REVIEW: Mountain Dew Kickstart (Fruit Punch and Orange Citrus)

Mountain Dew Kickstart

Wise men once said in the late-1980s, and more recently in a Kia commercial, “Ooh, are you ready girls? Ooh, are you ready now? Ooh, yeah! Kickstart my heart, give it a start! Ooh, yeah, baby! Ooh, yeah! Kickstart my heart, hope it never stops! Ooh, yeah, baby!”

During my teen years, those motivational words from Mötley Crüe made me run faster, drive faster, eat faster, build Lego kits faster, and feather my hair.

But today, because I’m old, decrepit, and my iPod’s alarm allows me to snooze it, I need more than Tommy Lee’s drumming, Mick Mars’ guitar licks, Nikki Sixx’s bassing, and Vince Neil’s screaming to kickstart my heart and morning. Well, Mountain Dew might have what I’m looking for with their new Kickstart beverages.

Sure, if you wanted to Dew the Dew while there’s morning dew, you could drink a regular can or bottle of Mountain Dew, but Mountain Dew Kickstart is made for the morning. It’s a sparkling juice beverage that combines the flavor of fruit juice with the caffeine of coffee. Yes, it’s basically a morning soda that can be part of your complete breakfast. But, just like breakfast cereals, consuming them at two o’clock in the afternoon would not be a faux pas.

Mountain Dew Kickstart comes in 16-ounces cans and two flavors — Orange Citrus (makes sense) and Fruit Punch (not so much). If you were to drink a can to start your morning, you’d have downed 80 calories, 20 grams of sugar, 100 percent of your daily vitamin C, 80 percent of your daily niacin, 80 percent of your daily vitamin B6, and 92 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine, all of which is much better than regular Mountain Dew. A 16-ounce serving of Mountain Dew has 230 calories, 62 grams of sugar, 72 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine, and isn’t a significant source of any vitamins and minerals.

Mountain Dew Energizing Fruit Punch Kickstart

We love our fruit punch here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, so a part of me was excited to see it as a Mountain Dew Kickstart flavor. However, at the same time I was a bit confused about the choice. Fruit punch isn’t a breakfast drink and is stereotypically (according to television) something that’s spiked at school dances with alcohol or Spanish Fly. Perhaps a more breakfast-friendly flavor, like apple, would’ve been better.

The aroma from the can was mildly fruity and somewhat reminded me of Hawaiian Punch. The sparkling juice beverage sparkled moderately, making it easier to drink than any other Mountain Dew soda. It started off with nice sweet fruity flavor similar to other fruit punches I’ve had (which is mostly McDonald’s fruit punch) and ended with an aftertaste that’s similar to Diet Mountain Dew. If you decided to test my taste buds for which fruits make up the punch, I would fail. Overall, it’s not a bad beverage, but I feel weird drinking it with breakfast.

However, Mountain Dew Orange Citrus Kickstart tastes more like something appropriate for breakfast.

Mountain Dew Energizing Orange Citrus Kickstart

The orange-flavored sparkling juice beverage doesn’t have an aroma as strong as its red sibling, and whatever smell there is its a generic citrus. Just like Mountain Dew Fruit Punch Kickstart, it had a mild amount of carbonation, so look elsewhere if you want to wake up with fizz tickling your nose.

The orange citrus flavor tasted more like tangerines, which was fine, but what wasn’t fine was how the initial taste, which, like its aroma, wasn’t very strong, quickly went from mild to extremely watered down to an artificial sweetener aftertaste. Its flavor wasn’t a kickstart; instead it was more of a downshift.

To be honest, I’m not sure who’s going to regularly buy Mountain Dew Kickstart. Xtreme Dew fans will probably sneer at the fact that it’s a “sparkling juice beverage”; hardcore energy drink drinkers will scoff at the 92 milligrams of caffeine per 16-ounce serving; nutritionists will ridicule the 5 percent juice both flavors contain; and 12-year-olds will laugh at the acetate isobutyrate they contain because they’ll probably pronounce it as, “ass taint I saw booty rate.”

But what do I know. I feathered my hair in the late 80s.

(Disclosure: I received free samples of Mountain Dew Kickstart from Mountain Dew. I should also disclose, along with the samples, I also got sunglasses, an iPod shuffle, and Beats Audio headphones in a fancy Plexiglass box. Two of the items will be given away in the near future.)

(Nutrition Facts – 16 ounces – Fruit Punch – 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 170 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 19 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 100% vitamin C, 80% niacin, 80% vitamin B6, 60% pantothenic acid, and 10% phosphorus. Orange Citrus – 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 100% vitamin C, 80% niacin, 80% vitamin B6, 60% pantothenic acid, and 10% phosphorus.)

Other Mountain Dew Fruit Punch Kickstart reviews:
Thirsty Dudes
The Soda Jerks

Other Mountain Dew Orange Citrus Kickstart reviews:
BevReview
Serious Eats
The Soda Jerks

Items: Mountain Dew Kickstart (Fruit Punch and Orange Citrus)
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 16 fl. oz. cans
Purchased at: Received from Mountain Dew
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Fruit Punch)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Orange Citrus)
Pros: 92 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine. Good fruit punch flavor. Nice energy boost. Significantly less calories and sugar than regular Mountain Dew. Mild carbonation makes it easy to drink. Awesome source of vitamin C, niacin, and vitamin B6. Mötley Crüe.
Cons: Only 5 percent juice. Weird drinking fruit punch in the morning. Both have an artificial sweetener aftertaste. Orange Citrus’ flavor goes from mild to light. Not sure who will buy this regularly.

