Mountain Dew, Orange Crush, and 9 Other Sodas You Should Avoid at All Costs

Soda to Avoid

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Soda to Avoid
Cheapism / 226 594 813 C (CC BY-SA)/champpixs/istockphoto

Bad Pop

With their fizzy mouthfeel and refreshing taste, sodas can be extremely satisfying (and seemingly thirst-quenching). But the reality is that most of these beverages are laden with sugar and caffeine, and provide little nutritional value or hydration. While most sodas deliver a quick rush of energy due to their high sugar content, this is usually followed by a dreaded crash that leaves you feeling sluggish and out of sorts. 

The caffeine in many of these popular drinks can also trigger an increased heart rate and anxiety, which can disrupt your sleep pattern and leave you feeling exhausted. Plus, the empty calories in sugary sodas can contribute to weight gain and lead to more serious health issues like obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, according to the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Here are 11 sodas you might want to avoid due to their high sugar and caffeine content.

Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew by 226 594 813 C (CC BY-SA)

1. Mountain Dew

Known for its vibrant green hue and crisp taste, Mountain Dew contains a high caffeine content of about 55 milligrams per 12 ounce Its sugar content is also staggering at around 46 grams per serving (about 11 teaspoons of sugar!). This combination makes it one of the most stimulating sodas on the market, which can be appealing to those looking for a quick energy boost. 

But don't be fooled — the Dew's high-calorie content and lack of essential nutrients make it a poor choice for hydration or health. According to one Redditor whose daughter-in-law works as a dentist, she sees "more patients with Mountain Dew mouth than meth mouth." Do yourself a favor and do not google "meth mouth." 

Related: Mountain Dew Moonshine and More Secret Brand Histories

Caffeine free Orange Crush soda

2. Orange Crush

Offering a refreshing burst of orange (despite not containing any actual orange), this soda comes with 44 grams of sugar per 12 ounce serving, and no caffeine. The high sugar content can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, making it a less than ideal choice for those managing diabetes or looking to maintain stable energy levels throughout the day. Orange Crush also lacks any nutritional value, and offers zero vitamins or minerals that are beneficial for health. 

Instead of pouring all that sugar into your body, consider giving our dirty sodas a try. This way you can control what goes into it and customize flavors to your liking. 

Related: 15 Meaningless Nutritional Claims by Some of Your Favorite Foods

Coca-Cola 2-liter Bottles 4-pack Sam's Club
Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

3. Coca-Cola

Arguably the most iconic soda, Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of sugar and about 34 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces (46 milligrams for Diet Coke). The drink's classic flavor comes from a mix of high fructose corn syrup and caffeine, which provide an instant pleasure hit but also contribute to long-term health issues like obesity and tooth decay. Drinking soda regularly can potentially lead to caffeine dependency and withdrawal symptoms, a study finds. 

Let's just put is this way — anything that can remove rust from cast-iron cookware probably isn't great for your digestive system. 

Related: Kick Your Diet Coke Habit With These 10 Healthier Alternatives to Soda

Can and glass of Pepsi cola
I Drank a Soda

5. Dr Pepper

Boasting a unique blend of 23 flavors, Dr Pepper (not a real doctor) offers 40 grams of sugar and around 41 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces While its distinct taste is a favorite among soda lovers, it poses similar health risks — including an increased risk of dental problems and weight gain. Its high caffeine content can also lead to insomnia and stomach irritability in sensitive individuals.

Dr Pepper also has a pretty high sodium content (55 milligrams), which can contribute to increased blood pressure and cardiovascular strain if consumed in excess. 

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Fanta Pineapple soda

6. Fanta Pineapple

This one sucks because Fanta Pineapple is so delicious. Bursting with tropical flavor, this soda just hits different on a scorching summer day. But sadly, it contains about 48 grams of sugar per 12 ounces (at least it has no caffeine, though). While it might seem like a fun, fruity option, its high sugar content can significantly impact blood sugar levels and contribute to tooth decay. 

Despite its appealing flavor, Fanta Pineapple offers no nutritional benefits, lacks any vitamins, minerals, or fiber, and is a less-than-ideal choice for those seeking healthy beverage options.

Related: 11 Absurdly Easy Recipes That Start With a Can of Soda

Barq's Root Beer

7. Barq's Root Beer

Known for its caramel flavor with a hint of vanilla, Barq's contains 44 grams of sugar per 12-ounce serving, and about 22 milligrams of caffeine. Though its caffeine content is lower than some other brands, the high sugar level still poses health risks and won't help with proper hydration. Its sodium content of 65 milligrams is also quite high for a soda. 

Crush Strawberry Soda

8. Crush Strawberry

Offering a bold fruity flavor that is both sweet and refreshing, Crush Strawberry is a definite fan favorite. "It’s like drinking a can of candy," says one user. But each 12-ounce serving of Crush Strawberry contains about 43 grams of sugar, putting it on the higher end of soft drinks. Like other Crush varieties, it is also caffeine-free.

But its high sugar content can lead to blood sugar spikes and subsequent energy crashes, which are not ideal for overall health management. It also does not provide any nutritional benefits in the way of essential vitamins, minerals, or fiber. 

Sunkist Orange soda

9. Sunkist Orange

Another orange-flavored soda, Sunkist packs a whopping 52 grams of sugar per 12 ounces (that's more than other sodas), and contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine. Its high sugar and caffeine content make it one of the more problematic sodas — especially for individuals trying to manage energy levels and maintain a healthy diet.

Sunkist's other flavors, including peach and fruit punch, are also not much better in terms of sugar. It's peach-flavored soda boasts about 46 grams of sugar per 12 ounce serving, while the fruit punch one packs 48 grams.

Mug Cream Soda

10. Mug Cream Soda

A popular choice for those who prefer a creamy, smooth vanilla flavor in their soda, Mug's is certainly a favorite for many pop lovers. Known for its rich, frothy head when poured, it's reminiscent of a classic cream soda. "Cream soda, so good," writes one Redditor — we have to agree. But sadly, it also contains 47 grams of sugar per 12-ounce serving, which is on par with many other sweetened soft drinks. 

Though it does not contain caffeine, it also doesn't offer any real nutritional benefits and should be consumed in moderation due to its high sugar content. 

Can of 7 Up drink on ice isolated on white

11. 7-Up

This beloved lemon-lime soda is caffeine-free but contains 38 grams of sugar per 12 ounce serving. Its refreshing taste can be appealing, especially on a hot day, but like other sodas on this list, it does not offer much nutritional value, and could contribute to health problems if consumed in excess. Its cousin, Sprite, also boasts the same amount of sugar per can.

Contrary to most sodas on this list, though, 7-UP contains 60 milligrams of potassium per serving. Potassium is an essential mineral that can help lower blood pressure and reduce fluid retention. Though considering most health authorities recommend a daily intake of 3,500 to 4,700 milligrams of potassium, you're probably better off looking to sources that are higher in potassium such as fruits, vegetables, and fish, rather than chugging cans of 7-Up.