Mountain Dew Breakfast Beverage: How Bad is It?

Soft drink powerhouse PepsiCo has announced the launch of a new breakfast beverage by Mountain Dew.

Kickstart is being touted as an "entirely new beverage," which is sort of not true.

The drink, which blends juice and the favorite soda of hopped-up kids and frat boys everywhere, actually started out as Mountain Dew A.M., an unholy blend of Dew and OJ that was launched at Taco Bell in select markets as part of the chain's breakfast menu.

Kickstart, which launches nationwide February 25 and comes in two

flavors -- Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch -- is that same mix.

According to

PepsiCo, the new soda will incorporate 5 percent juice and "just the

right amount of caffeine." It's calling the concoction the "ultimate

morning pick-me-up."

How does Kickstart fare against other beverages? And just what in hell is the "right amount of caffeine"?

According to Pepsi's consumer help line and beverage information website,

a 16-ounce can of Kickstart will contain 80 calories and 92 milligrams

of caffeine. That's more than twice the caffeine in a can

of Pepsi or Mountain Dew.

But it doesn't come close to Starbucks in caffeine content. According to Starbucks' website,

a 16-ounce Pikes Peak roast has 330 milligrams of caffeine.

Want something cooler? With 175 milligrams of caffeine, a grande iced

caffe mocha still packs a greater punch.

Plus, let's not forget

the millions of people who wake up (or stay awake) with a Red Bull (70 to 80 milligrams of

caffeine in an 8.4-ounce can).

Does Mountain Dew's new Kickstart breakfast drink have an ick factor? Yes. Even though most of us are "guilty as charged" of drinking soda for breakfast from time to time, marketing a carbonated breakfast drink might be taking things a little too far.

But it's well within the Mayo Clinic's recommended daily allowance of 500 milligrams of caffeine for adults. (And, surprisingly, just under the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommended daily limit of 100 milligrams of caffeine for adolescents.)

In reality, it's nothing we haven't seen -- or tasted -- before.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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