange juice with pulp or a brand made from 100% juice. Steer clear of juice cocktails or beverages with added sugars. Pure orange juice provides more nutrition from vitamin C and antioxidants.

Flavored Seltzer

Naturally flavored seltzers like Zevia combine carbonation with stevia and fruit extracts for sweetness. The grapefruit or orange soda flavors give a Mountain Dew vibe without artificial or GMO ingredients.

Iced Tea

For caffeine without soda, brew chilled tea using herbal flavors like citrus, peach or mint. Try a sparkling iced tea for a bit of bubbles. Watch bottled tea labels for added sugars or wheat ingredients.

Energy Drinks

Instead of reaching for Mountain Dew as an afternoon pick-me-up, try a gluten-free energy drink like Celcius, VPX Bang or GFuel. But limit intake due to high caffeine content.

Homemade Mountain Dew Recipe

If you want to recreate the Mountain Dew taste at home using gluten-free ingredients, try this DIY recipe:

Mountain Dew Copycat Recipe:


  • 3 cups chilled seltzer water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup white sugar or sugar substitute
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)


  1. Mix lime juice, lemon juice and sugar or sweetener together until fully dissolved.
  2. Add seltzer water and stir gently.
  3. Add a few drops yellow food coloring for color if desired.
  4. Serve over ice.

This homemade Mountain Dew is naturally gluten-free and allows you to control the ingredients. Play with citrus flavors or sweeteners to find your perfect balance.

The Bottom Line

Mountain Dew is designed to be a gluten-free beverage, making it a refreshing soda choice for those following gluten-free diets or with celiac disease. But special varieties could potentially include gluten, so double-check labels to be safe. Caution should be taken around possible cross-contamination from facilities, restaurant fountain drinks and shared equipment.

Overall, Mountain Dew is very high in added sugars and low in nutritional value, so moderation is key. But when an ice-cold citrus-flavored soda is what you’re craving, standard Mountain Dew can definitely be enjoyed as part of a healthy gluten-free lifestyle.

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