Mountain Dew Zero Sugar?

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If like me you quaff the occasional Diet Mountain Dew, then you may have shared my puzzlement at the presence of a new product in stores — Mountain Dew Zero Sugar.  Are they the same thing?

It was only yesterday that for the first time I noticed the MDZS product in stores.  I purchased some of it, and I poured a flight of low-calorie Mountain Dew beverages and did a blindfold taste test.  (This particular flight only had two beverages.)  The answer is, no they do not taste the same.  To my tongue the DMD tastes a bit better than the MDZS.  

I then clicked around a bit on the Internet.  It seems that MDZS was released in January of this year, although I somehow snoozed through it and did not notice the existence of MDZS until yesterday.  Here’s what the manufacturer says about the two products:

Both products maintain the bold and refreshing taste that represents Mountain Dew.  Mountain Dew Zero Sugar has zero calories per 20 ounces, while Diet Mountain Dew still contains 10 calories per 20 ounces.  Furthermore, Mountain Dew Zero Sugar also includes more caffeine than Diet Mountain Dew.

Here is a comparison of information from the package labeling for a 500-milliliter bottle of MDZS and a same-sized bottle of DMD:

per 500 milliliters Mountain Dew Zero Sugar Diet Mountain Dew
calories 0 5
caffeine 95 milligrams 77 milligrams

By comparison a same-sized bottle of an ordinary cola drink might have a mere 55 milligrams of caffeine.  An equivalent volume of coffee might have 150 or 200 milligrams of caffeine.

My snoozing through the release of Mountain Dew Zero Sugar was so thorough that I completely missed that the launch of this product was announced during the Super Bowl!  The ad stars Bryan Cranston, who through the miracle of cgi appears on the screen not once but twice, and he is portrayed as the little girls in the movie The Shining.  I am not making this up!  I think it is very creepy but of course that is just one person’s opinion.

Oh and the alert reader will of course be asking “what is the etymology of ‘quaff’?” The answer according to some sources is that the word is onomatopoeic, meaning “the word sounds like whatever we are talking about”. In other words, if you sit and listen while someone is quaffing a beverage, maybe you will hear something that sounds like the word “quaff”.

Yes, yes, I know, plenty of people say you should not drink diet sodas at all.  People who drink a diet soda hoping it will help you lose weight, they are all wrong, it actually tricks your brain into wanting more sugar, people say.  The caffeine is not good for you, better to have the natural caffeine from coffee or tea, people say, and anyway caffeine is a diuretic and so if your goal is to hydrate, the caffeine makes things worse instead of better.  It’s better simply to drink ordinary water, people say.  The artificial sweeteners, they have too many syllables and anyway all chemicals are bad for you, people say.  To which my answer is, have you ever stopped to consider that most ordinary water contains a measurable concentration of dihydrogen monoxide?  I found a very helpful web site that discusses dihydrogen monoxide.  

Have you tried MDZS?  If so, what do you think of it?  Please post a comment below.

(You can see a followup article here.)

13 Replies to “Mountain Dew Zero Sugar?”

  1. Carl, two comments. First, as anyone who has compared Diet Coke to Coke Zero can tell you, no, they’re not the same. At least here in Israel Diet Coke tastes ok, although it’s not as good as Coke Zero. In the USA, Diet Coke tastes like…well, I just won’t drink it.

    The issue with the artificial sweeteners has to do with how they affect the bacteria in the gut. See this press release from the Weizmann Institute, which includes the link to the article in Nature.

  2. Carl-
    Read the rest of the label on both-what is the artificial sweetener in DMD and what else is in the Zero Sugar? Those are the agents that affect the taste.

  3. Yes, I assume a different sweetener?

    I’ve tapered my DMD addiction from 12+ cans a day (yes, I know) to 2-3.

  4. Haven’t tried zero yet, but looking at both cans noticed there is no OJ in Zero. I drink diet MD in the morning and I always said it was a breakfast drink because it had OJ. It was probably done by Pepsi to save money. I see the Zero can has substituted “natural flavors” for OJ.

  5. I used to drink DMD exclusively but then started on Sprite Zero and Coke Zero. Then I found MDZS, I love the stuff! I only allow myself 1 16-20 oz bottle per day. It is harder to find than DMD. I don’t care for the MDZS Major Melon.

  6. Personally I love Mountain Dew zero.
    I don’t like the taste of Diet pop of any kind
    Except for the zero flavors

  7. I’ve been drinking MD for fifty years but now I drink ZSMD. I switched six months ago when I went on a diet to lose weight, and lost 40 pounds. I believe ZSMD was a big factor in the success of the diet, and I plan to drink this type of Dew instead of sugar Dew for the rest of my life. To me its taste is very good compared to diet Dew, which tastes awful.

  8. I’m a diabetic for 35 years now and have been drinking DMD for most of it. I like a lot of the other ZEROS out there, but tried ZDew, verifict, don’t like it. Comes across as flat and sweetness is definitely off. Staying with the tried and true diet dew!!

  9. I was at a cafe-style breakfast place in Seattle, recently. The owner asked if I’d try a promotional version of MDZS, with pineapple juice. I didn’t like it, at all, but I had to be polite, since she offered it to me for free. As I was leaving, I bought her entire stock of MDZS bottles, since I’d been having trouble finding it in the local stores. Both QFC & Bartell’s Drugs were sold out.

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