As I’m used to seeing the soda-version of Mountain Dew, I was surprised to learn that Mountain Dew Kickstart, an energy drink version of regular Mountain Dew, existed.
You might be wondering how Mountain Dew Kickstart is different from the regular Mountain Dew and if it can be consumed every day.
If so, you’re in the right place as this article will detail the ingredients in Mountain Dew Kickstart and discuss whether it’s good for your health or not.
Here’s the quick answer if you’re in a hurry: You can drink one can of Mountain Dew Kickstart every day without any serious concerns. Although I believe it’ll be better for your health if you spread out your consumption because of its high sugar and calorie content.
Now let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of the potential benefits and side effects of Mountain Dew Kickstart.
Table of Contents
Mountain Dew Kickstart Ingredients
A 16 fl.oz can of Mountain Dew Kickstart (Midnight Grape) contains:
- 80 calories
- 0g total fat
- 90mg caffeine (an ideal amount, in my opinion)
- 170mg sodium
- 20g total sugars
- 0g protein
You’ll also notice trace amounts of the following in Mountain Dew Kickstart:
- Carbonated Water
- High fructose corn syrup
- White grape juice concentrate
- Citric acid
- Sodium polyphosphates (preservative)
- Natural flavor
- Potassium sorbate (preservative)
- Caffeine (90mg)
- Potassium citrate
- Potassium chloride
- Gum Arabic
- Acesulfame potassium (artificial sweetener)
- Sucralose (artificial sweetener)
- Red 40 (coloring)
- Calcium disodium EDTA
- Sucrose acetate isobutyrate
- Blue 1 (coloring)
Mountain Dew Kickstart Flavors
Mountain Dew Kickstart has 9 flavors:
- Original Dew
- Orange Citrus
- Black Cherry
- Midnight Grape
- Fruit Punch
- Mango Lime
- Pineapple Orange Mango
- Blueberry Pomegranate
- Raspberry Citrus
Mountain Dew Kickstart discontinued/region-specific flavors:
- Ultra (sugar-free version)
- Blood Orange
- Limeade (only available in Australia)
- Strawberry Kiwi
How Much Caffeine Is In Mountain Dew Kickstart?
A 16 fl.oz can of Mountain Dew Kickstart contains 90mg of caffeine, a reasonable amount, similar to a cup of coffee.
The caffeine content in energy drinks can range from as little as 50mg to 300mg or more.
In my opinion, the perfect caffeine content is around 50mg – 100mg per serve. For me, that amount provides the right amount of boost without the crash and side effects later.
With 90mg of caffeine, Kickstart fits nicely into this range. I’m a big fan of Mountain Dew Kickstart for its sensible caffeine content.
Even though Mountain Dew Kickstart is mild with its caffeine, you should still be aware of the risks of excessive caffeine consumption.
Excessive caffeine consumption is harmful to your health and may lead to many problems in the future.
The FDA has a few guidelines on the maximum amount of caffeine you should have in a day:
A healthy adult can consume up to 400mg of caffeine per day. Children under 18, pregnant, and breastfeeding women shouldn’t consume caffeine at all. If you have health problems or are on prescription meds, you should consult your doctor first.
If you consume more than 400mg of caffeine in a day, you may experience some of these potential side effects:
- Increased thirst
- Breathing troubles
- Chest pain
- Irregular/fast heartbeat
Looking at the caffeine limit from the FDA, a caffeine overdose from drinking Mountain Dew Kickstart is very unlikely unless you’re going really overboard and drinking an awful lot in a single day.
Though, I’d be more concerned about how much sugar you would’ve consumed by then.
Furthermore, your caffeine tolerance also determines how many energy drinks you can have before the side effects kick in, thus it’s best if you know your limits and adjust accordingly.
If you’d like to learn more about how your metabolism relates to how much caffeine you can tolerate, feel free to check out this other post I’ve written where I’ve covered everything you need to know about the topic in a lot of detail.
