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[Review] Mountain Dew Assaults Breakfast With Kickstart, Its Formaldehyde-Esque AM Energy Potion

mountain dew kickstart nutrition facts

NO. NO. NO. NO. Breakfast has always been the one time of day that felt veiled from the suffocating, blubber-inducing wrath of soda. Even when I was overweight and chugged a few 2-liters each day, I always had an unspoken understanding with myself that soda was off-limits before noon. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone chug a Diet Coke with their omelette, bacon, or cereal, so I suspect most people feel the same way.

Mountain Dew apparently disagrees (which for the sake of carving out a new market, makes a lot of sense). As of February 25th, they’ve officially launched a full-scale assault on the AM hours with Kickstart — PepsiCo’s new energizing breakfast concoction — which shoves sugar, B vitamins, a cornucopia of multisyllabic chemicals, and 92 mg of caffeine into one 16 oz. tallboy.

While nutritional info is noticeably absent from their official website, I was able to dig up some of the “juicy” details (that’s giving it too much credit, there’s only 5% juice in it). What a shocker from PepsiCo HQ – it’s essentially orange and red formaldehyde in a can.1


Nutrition Facts (per 16 oz. can):

  • 80 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 20 g carbs
  • 19 g sugars
  • 0 g protein
  • 170 mg sodium
  • 92 mg caffeine (that’s ~20 mg more than in a comparable amount of Mountain Dew)
  • B vitamins



Orange Citrus: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, white grape juice concentrate, concentrated orange juice, citric acid, sodium hexametaphosphate, natural flavor, gum arabic, potassium sorbate, asorbic acid, caffeine, sodium citrate, acesulfame potassium, sucrose acetate isobutyrate, sucralose, glycerol ester of rosin, sodium benzoate, niacinamide, calcium disorium edta, calcium pantothenate, yellow 5, yellow 6, pyridoxine hydrochloride

Fruit Punch: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, white grape juice concentrate, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, sodium hexametaphosphate, potassium sorbate, asorbic acid, gum arabic, caffeine, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, red 40, niacinamide, glycerol ester of rosin, yellow 5, calcium disorium edta, calcium pantothenate, sucrose acetate isobutyrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride.2


My (Un) Candid Opinion

PLEASE don’t drink this. Don’t entertain it as an option, and don’t be fooled into thinking Mountain Dew is doing something revolutionary here – it’s clever, high-powered marketing and an attempt to construct a new beverage category. At heart Mountain Dew is Mountain Dew, and energy drinks are energy drinks. That’s what this is. Don’t slip up.

Between artificial colors, glycerol ester of rosin (it’s apparently made from the stumps of longleaf pine trees, whatever those are, and has small traces of wood), artificial sweeteners, HFCS, and about 5 other things you couldn’t pronounce sober, it’s the epitome of an effervescent, chromatic chemical shitstorm.3

Kickstart is basically mountain dew infused with caffeine and B vitamins, cut with 5% juice.

Kickstart is basically Mountain Dew infused with caffeine and B vitamins, cut with 5% juice. IT’S STILL MOUNTAIN DEW, ergo it’s soda.

Your Play: Be a normal person and keep drinking, I don’t know, normal breakfast things.

  • If you need caffeine first-thing – drink coffee or tea. Have 4 cups for all I care; it’s actually good for your heart, boosts metabolism, and promotes fat oxidation.45
  • If you’re on a sugar binge – drink natural OJ. Better yet, eat a whole orange; it has more fiber, which’ll keep you fuller longer.
  • If you need B vitamins – have a bowl of cereal/oatmeal with milk, yogurt, eggs, natural bacon & lean breakfast meats, bananas, spinach, etc.

Like everything else in the diet and nutrition world, you’re empowered to make smart choices.

This just isn’t one of them.

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Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  1. – Will New Mountain Dew Breakfast Drink Kickstart Your Mornings? []
  2. Gizmodo – Mountain Dew KickStart: You’re Supposed to Drink This for Breakfast []
  3. Glycerol Ester of Rosin []
  4. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jéquier E. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97. []
  5. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. Abdul G Dulloo, Claudette Duret, Dorothée Rohrer, Lucien Girardier, Nouri Mensi, Marc Fathi, Philippe Chantre, Jacques Vandermander. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5. []
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