Energy drinks are often advertised as potent concoctions formulated to deliver a rejuvenating dose of energy to anyone who drinks them (even if most are embellished with outrageous claims and catchphrases).
While Mountain Dew AMP is surprisingly modest with its marketing lingo, and the can itself is pretty basic other than the nutrition label and ingredients list, it’s still fair to ask:
“Does AMP actually work as an energy drink?”
All energy drinks are meant to accomplish one thing: supply energy (or at ver least the feeling of it). Anything else like vitamins and nutrition are supplementary.
But the way energy drinks supply that energy has always been a topic of contention, such as using an excessive amount of sugar for one.
So in order to determine whether AMP works or not as an energy drink, we need to answer the following questions first:
- Does AMP provide energy?
- Does AMP provide nutrition?
- Is AMP a healthy drink?
In a nutshell, AMP provides energy and a little bit of nutrition, so it definitely works as an energy drink. That being said, AMP isn’t a healthy drink by a long shot.
Read on for the full details as I answer the question of “Does AMP energy drink actually work?”
Does AMP Energy Drink Provide Energy?
AMP’s main sources of energy comes in the form of caffeine and sugar.
A 16 fl.oz can of AMP carries 142mg of caffeine, which is relatively small by energy drink standards and not at all in ridiculously large amounts like a lot of energy drinks are these days.
Caffeine has also been found to enhance your resting metabolic rate by up to 3-11%, which is good for those who want to lose a few inches, although where AMP is concerned, you may end up gaining more than you lose (but more on that later).
Caffeine is not recommended for everyone though.
Children under the age of 18 should stay away from caffeine and even full-grown adults should not consume more than 400mg a day if they want to avoid the crippling side effects of caffeine overdose such as headaches and anxiety.
That being said, one can of AMP is still well within the safety limit as the daily intake of caffeine recommended by the FDA for adults is 400mg.
A 16 fl.oz can of AMP Energy Drink carries 58 grams of digestible sugar, which comprises the Total Carbohydrate count in a single can.
Sugar serves as a direct source of energy for your cells. Our body and brain run on glucose, hence the name ‘sugar rush’ for the energy boost that comes with excessive sugar.
This is just a simple explanation as to how sugar works in AMP.
You might have noticed that the amount of 58 grams is absurdly high for any drink to contain. You are correct.
Also, you might have noticed from the label that the added sugar in AMP is high fructose corn syrup. If you are familiar with the name, you may have some concerns.
Read more about sugar in AMP further below in the High Fructose Corn Syrup section.
Does AMP Energy Drink Provide Nutrition?
There are several different kinds of vitamins in a can of Mountain Dew AMP, primarily B vitamins which are essential for helping the body break down food into energy. This is why you see a lot of of B vitamins in energy drinks.
The functions of each B vitamin, along with vitamin C are explained in the following section.
AMP contains vitamin C and five types of vitamin B.
|Helps in the digestion and absorption|
of nutrients; maintains tissue health
|Converts nutrients to energy; repairs DNA;|
supports system as antioxidant
or Pantothenic Acid
(as calcium pantothenate)
|Breaks down fats, proteins and coenzyme A;|
promotes healthy skin
(as pyridoxine hydrochloride)
|Supports the central nervous system;|
ensures smooth metabolism
|Generates red blood cells; maintains|
brain function and nerve tissue health
or Ascorbic Acid
|Acts as an antioxidant;|
maintains bones, skin, and blood vessels
The amount of these vitamins (percent daily value) is relatively small as compared to other energy drinks which may have twice or three times the amount of vitamins you need.
So AMP gets an A plus in that respect.
That being said, you have to have a balanced diet to get vitamins from vegetables and fruits. AMP should not be your only source of nutrition since you do need other forms of vitamins, not just the B vitamins and vitamin C.
Natural Ingredients and Extracts
AMP has many natural ingredients, which are listed below along with their functions:
- supports the functions of your central nervous system and eyes
- helps form bile salts
- good for stroke and cardiovascular disease prevention
- Guarana Extract
- strong antimicrobial and antioxidant properties
- contains caffeine twice as potent as coffee beans
- Panax Ginseng Root Extract
- solves erectile dysfunction
- boosts cognitive function
- prevents flu (influenza)
- prevents fatigue in multiple sclerosis patients
- Citric Acid
- anti-cancer and neuroprotective
- Gum Arabic
- enhances dental remineralization
- has antimicrobial properties
For more info on these, have a read through my article analyzing AMP’s ingredients.
