Back in college my roommate Justin and I would rush out and try to find the new Mountain Dew flavors as they became available. Pitch Black, Livewire, Pitch Black II, Game Fuel, we were Mountain Dew early adopters. Some of the flavors were better than others (I’ve personally never been a huge fan of Game Fuel in any of its incarnations) and not all of them have found permanent homes on store shelves. But we wanted to be on the cutting edge of high fructose corn syrup based Dew products.

This month Pepsi released a new spin on Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew Kickstart. A breakfast Mountain Dew, because apparently nobody told me before I shouldn’t drink Mountain Dew for breakfast. Is it how I want to start my mornings?

The Package

This isn’t your normal 12-oz can of Mountain Dew, it’s a towering 16-oz can comparable to a Amp energy drink. And that’s fitting as this is supposed to energize you like an energy drink in a more morning friendly drink. However compared to Amp, Kickstart has about 50 less milligrams of caffeine. But it says it had 5% real fruit juice, and that’s gotta be something right?

Pour the liquid from the can into a glass and marvel at the bright, rich color of the beverage. I hope you like red and orange because it is bright.

The Flavors

With Kickstart you get to choose from Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch. They both have a strong flavor, and like some of the flavored mountain dews I found them a bit over powering. They weren’t as bad as Game Fuel which I found to be really syrupy. In the Orange Citrus version I could kind of tell there was some kind of orange juice in there, as it had more of that real juice flavor than say, orange Hi-C. I think overall I preferred the Orange Citrus to the Fruit Punch for this reason, it was like a sparkling orange juice with a hint of Mountain Dew.

However as I drank Kickstart I reacted to it in the same way I tend to react to diet sodas. My throat starts feeling lousy, as something about artificial sugars react with me. I was able to finish the cans, which I can’t say I do with diet sodas, but I couldn’t down them like a normal can of Mountain Dew.


I don’t think this will replace my coffee in the morning, though it is nice to have something fruitier and chilled sometimes. I’d rather just have a glass of orange juice over a Kickstart though. And the nice thing about that is a glass of orange juice tends to have a little more than 5% juice. I’ll just have to get my caffeine boost elsewhere.

Maybe some kind of Mountain Dew Pop-Tart.

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