March 21, 2013

Mountain Dew Kickstart

Is Mountain Dew Kickstart a better way to wake up than Mike and Mike?
A recent trip to the grocery store left me with no question about what my next food review would be. There I was, backing up slowly while innocently inspecting an aisle display, when Mike and Mike in the Morning assaulted me.

Well, their cardboard cutout assaulted me. And when I say they "assaulted me," I mean they made me jump out of my skin because, for one split second, I thought they were real people who I'd almost tripped over.

Most of the time, when I nearly walk into someone, I'm embarrassed and apologize. It happens more than you'd think in the grocery store -- the plethora of food is so overpowering, I'm usually out of my wits. A couple weeks ago I even took some poor lady's cart from in front of her, mistaking it as my own. She had to block my path before I walked away and buried her own selections with my meals.

When I almost walked into Mike and Mike, I wasn't embarrassed. Just unhappy. I make a point of avoiding their show in the morning, as I find it to have as much depth as their cardboard cutout. So I was far from pleased to find them infringing upon my sacred salivating space. Fortunately for them, their flat selves were hawking Mountain Dew Kickstart, which I've been meaning to try.

Kickstart, for those of you who don't suffer through its back-to-back-to-back commercials while watching college basketball on the Internet, is a blend of Mountain Dew and 5 percent fruit juice. And sucralose noncaloric sweetener. And caffeine.

It comes in tall cans of two types: orange citrus and fruit punch. I chose to sample the orange citrus, as it's the one appearing in commercials. The base flavor, if you will.
Kickstart isn't neon enough! It can't be real Mountain Dew!
A few days later I swapped the Kickstart in for my morning coffee. It has a surprisingly natural color, one that doesn't evoke thoughts of the highlighter hues of Mountain Dew at all. The flavor's pretty decent to go along with it. There's a hint of that artificial sweetener, but for once it didn't bother me too much. Maybe I just wasn't awake enough.

Speaking of waking up, Kickstart cans proudly proclaim at their top that they have caffeine. Which they do. They just don't have enough to jolt you into alertness. A 16-ounce can of Kickstart contains 92 mg of caffeine. For comparison, 16 ounces of Starbucks Pike Place Roast has about 330 mg.

A mere 92 mg is apparently no longer enough to kick me awake in the morning. I think I'd rather have coffee. Or, if I'm avoiding java for the day, I'd rather have real, honest-to-goodness, 100 percent fruit juice.

Two cardboard sporks out of five. Maybe I'm just not cut out for Mountain Dew in the morning.

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