Updated at: 23-07-2023 - By: John Lau

Kidney stones can be a real pain, and you might have heard rumors that your favorite soda – Mountain Dew – could be the culprit. Surprisingly, research suggests certain sodas may actually help prevent these painful formations.

In this article, we’ll dive into the specifics about whether Mountain Dew can cause kidney stones, exploring its sugar contentcaffeine effects, and other health risks that go with it. Ready to debunk some myths? Let’s get started!

Can Mountain Dew Cause Kidney Stones?

Can Mountain Dew Cause Kidney Stones (2)

Effects Of Sugar And Acid Content

Loaded with high sugar content, beverages like Mountain Dew can increase the risk of forming kidney stones. The excessive sugars not only contribute to overall unhealthy weight gain but also provide a perfect environment for calcium oxalate stones to develop in your kidneys.

That’s not all though; these drinks contain phosphoric acid as well which potentially increases urine acidity.

Now, let’s turn our attention to acid contents – they play an influential role too! Research indicates that phosphorus in soda, such as contained in Mountain Dew, can disturb the pH balance by making urine more acidic.

In such conditions, calcium and phosphate from your diet are more likely to form crystals in the urine leading inevitably towards stone formation.

While we’re still uncovering all the interconnected factors causing kidney stones associated with sugary sodas consumption, it’s evident that their high sugar and acid content is a major contributor one way or another.

Impact Of Caffeine

Caffeine, a common ingredient found in Mountain Dew and many other sodas, can have both positive and negative impacts on kidney health. On one hand, caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases urine production and helps flush out the kidneys.

This can be beneficial for preventing the formation of kidney stones by reducing the concentration of minerals that contribute to stone formation.

However, it’s important to note that excessive caffeine consumption can also have detrimental effects on the kidneys. Too much caffeine can lead to dehydration, as it acts as a mild diuretic that increases fluid loss through urine.

Dehydration can increase the risk of developing kidney stones by concentrating minerals in the urine and making them more likely to crystallize.

While moderate caffeine intake from Mountain Dew or other caffeinated beverages may not pose significant risks for most people, those with pre-existing kidney conditions should exercise caution.

Potential Health Risks Of Consuming Mountain Dew

Can Mountain Dew Cause Kidney Stones (3)

Consuming Mountain Dew poses potential health risks due to its high sugar and acid content, as well as the presence of caffeine, which can have adverse effects on kidney function.

Short-term Risks

Consuming excess Mountain Dew can have short-term risks on your kidney health. Here are the potential dangers to be aware of:

  1. High salt content: Mountain Dew contains a high amount of salt, which can increase blood pressure and strain your kidneys.
  2. Dehydration: The caffeine in Mountain Dew acts as a diuretic, causing increased urine production and potentially leading to dehydration if not accompanied by adequate water intake.
  3. Urine acidity: Phosphoric acid in soda, including Mountain Dew, can make urine more acidic, which increases the risk of forming certain types of kidney stones.
  4. Calcium phosphate stones: Regular consumption of phosphorus-containing sodas like Mountain Dew can lead to an excretion of calcium in the urine, increasing the likelihood of calcium phosphate stone formation.

Long-term Risks

Consuming Mountain Dew regularly can have long-term consequences for your kidney health. Here are some risks to consider:

  1. Increased risk of kidney stone formation: The high levels of sugar and phosphoric acid in Mountain Dew can contribute to the formation of calcium oxalate stones, one of the most common types of kidney stones. This is especially true if you consume large quantities of soda on a regular basis.
  2. Impaired kidney function: Drinking excessive amounts of Mountain Dew can put strain on your kidneys over time, leading to reduced kidney function. The combination of caffeine and high sugar content can disrupt proper hydration and electrolyte balance, which are essential for optimal kidney function.
  3. Higher likelihood of dehydration: Mountain Dew is a diuretic, meaning it promotes urine production and can cause increased fluid loss from your body. This can lead to dehydration if you’re not adequately replenishing fluids by drinking water or other hydrating beverages.
  4. Potential impact on blood pressure: Regular high consumption of sugary drinks like Mountain Dew has been associated with an increased risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure). Elevated blood pressure can put added stress on your kidneys and increase the risk of kidney damage over time.
  5. Weight gain and obesity: Mountain Dew is loaded with empty calories from sugars, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity when consumed in excess. Obesity is a known risk factor for kidney disease and can further compromise overall kidney health.
  • National Kidney Foundation
  • Mayo Clinic
  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Research Into Mountain Dew And Kidney Stones

Can Mountain Dew Cause Kidney Stones (1)

Research into the relationship between Mountain Dew consumption and kidney stones is ongoing and has yielded some interesting findings. While no definitive conclusions have been reached, there are indications that certain components in Mountain Dew may play a role in kidney stone formation.

For example, the high citrate content in citrus-flavored sodas like Mountain Dew has been suggested to help prevent the formation of calcium stones in urine. On the other hand, phosphoric acid found in soda can contribute to increased acidity levels in urine, which may promote kidney stone development.

Additionally, some studies have linked high fructose corn syrup found in many sweetened drinks, including Mountain Dew, to an increased risk of developing kidney stones.

It’s important for individuals with alcoholism who are prone to kidney stones to be mindful of their soda consumption, including Mountain Dew. While more research is needed to fully understand how exactly drinking soda impacts kidney health and stone formation specifically among those with alcoholism, it’s advisable for them to limit their intake or explore alternative beverages that are known to be healthier choices for overall renal health.

Factors such as staying well-hydrated with water and following a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables should also be considered when aiming to reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.


In conclusion, while research is ongoing and the exact link between Mountain Dew and kidney stones remains unclear, it is important to consider the potential health risks associated with consuming sugary and acidic beverages like soda.

Moderation and awareness of overall dietary choices are key factors in maintaining good kidney health. It may be wise to opt for healthier drink options that promote hydration and support kidney function.