In the ever increasing competition among morning beverages, where the almighty attributes of taste, energy, and preferably low cal wage war, it was only a matter of time until a soda brand threw their hat into the mix. With competition from all different realms, Mountain Dew Kickstart enters with Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch flavors, 5% juice, a boatload of caffeine (92 mg), and only 80 calories all with a slight kick of carbonation.  But as far as taste, where does this juice/soda mixture stand?

Weighing in at 16 oz and shaped just like a pounder sized beer, cracking into this colossal can felt more like dinner than breakfast fuel.  While touting this drink, Mountain Dew focuses on the juice so heavily that you think it would almost be a 50/50 split, but sadly we’re looking at a pretty minuscule 5% juice.  Looking at the ingredients it’s hard not to notice that the dreaded high fructose corn syrup is the 2nd ingredient right behind carbonated water and before either of the juice concentrate.  Also, it’s pretty strange that even though this is a citrus flavored drink, white grape juice is the predominant juice even before the orange juice.  Followed by a good 20 or so other ingredients I can’t pronounce and a couple artificial sweeteners, it’s hard to dismiss or be surprised by the 20 grams of sugar.
With all of this being presented, how does this concoction taste? In a word, solid.  The orangey taste is nice and citrusy, with the light carbonation providing a pretty decent sized bite that catches your attention.  The taste can be compared to the fancy sparkling fruit beverage San Pellegrino but with a bigger kick.  The orange color is very reminiscent of breakfast beverage but the nutrition will never be compared to anything like what 100% juice brings beneficially. The drink did energize me thanks to the shovel full of caffeine but I never felt wired and jittery like after a Red Bull.
While this drink is low in calories, it’s hard not to notice 20 grams of sugar in your face.  But the drink’s flavor was just solid enough for me to be impressed with Mountain Dew for providing a relatively low cal drink that’s def worth trying for soda drinkers and 9-5’rs alike.
Mountain Dew Kickstart Energizing Orange Citrus (16oz):
Calories: 80
Sugar 20 g
Caffeine: 92mg
Taste: B
~Fast Food Geek