Fact or Fiction: Does Mountain Dew Kill Sperm or Lower Sperm Count?
A low sperm count can be a cause infertility for some men. There are many factors that can impact a man’s sperm count, and this can include choices in health and lifestyle.
However, you shouldn’t buy into everything that you hear when it comes to fertility. For example, the rumor you may have heard that drinking the soft drink Mountain Dew kills sperm. If you happen to be a Mountain Dew fan and also haven’t been able to conceive, you might think that there’s a connection.
Mountain Dew might blamed if you’re not able to conceive, especially if it’s your favorite drink. But don’t toss out your sodas just yet though – because the stories about Mountain Dew having a negative effect on sperm are simply not true.
If you are under the impression that Mountain Dew is somehow responsible for your infertility, or that it can be used as a form of contraception, you should take a look at a few facts.
Can the Caffeine in Mountain Dew Lower Your Sperm Count?
It is true that some research shows a link between high caffeine intake and changes in sperm quality, both positive and negative. For instance, one 12-ounce cup of coffee per day could actually lead to a higher level of sperm motility (sperm’s ability for movement).
But a man who drinks too much caffeine can experience a decrease in sperm motility. This is generally seen when drinking four or more cups of coffee per day.
Since Mountain Dew has higher amounts of caffeine per 12-ounce can than other sodas (54 mg of caffeine compared to 34 mg for Coke and 38mg for Pepsi), it’s easy to see why some people might believe that Mountain Dew has the potential to harm or reduce sperm.
However, since a single 12 oz. cup of coffee contains 217 mg caffeine, and you would need to drink at least 4 cups to see adverse effects on sperm motility, you can see how the amount of caffeine in Mountain Dew has little impact on sperm health. You would need to drink at least 11 cans of Mountain Dew to produce any negative effects on sperm motility.
Odds are, you aren’t drinking this much of the Dew – but even if you did it wouldn’t harm your sperm, just motility.
Does Drinking Mountain Dew Lower Male Fertility?
A different theory suggests that the dye used in Mountain Dew may lower fertility. A dye known as Yellow No. 5 (also known as tartrazine) is used in the making of Mountain Dew.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the dye is safe to consume. However, there are rumors claiming that the dye can decrease the size of the testicles and penis. This rumor also has no evidence that this dye harms fertility.
Yellow No. 5 can be found in many other foods besides Mountain Dew, mainly highly processed foods such potato chips, candy, and breakfast cereals. It is also found in certain cosmetics and medications.
Some people may be more sensitive to Yellow No. 5.than others, and have side effects such as hyperactivity, eczema and asthma. However, there is no evidence that this dye will have any effect on your sperm count or male reproductive health.
In general, you should reduce your consumption of sugary, carbonated drinks to improve your overall health. To make a healthier change, try replacing one soda per day with water. Then gradually add more water over time.
Karl Bianco is an Executive Editor at The Sperm Count Report. He has previous experience as a senior editor for both print and digital media for 8 years, where he wrote about and edited articles pertaining to health and fitness, sex and relationships, medical news and technology.