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Is Mountain Dew Kickstart Gluten-Free? (Truth)

Mountain Dew Kickstart is a delicious energy drink that still maintains the great classic taste of the original soda. With ample amounts of caffeine (90mg), this drink can be your next go-to drink just in case you need a little more energy.


Does it work for a gluten-free diet, you ask?

The short answer: Yes, it does. Mountain Dew Kickstart contains gluten-free ingredients, and the production of the drink itself doesn’t seem to come from facilities that use wheat, barley or rye products.


But of course, the answer isn’t limited to just a short paragraph, so let’s dive into the article below to get a more detailed analysis on the subject.

What Is A Gluten-Free Diet?

Basically, a gluten-free diet means that you don’t consume any food that includes wheat, barley, or rye.

Many people opt for a gluten-free diet because they’re either sensitive to gluten-based foods or they happen to be experiencing celiac disease.

In my opinion, unless you have a medical condition that prohibits you from consuming any gluten products, it’s totally fine to have gluten in your system once in a while.

It’s also worth noting that your body may run on fewer nutrients if you avoid gluten entirely. While you can still improve your nutrient deficiencies by eating other foods, it’s still the best idea to not deprive yourself of gluten. But of course, it all boils down to your preferences as not all bodies are the same.

For more explanation on the gluten-free diet, check out the video below:

Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s dive further down below to find out just how gluten-friendly Mountain Dew Kickstart is.

Mountain Dew Kickstart Nutritional Facts

Before we get into finding out whether or not Mountain Dew Kickstart is gluten-free, let’s have a quick look at its nutritional values:

Typical Value
(Standard Serving
Mountain Dew Kickstart
(16 fl.oz)
Energy80 calories
Protein0g
Carbohydrates
(Of which Sugars)
20g
(21g)
Sodium170mg
Caffeine90mg
Nutrition Facts in Mountain Dew Kickstart

Nutrition Facts of Kickstart
Nutrition Facts of Mountain Dew Kickstart

Mountain Dew Kickstart Caffeine Content

A 16 fl.oz can of Mountain Dew kickstart contains an average amount of 90mg of caffeine, which makes it suitable even for those who aren’t avid caffeine drinkers.

Caffeine is an amazing ingredient that can help you stay awake and alert. It’s no surprise that it’s the key ingredient in all energy drinks.

That said, if your usual Starbucks order is a tall drink that contains about 175mg to 260mg of caffeine, or if you have a high caffeine tolerance, the Mountain Dew Kickstart may not be as effective for you. You may find yourself reaching out for more than one can of this drink within a day.

However, too much caffeine can bring about the following health risks such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Jitters
  • Acid Reflux
  • Inability to focus
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability 

I think the 90mg of caffeine in Mountain Dew Kickstart is a healthy amount that’s enough to power you throughout the day. Plus, I don’t recommend going for a second can due to its high sugar content that will be detrimental to your health in the long run.

Mountain Dew Kickstart Sugar Content

While Mountain Dew Kickstart has relatively healthy caffeine content, you should be cautious of its sugar content, as 20g of sugar in a single serving is a lot.

For your reference, here’s what the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends as the daily sugar limit for healthy adults:

Men36g of sugar/ 150 calories
Women25g of sugar / 100 calories
The daily sugar limit recommended by the AHA

As you can see, you’ll be taking up more than half of your daily sugar limit just with one can of Mountain Dew Kickstart. Hence, I wouldn’t drink more than one can of this drink as overconsumption of sugar can lead to health issues such as:

  • Acne
  • Damaged teeth
  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems

In addition, too much sugar causes our blood glucose to decrease, which will, in turn, make us feel more tired eventually. I think this defeats the purpose of drinking an energy drink in the first place.

While sugar is indeed is a wonderful ingredient that adds a lot of sweetness and flavor, it should always be consumed in moderation for the sake of your health.

Mountain Dew Kickstart Ingredients

Next, here’s the complete list of ingredients in a 16 fl.oz can of Mountain Dew Kickstart:

  • Carbonated water
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • White grape juice concentrate
  • Citric acid
  • Sodium polyphosphates (Preservative)
  • Natural flavor
  • Potassium sorbate (Preservative)
  • Caffeine (90mg)
  • Potassium citrate
  • Potassium chloride
  • Gum Arabic
  • Acesulfame potassium (Artificial Sweetener)
  • Sucralose (Artificial Sweetener)
  • Red 40 (Coloring)
  • Calcium disodium EDTA
  • Sucrose acetate isobutyrate
  • Salt
  • Blue 1 (Coloring)

Mountain Dew Kickstart Energy Drink Ingredients
Ingredients of Mountain Dew Kickstart

Are The Caffeine And Sugar In Mountain Dew Kickstart Gluten-Free?

Both caffeine and regular sugar isn’t derived from any gluten-based sources.

Caffeine can be produced naturally from plant sources or synthetically made in a lab. Whereas regular sugar mostly comes from sugar beets or sugar cane. Thus, it’s safe to say that the caffeine and sugar content in Mountain Dew Kickstart is gluten-free. 

Are The Artificial Sweeteners In Mountain Dew Kickstart Gluten-Free?

