*This review is not sponsored by anyone and all opinions are 100% mine.
Anyone can tell you that starting off your morning with a big gulp of Mountain Dew probably isn't a particularly healthy choice. Despite that, I bet you know at least one person that does the Dew more than the mocha latte each morning. With the introduction of Mountain Dew Kickstart, now it's okay to drink pop (or soda, for those who live outside the Midwest) in the morning. Sort of.
While reading the list of ingredients, you will quickly understand that this is not much better than any other soft drinks. There are still plenty of names for sugar and artificial sweeteners in that list. The redeeming qualities of the drink? It contains 5% juice and it is only 80 calories for a 16 ounce can. So, you are not drinking your whole breakfast calorie allotment, but you may also get evil stares from the health nuts when holding the conspicuously large energy drink-like can.
The other concern that people may have with Kickstart is the caffeine content. You may belong to one of two camps—those who worry it has too much caffeine, and those who worry it will just never be enough to keep your eyelids open. The good thing about Kickstart is that it is not hiding behind the “dietary supplement” label like energy drinks and does list its caffeine content on the can. It contains 92mg/oz, which to some may seem like a large number. However, this number means something different to everyone, depending on your current caffeine intake. I used http://www.energyfiend.com/ to compare what I normally drink with Kickstart. Turns out, about two or three cups of the type of coffee I drink is equal to one can of Kickstart. And since I pace myself with the can, drinking it over a couple of hours (room temperature or chilled—tastes good either way), it is about equal to my normal intake.
Now, that doesn't mean that Kickstart doesn't have image issues. People close to me swear up and down that it is an energy drink and that I need to be careful about how much I consume (usually one can a week). I don't have health issues and I know not to overdo caffeine in general, so the claims that this is one of those killer energy drinks is just giving it a bad rap (at least my my household, anyway).
And the taste? I have only tried the orange flavor, but if you have ever had Mountain Dew Live Wire, it tastes about the same. It also has less carbonation, which is great for those who want a smoother drink. Overall, if you typically drink copious amounts of carbonated drinks, this is right up your alley.
Verdict: Best drink ever.