Food News

A Look at Taco Bell's Breakfast Drink: Mountain Dew A.M.

Update: Taco Bell begs to differ. Since this article was published, they sent me their nutrition information, which states that there are only 46 grams of sugar on account of the ice put in the drink. The cup is supposed to be filled with ice (even though mine only had 2 to 3 inches at the top).

So when made correctly, a large (20-ounce) should have 13 ounces of Mountain Dew A.M., the rest being ice, which would yield 46 grams of sugar, which is 11 teaspoons of sugar.

Last week Taco Bell introduced two additions to its First Meal breakfast menu: the "A.M. Crunchwrap Supreme" and "Mountain Dew A.M." The wrap is a hash brown patty topped with eggs, a tangy cheese-like sauce and sausage or bacon, all wrapped and toasted in a huge tortilla. The new beverage is an in-house infusion of orange juice and Mountain Dew. Both of these new menu items are only available until 11 a.m., cementing the fact that, yes, this really is something they expect people to drink for breakfast. And considering the Bell is pretty intuitive when it comes to knowing what the masses like, we can all assume they'll be selling lots.

Taco Bell won't divulge the 'Dew to O.J. ratio for their new morning elixir. Let's assume for a large 20-ounce drink, there are 12 ounces of soda and 8 ounces of juice (primarily because it's easier to pull the nutrition information that way).

Based on numbers from Pepsi Co., there are 170 calories and 46 grams of sugar in 12 ounces of Mountain Dew. And 8 ounces of Tropicana orange juice has 112 calories and 29 grams of sugar. Together that's 282 calories and 68 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent of adding 17 teaspoons of sugar to your morning cup of coffee.

Both of these new menu items are being tested in about 800 markets, which doesn't include Dallas. But, as luck would have it, this weekend I made a trip to Central Texas to participate in the Burning Pines 10K in Bastrop, Texas, which is one of the test markets.

And, what better way to fuel myself for the punishing hills on the 10K route then with a 20-ounce Mountain Dew A.M? Well, actually, there are about 1,000 better ways. None of which involve me being on my hands and knees, next to a burnt pine tree, trying to breath between each explosion of bright green vomit. My dedication to an interesting post only goes so far.

I opted, instead, for a cup of coffee before the run, but did get a Dew and wrap after the run.

The A.M. Crunchwrap Supreme comes with an option of bacon or sausage, and I chose bacon, since the day prior was International Bacon Day. There's a tangy cheese-like sauce that overpowers everything. I picked at the wrap, and tore away the tortilla, but by the time we got back to the house, it was mostly gone. For better or worse. The Mountain Dew A.M. tasted like a bet someone lost. Two sips was as far as I could go.

So, if you're going to run a 10K in early September in Central Texas, where the humid subtropical climate will sweat out all the impurities you consumed since 7th grade, then a Crunchwrap Supreme and a Mountain Dew A.M. are probably fine. Prior to 10th grade algebra? I can only imagine.

When these two items are added to Taco Bell menus locally, we'll be sure to let you know/warn you.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.