10:36 am: So far this fruit punch flavor tastes just like fruit punch…or a red popsicle. And it doesn’t have a bad aftertaste. I started drinking it lukewarm, but like any sparkling juice drink, I thought it would be much more refreshing if it was cold, so I got ice.
12:17 pm: I nursed my pint of Kickstart all morning and started to feel completely alert and energized after about 40 minutes. That’s probably because it has 92 milligrams of caffeine, 20 more milligrams than a comparable amount of regular Mountain Dew. And while the drink is fluorescent red, it didn’t dye my teeth or mouth red, so I don’t have to worry about embarrassing myself at work — or more so than usual.
Did I mention how red this drink is? It’s this red:
2:06 pm: I just speed-walked around the Time-Life building for 20 minutes because I had so much extra energy.
4:05 pm: I’ve only been blinking every 30 seconds.
Lasting impression: While Kickstart kept me awake the entire day, it’s not going to replace my cup of joe any time soon. Kickstart may only have 80 calories, but it still contains artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup. The added Vitamin C and meager 5% juice is not enough to make me choose it over orange juice or vegetable juice. And my coffee routine may actually be good for me! Studies have shown that moderate coffee consumption has been linked to a lower risk of heart failure and some cancers; it may even help you live longer. But if you don’t like coffee, this fruity Mountain Dew may be the morning “pick-me-up” you’ve been waiting for.