29 thoughts on “REVIEW: Mountain Dew Kickstart (Fruit Punch and Orange Citrus)

  1. “I also got sunglasses, an iPod shuffle, and Beats Audio headphones in a fancy Plexiglass box.”

    That is absurd. What does any of that have to do with soft drinks?

    1. That was a form of bribery for a good review. I asked two gas station attendants about it, and neither of them liked it.

  2. Disgusting. Kickstart is yet another in the new trend of beverages that combine high fructose corn syrup and THREE artificial sweeteners (Pepsi Next, Pepsi X, plus Shasta & most store brand colas have switched to this combination) yet aren’t marketed as a low calorie or diet beverage (except Pepsi Next). The bitter aftertaste of acesulfame, sucralose & aspartame is cringe inducing. So, not only do you get caffeine & several vitamins, but you get FOUR different kinds of poison. My friend and I both bought a can today, without checking the ingredients. I finished mine simply because I was thirsty, he threw his in the trash after a few sips.

    1. Get over yourself, Rob. First of all, Aspartame is not a specific ingredient. Secondly, we all need to chill with this whole “fructose corn syrup is bad for you” stuff.

      The fact is, whether you like the drink or not, it IS actually healthier than a can of Monster. No one’s saying it’s Orange juice, but if one wanted a soda-style energy drink, you could do a lot worse.

  3. this drink is horrid. It is like combining diet mtn. dew with a little bit of orange juice. I took one sip, gagged then passed it to my fiancé who took one sipped and laughed at how disgusting it was. Its one of those things they get you to buy once because of the hype. and only 92 mg caffeine. at least make more caffeine than a regular mtn. dew. Fuck you mtn dew. You can blow me.

  4. I tried the fruit punch. Had my family and cousins try no one liked. Me of Idono it was like just flavored water idono garbage. I’ll have the orange for work tomorrow.

  5. Wow, not one of you have one positive thing to say. is it the fact that you spent your money on it and the overwhelming buyers remorse is too much to bear?

  6. i personally liked them both. i do prefer the fruit punch over the orange citrus. i’m drinking it right now (fruit punch). ^.^

  7. Well today i had the fruit punch one. I thought it was good i as like so freaking tired in the morning and it helped me stay awake so far. I told my friend if she waned some, She took a sip and wanted the rest. So screw you all who don’t like it okay, Like my grandma always said “if you don’t have something good to say dot say shit.”

  8. I’m completely addicted to the Orange one. I’ve always loved orange soda. I spent nearly a year in Belgium back in 2010 and discovered that the orange Fanta they have is much more fruity tasting – it has the 5% juice advertised for the Kickstart. Fell in love with it but alas, they do not sell it over here (only in Belgium.) So I’ve been hankering for my Belgian Fanta and attempts to curb the craving with Sunkist or American Fanta have been stifled by the aggressive color and sugared fake orange flavor. Orange Kickstart is the closest I’ve found to my beloved Belgian Fanta. My Diet Pepsi has been almost completely eclipsed by my Kickstart fetish. Thankfully they are now selling it in 4-packs and you can sometimes get a great deal at the larger retailers (Target, Walmart, etc.) My hope is that Mountain Dew continues to make it!

  9. I regularly buy both flavors, like them both although I prefer the orange. Love the taste, the fizz, and a pick-me-up that has less calories and sugar, plus nutrients. I see it as a healthy alternative to soda more than an energy drink. And this stuff tastes WAY better than most energy drinks I’ve tried, without the jitters from taurine and the other crud they put in those things.

  10. Drinking a KickStart Limade right now.

    I can admit that, like fruit punch, its not the typical morning flavor, but i have had fruitpunch before and find it too odd flavored for me. The Limeade is not bad. Not too sweet and not too diet tasting. At only 80 calories it proves what I’ve always said. Make a low calorie drink with fewer than 120 calories and I bet it can still taste good.

    However, the Limeade must be different as I see NO vitamin C, No Niacin, No protein, no anything except a bunch of long named chemicals that must be good for something because it aint killed me yet. It is one of the few beverages I have ever seen with salt listed as an ingredient.

    I thought I was going to feel good about drinking this after reading the review, but the limeade has no appreciable health benefits other than the water in the can.

    The caffeine did help my headache though. So its got that going for it.

  11. Am i the only one that when they drink a kickstart i have to take a shit? its like im constipated then i drink it and then my stomach always settles down then i start to have gas and etc.

  12. The trickery runs deep indeed.
    I had no idea what i was getting into when i bought this stuff. I expected a mountain dew energy drink (pleased to see the ingredients free of brominated vegetable oil, unlike other mountain dew products) but it’s more like a diet soda in disguise with added vitamins to make it seem like it’s better for you.
    Not sure about the rest of you guys, but the amount of artificial sweetener was nauseating, and although i checked several times for aspartame in the ingredients, i found none. But my mind kept sensing that awful after taste and stomach discomfort/gas associated with consuming of aspartame.
    Not sure if it’s secretly in there and our corporate friends could legally fail to list it in the ingredients or what, but in my opinion, drinking this is not worth it for the listed sweeteners, yellow 5, and not mentioning the displeasing taste.
    But i write from a health conscious POV.
    I know- why did i even drink this? Why am i here?
    Guess i have a guilty pleasure for sodas sometimes. But uh

    TL;DR:
    Presented like an energy drink
    Tastes like diet soda

    It’s a diet energy drink with ‘meh’ caffeine content folks

  13. Buy Kickstart all the time . One a day maybe 2 as of late have gotten 3 cans that leak. Have noticed this in my cup holder, just bringing this to your attention so you might do a quality inspection on the cans. Check before you buy, Thanks

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