Mountain Dew Kickstart also contains sweeteners, namely, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, and High Fructose Corn Syrup, and they are all derived from non-gluten sources. 

Both Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium are made from synthetic sources, which makes them gluten-free substance. They also contain zero calories but are a hundred times sweeter than regular sugar. 

As for High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), it’s actually made out of corn starch which doesn’t include any gluten components. This explains why it’s popularly used in various gluten-free foods to add more sweetness and flavor.


While it’s evident that you can have these sweeteners while on a gluten-free diet, researchers have found health risks relating to their consumption.

If you’re already experiencing digesting symptoms, consuming Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium may actually worsen it. So, this is definitely something to look out for, especially if you have a gluten intolerance. 

To add on, HFCS is a fructose-glucose blend which makes it harder for the body to process it down.

All in all, as long as you don’t go overboard on Mountain Dew Kickstart, I think the sweeteners in this drink won’t affect you much. But of course, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor first, or you can opt for other beverages to avoid gastrointestinal issues.

Are The Colorings In Mountain Dew Kickstart Gluten-Free?

The colourings that are present in a 16 fl.oz can of Mountain Dew Kickstart are gluten-free. 

Mountain Dew Kickstart contains the food colourings Blue 1 and Red 40, made from chemicals and dyes. Hence they are safe for your gluten-free diet, as confirmed by the National Celiac Association (NCA). 

A picture of a hand pouring coloring into a measuring container
Only safe and tested colours used here!

Is Mountain Dew Kickstart Keto-Friendly?

Based on the qualifications of a keto-friendly diet which involves consuming fewer carbs, more protein and fat, Mountain Dew Kickstart isn’t keto-friendly due to its high sugar content. 

Instead of relying on sugar for energy, this type of diet depends on 90% fat for your body’s fuel.

That said, processed food like fast food and sugary drinks like sodas are usually the type of food to cut back on if you’re on a keto diet. Instead, you would opt for seafood, fruits, and vegetables because they contain fewer carbohydrates.

In conclusion, the 20g of sugar in Mountain Dew Kickstart will affect your keto diet. So, I highly recommend going for low-carb and zero-calorie energy drinks instead.

Is Mountain Dew Kickstart Vegan-Friendly?

The ingredients listed in Mountain Dew Kickstart are definitely vegan-friendly. However, the colorings included in the drink could be a controversial topic, and it would eventually depend on your philosophy about going vegan.

By definition, vegan products are those manufactured without the use of animal products.

Depending on how conscious you are, Mountain Dew Kickstart might not be for you due to the concerns raised about food coloring. Many ethical vegans are against the use of Blue 1 food coloring due to its animal testing background.

As I said, if you’re more of a health-conscious vegan, it shouldn’t be a problem for you. Otherwise, you can opt for other energy drinks that are both vegan and cruelty-free.

What Are The Health Risks Of Drinking Mountain Dew Kickstart?

In my opinion, Mountain Dew Kickstart becomes bad for your health only if you excessively consume it regularly, and this is mainly due to its insanely high sugar content.

Caffeine is great. Who doesn’t love how it magically puts us in a better mood and helps keep us productive? However, going over the recommended daily intake could make us feel side effects like dehydration and even trigger our anxiety.

I prefer only taking energy drinks that contain around 50mg to 100mg worth of caffeine because I try to avoid feeling dependent on it.

It’s also important to note that having an excessive amount of caffeine every day can lead to caffeine dependence. Then it would eventually lead to withdrawals, and once this happens, you’ll find it hard to function productively without caffeine. 

Thankfully, Mountain Dew Kickstart only contains 90mg of caffeine per serving. I think that’s a healthy amount to have in an energy drink. 

While it’ll take you about five cans to overconsume caffeine, it’s still best to limit yourself to only one can per day. 

The reason being is because its 20g of sugar already exceeds the recommended daily sugar limit, so having multiple cans of this drink at once is just asking for trouble.

Moreover, with that amount of sugar in a single serving, you’ll most likely experience hypoglycemia, or better known as a sugar crash. It’s what happens when you consume too much sugar, and your blood glucose levels decrease drastically.

Thus, the safest and healthiest way to consume Mountain Dew Kickstart is to have one can in a day and not more than three cans per week. Also, if I were you, I would only have it during desperate times and not include the drink in my everyday diet.

Other Gluten-Free Energy Drinks

If you’re not keen on Mountain Dew Kickstart, you can check out my other articles that cover other energy drink brands and if they’re gluten-friendly or not.

So, Is Mountain Dew Kickstart Gluten-Free?

Gluten food
Is it gluten-free?

Based on my thorough analysis above, it’s clear that the Mountain Dew Kickstart is safe from any significant traces of gluten, and it also doesn’t seem to be cross-contaminated by gluten-based products. 

So, rest assured as this energy drink can be considered gluten-free.

Although, you may need to be cautious of its high sugar content and how it will affect your overall diet. I would also suggest you ask for your doctor’s opinion before adding this energy drink into your gluten-free diet, especially if you’re celiac.

Overall, if you’re on a gluten-free diet based on your personal preferences, you don’t have to worry about consuming Mountain Dew Kickstart.

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About Adrian Carter

Adrian writes about energy drinks and their ingredients to shine a light on the facts behind the brand names.

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