How Much Sugar Is In Mountain Dew Kickstart?
Mountain Dew Kickstart contains 20g of total sugars in each 16 fl.oz can.
That’s quite a lot of sugar in one drink.
The American Heart Association (AHA) provides these guidelines on how much sugar an adult can have daily:
The amount of sugar in Mountain Dew Kickstart comes really close to hitting the daily sugar limit, especially for women.
Sugar is good as brain food, but only if it’s from a natural source. Natural sugar comes from unprocessed and natural foods like fruits and vegetables, while added sugars are found in foods like desserts, sodas, and some baked goods.
Added sugars go by different names in foods and drinks. Several examples of added sugars would be high-fructose corn syrup, glucose, dextrose, brown sugar, and honey.
- Weight gain
- Heart disease
- Skin aging
- Kidney disease
As long as you stick to only one can of Mountain Dew Kickstart and don’t drink it all the time, the sugar content won’t likely be an issue for you.
Disclaimer: consult your doctor before added Mountain Dew Kickstart to your regular diet.
If you don’t want to run the risk of drinking too much sugar, I have an article covering the best energy drinks without a sugar crash which you’ll find helpful.
Are There Artificial Sweeteners in Mountain Dew Kickstart?
Mountain Dew Kickstart energy drinks do contain artificial sweeteners, namely sucralose and acesulfame potassium.
Artificial sweeteners are used as a substitute for regular sugar.
These sweeteners are many times sweeter than sugar, low in calories, and are often considered calorie-free. Compared to regular sugar, sweeteners are deemed healthier for consumption.
Artificial sweeteners or “non-nutritive sweeteners” are safe and have been approved by the FDA.
But it does puzzle me as to why Mountain Dew Kickstart contains both added sugars and artificial sweeteners when high-fructose corn syrup (a sugar) is sweet enough on its own.
In my opinion, the addition of artificial sweeteners in Mountain Dew Kickstart is unnecessary and unhealthy. It looks like an attempt to increase the sweetness of the drink without increasing its total calories.
Despite the fact that artificial sweeteners are widely used, these sweeteners may trigger adverse effects in some people who’re sensitive to them.
In any case, you should consume them in moderation as the long-term impacts of artificial sweeteners have yet to be fully understood.
How Long Does It Take For Mountain Dew Kickstart To Work?
The caffeine in Mountain Dew Kickstart will reach a peak in your blood between 15 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion depending on how quickly your body metabolizes caffeine. Most people will experience “maximum boost” about 45 minutes after consumption.
The energy boost builds up as your heart rate and blood pressure increase. Usually around 45 minutes after consumption, the caffeine peaks in your bloodstream, and that’s when you’ll feel the maximum boost.
By an hour or two in, you’re likely to experience a drop in energy levels and a possible sugar crash, leaving you feeling tired and lethargic.
Though the energizing effects of the caffeine and sugar may have dwindled after some time has passed, it’ll take around 5 – 6 hours for the amount of caffeine you consumed to be reduced by 50% because caffeine has a half-life of around 5-6 hours.
Hence, if you drank 90mg of caffeine in a can of Mountain Dew Kickstart, you’ll still have about 45mg of caffeine remaining in your body after 5 hours.
The caffeine in your body would be fully out of your system after about 12 hours. But this depends on your age, metabolism, and what you do in your day-to-day life as well.
Even if the caffeine content in Mountain Dew Kickstart is rather modest, I don’t recommend drinking it within 6 hours before bedtime as it could reduce your total sleep time by one hour.
Is Mountain Dew Kickstart Good For Your Health?
Generally speaking, like most energy drinks, Mountain Dew Kickstart can be good for your health depending on how much of it you consume in a day and the rest of your diet in general.
As we know, sodas aren’t exactly good for your health in the first place.
And Mountain Dew Kickstart is basically a Mountain Dew soda with some caffeine and a few extra features thrown into the mix.