The amount of these ingredients are not stated on the can, so we do not know if the dosage is enough to supply any substantial benefits or nutrition.
Is AMP Energy Drink A Healthy Drink?
In my opinion, AMP is not a healthy drink.
But let’s look at the factors one by one, starting with the most controversial ingredients.
High Sugar Content
To reiterate, 1a 6 fl.oz can of AMP carries 58 grams of sugar.
This amounts to almost twice the daily limit of sugar since the the daily recommended sugar intake for adults is 24 grams for women and 36 grams for men.
You may think this amount of sugar is safe, but you also need to take into account the added sugar you are likely to consume throughout the day in the form of meals and drinks.
Excessive sugar can cause a variety of diseases such as insulin resistance and diabetes. Sugar also increases your glycemic index which raises the insulin level in your blood, forcing your body to store more fat.
Mentioned in the video above, the World Health Organization’s limit of daily sugar intake is 10 grams.
AMP has five times that amount.
To make matters worse, AMP’s sugar comes in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which comes with its own set of problems
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup (or HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn starch.
In AMP, all the carbohydrates are comprised of added sugar, with no natural sugar. This means that all 58 grams of sugar in AMP come from HFCS.
The FDA has recommended that everyone limit their intake of HFCS.
There are two dyes in AMP, namely Yellow 5 and Blue 1, both of which are known to damage your health.
Yellow 5 for example is banned in certain countries like Norway and Austia, and for good reason. The compound has been linked with increased hyperactivity in children. It is is also found to be a carcinogenic.
The FDA once published a warning to health care professionals, explaining the potential dangers of Blue 1 in food.
Reported episodes were manifested by blue discoloration of the skin, urine, feces, or serum and some were associated with serious complications such as refractory hypotension, metabolic acidosis and death.
A causal relationship between systemic absorption of Blue 1 and the reported serious and life-threatening patient outcomes (including death) has not been definitively established.FDA Public Health Advisory
Who Should Not Drink AMP?
People with sugar-related diseases, children, pregnant women, and people sensitive to caffeine should not drink AMP.
Not recommended for children, pregnant women or people sensitive to caffeine.AMP’s warning label
As for the people who need to watch their sugar, drinking AMP is notoriously counterproductive. AMP’s 58 grams of sugar will probably send you to the hospital real quick.
If you aren’t sure if you can drink AMP, please consult your doctor.
When Should I Drink AMP?
It is best to drink a can of AMP energy drink before any strenuous physical activity. This is so that you get the most out of the energy boost that will come after drinking AMP.
Can I Drink AMP Every Day?
In my opinion, you shouldn’t be drinking AMP every day.
AMP has twice the amount of sugar you need. The extra unused sugars will be converted into fat and potentially cause all sorts of diseases. There is no reason why you should be ingesting excess sugar regularly.
While it may give you a decent sugary rush, you should be aware of the potential side effects if you do decide to go through with it.
Can I Drink More Than One AMP A Day?
Personally, you probably shouldn’t be drinking more than 1 AMP a day due to its high sugar content.
Again, that much sugar in a single serving would wreak havoc on your system, giving you an incredible sugar high one moment only for you to crash later on in the day and experience sugar withdrawals.
Does AMP Energy Drink Work?
AMP works by providing an energy boost primarily through two main ingredients: caffeine and sugar. But this does not come without a fair share of problems as well.
There is no doubt that on the basis of supplying ‘energy’, AMP passes with flying colors. It would be surprising if so much sugar doesn’t give a good energy boost.
On the other hand, the problematic sugar content brings more concerns than assurances.
Yes, AMP works, but not without a few caveats.
To me, moderation is everything when it comes to AMP.
Drinking AMP once or twice a month won’t be overtly negative for your health, although once a day or even every other might lead to metabolic syndrome if you’re not careful.
Diabetics should also definitely not come within twenty feet of this product, but I digress.
AMP can hold its own as a working energy drink, but in terms of it being a healthy alternative I would say no.
More and more people are becoming increasingly conscious of their sugar intake as should you. Even if you are not health conscious, I would recommend you reduce your intake of Mountain Dew AMP to once a month if you can, or find another brand that has a healthier formula.