That said, even with the moderate amount of caffeine and calories, it still might be unwise to make Mountain Dew Kickstart a staple in your diet.
I say this because of the somewhat high sugar content Mountain Dew Kickstart has. Once you take that into consideration, Mountain Dew Kickstart doesn’t seem to sound as healthy anymore.
The calories, caffeine, and sugar will slowly add up after several cans, especially if you’re a regular caffeine drinker.
If you don’t control yourself, you could end up with serious health issues in the long run.
As already mentioned, having too much caffeine and sugar isn’t beneficial to your health.
In my opinion, Mountain Dew Kickstart is fine for your health if you don’t have any pre-existing health conditions, the rest of your diet is healthy and balanced and if you do regular exercise to burn off the calories and sugar.
It’s always best to drink Mountain Dew Kickstart in moderation.
Is It Safe To Drink Mountain Dew Kickstart Every Day?
I personally wouldn’t recommend drinking Mountain Dew Kickstart every single day due to its sugar and calorie content.
For me, I’ve got no problem with the amount of caffeine in Mountain Dew Kickstart. It’s actually quite ideal and probably won’t cause many negative effects afterward.
The sugar content is the concerning part in my view. 20g of sugar is no small amount and consuming Mountain Dew Kickstart on a regular basis may be detrimental to your health as a result.
Before you know it, you may be experiencing health problems like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.
Sure, it tastes good, but is it really worth it if it’s going to cost you your health at the end of the day?
I don’t believe so.
In my opinion, if you want to drink Mountain Dew Kickstart regularly, you should space out your consumption. Perhaps two or three cans in a week might be a good idea instead of having one every single day.
To sum it up, you can drink Mountain Dew Kickstart every day but I don’t think it’s a wise choice because of its sugar and calorie content.
After all, there are plenty of great sugar-free energy drinks out there with a sensible amount of caffeine that may be better for your health, like REIZE.
But more on that later…
How Many Kickstarts can you have in a day?
Due to the relatively high sugar content, I recommend having no more than a single Mountain Dew Kickstart per day. The caffeine is fine, the calories are moderate, but the sugar will be too much if you have a second can in a day.
I say this because of the American Heart Association’s guidelines on maximum sugar intake.
Even if you do a lot of exercise and burn a lot of calories, it’s still not a good idea to consume too much sugar.
Where to Buy Mountain Dew Kickstart
Mountain Dew Kickstart is available on their official website. You can also find some decent deals on Amazon, Walmart, and Target as well.
On Amazon, the price for a 12-pack of 16 fl.oz cans of Mountain Dew Kickstart is around $26. With some quick calculations, that puts one 16 fl.oz can of Mountain Dew Kickstart at a little over $2.
For me, Mountain Dew Kickstart is quite pricey considering it doesn’t have many beneficial ingredients like taurine, BCAAs, or as many B vitamins as some other energy drinks in the same price range such as Celsius and Xyience.
If you have some cash to spare and don’t mind the sugar and calories, Mountain Dew Kickstart is a great choice with a sensible caffeine boost.
Alternatives to Mountain Dew Kickstart
If you’re looking to try some other great energy drinks aside from Mountain Dew Kickstart, here are a few you may want to check out:
Alternatively, powdered energy drinks are another great option and they’re usually more affordable and convenient compared to the ready-to-drink variety. Here’s a few top brands:
REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)
REIZE is a great powdered energy drink mix that contains a sensible 50mg of caffeine. It’s also completely sugar-free, unlike Mountain Dew Kickstart.
REIZE also only has 11 calories and is packed with great ingredients like taurine, ginseng, and B vitamins that blend together to provide you with the perfect energy boost – without the crash.
The best part?
REIZE ships right to your door for only around $1 per drink, including shipping costs, which makes it a lot more affordable than Mountain Dew Kickstart.
Try REIZE today and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s a smarter choice than Mountain Dew Kickstart.