Is Mountain Dew Kickstart Gluten-Free? (Construed)

Short Answer: Mountain Dew Kickstart is gluten-free as it doesn’t contain any wheat or cereal grain-based ingredients.

Mountain Dew Kickstart was introduced by PepsiCo in 2014 and is marketed as a caffeinated beverage. It is loved by many as it gives you a burst of energy while maintaining the classic citrusy and tangy taste of the original Mountain Dew Soda.

However, one thing that might be stopping you from getting a can for yourself is that whether it’s suitable for your gluten-free diet or not.

Well, you can relax because in this article we’ll be having an in-depth analysis about it.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about Mountain Dew Kickstart’s gluten-free status.

Is Mountain Dew Kickstart Gluten Free?
Would it be a good idea to include Mountain Dew Kickstart in your gluten-free diet? Find out!

Before we get into the specifics, let’s review what gluten is and why certain people are intolerant to it.

What is Gluten?

Gluten in Mountain Dew Kickstart
What is Gluten & how it affects your health?

Gluten is an insoluble protein present in cereal grains such as maize, rye, and barley.

Gluten works like a binder that holds the food together and gives it a chewy and stretchy texture. It’s also used in processed foods as a thickening agent.

In recent years, there have been several debates on gluten intolerance. Most reports say that gluten is healthy for anyone except the ones suffering from celiac disease.

Some health researchers, on the other hand, believe that gluten can be toxic to the majority of people.

If you have gluten intolerance, you can experience a variety of side effects, including:

  • bloating
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • headaches
  • tiredness
  • skin problems

Aside from these, gluten can trigger a slew of health problems, which we’ll now discuss in detail.

Gluten-Related Health Issues

Gluten may or may not be harmful to your health. It totally depends on how your body responds to gluten-containing products and ingredients.

Celiac disease, wheat deficiency, non-celiac gluten reaction, and wheat intolerance are all gluten-related conditions.

Continue reading to get a deeper and clearer idea!

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is the most serious type of gluten sensitivity where people cannot consume gluten or anything gluten-based.

When people with celiac disease eat gluten-based foods, they have a high risk of developing a weakened or damaged small intestine.

Below are some of the symptoms of celiac disease:

  • depression
  • exhaustion
  • skin rashes
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • digestive discomfort

Wheat Allergy

Wheat Allergy
What is Wheat Allergy?

When people with wheat allergy consume or come in contact with wheat or any wheat-based substance, they experience skin and respiratory problems.

Even though other cereal grains like rye or barley have no harmful effects on people with wheat allergies, they’re still advised to adopt a gluten-free diet as wheat is by far the most prevalent gluten-based food.

Wheat allergy can cause the following symptoms to occur:

  • eczema
  • rash
  • breathing problems
  • weight loss

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is a condition where people face trouble digesting gluten and have symptoms that are similar to celiac disease.

Non-Celiac people can’t consume gluten despite testing negative for celiac disease, which is why they too must live a gluten-free lifestyle.

The following are the most common symptoms of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity:

  • bloating
  • exhaustion
  • diarrhea

Wheat Intolerance

Wheat intolerance or wheat sensitivity is a disorder in which the small intestine lining is damaged due to eating wheat-based products, impairing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, resulting in malnutrition.

The symptoms of wheat intolerance are as follows:

  • skin rash
  • nausea
  • bloating
  • headaches
  • asthma
  • anaphylaxis

What is a Gluten-Free Diet?

What Is A Gluten-Free Diet?
What is a Gluten-free diet & how it benefits your health?

A gluten-free diet entails avoiding foods that contain wheat, barley, or rye in any form.

Many people follow a gluten-free diet either because they are allergic to gluten or they suffer from celiac disease.

As long as you don’t have a medical condition that prohibits you from eating gluten, I think it’s perfectly normal to have gluten in your diet.

It’s also worth noting that avoiding gluten altogether can leave you with fewer options and can cause a lack of nutrients in your body.

But as consuming other nutritious foods will help you make up for nutrient shortages, avoiding gluten is often the better decision.

However, it all comes down to personal taste and preferences that whether you want to go gluten-free or not.

Now that we’ve discussed everything about gluten & gluten-free diet, let’s see what makes Mountain Dew Kickstart gluten-free.

Are the Ingredients in Mountain Dew Kickstart Gluten-Free?

Let’s take a closer look at the Mountain Dew Kickstart ingredients and see if there are any gluten-based elements in there.

The following ingredients are present in a 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)

So, based on the ingredients list, it is clear that Mountain Dew Kickstart contains no wheat, rye, barley, or other wheat/gluten-based food.

If you’re still not sure, let’s take a look at the nutritional values of Kickstart, along with their respective amounts.

Daily Values
(Standard Serving)
Mountain Dew Kickstart
(16 fl. oz.)
Energy80 calories
Protein0 g
(Of which Sugars)
20 g
(21 g)
Sodium170 mg
Caffeine90 mg
Nutrition Facts of Mountain Dew Kickstart (16 fl. oz.)

I’ve briefly discussed the key ingredients of Kickstart below for a clearer conception, so you know they’re all gluten-free and very convenient for your gluten-free diet.

Caffeine & Sugar In Mountain Dew Kickstart

Caffeine and sugar, both are gluten-free products.

Caffeine is extracted directly from plants or synthesized in a laboratory and standard sugar is made mostly from sugar beets or sugar cane, which means they’re absolutely gluten-free.

Are the Artificial Sweeteners in Mountain Dew Kickstart Gluten-Free?

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

Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, and High Fructose Corn Syrup are all non-gluten sweeteners used in Mountain Dew Kickstart.

Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium, are gluten-free as they are made from synthetic sources. They’re calorie-free and a hundred times sweeter than regular sugar.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), is manufactured from corn starch that contains no gluten. This is why it is commonly used to flavor gluten-free foods.

Although there’s no problem in consuming these sweeteners on a gluten-free diet, researchers have reported health problems associated with their use.

If you already have digestive issues, sucralose and acesulfame potassium can make them worse. So be careful about that.

Overall, I don’t think the sweeteners in Mountain Dew Kickstart will have much of an effect on you as long as you don’t drink too much of it.

However, you can consult your doctor to ensure if Mountain Dew Kickstart is fully healthy for you.

Does Mountain Dew Kickstart Contain Gluten-Free Coloring?

The coloring used in Mountain Dew Kickstart are absolutely gluten-free.

According to the National Celiac Association (NCA), the food colorings Blue 1 and Red 40 in Mountain Dew Kickstart are made from additives and dyes, which makes them totally suitable for your gluten-free diet.

Should You Go Gluten-Free?

Should You Go Gluten-Free?
Is it necessary for you to go Gluten-Free?

If you don’t seem to have celiac disease or any other kind of gluten intolerance, I don’t think going gluten-free is essential.

Gluten, in my view, shouldn’t be fully eliminated from people’s diets because it contains vital nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and zinc.

If you want to go gluten-free, I recommend starting with a low-gluten diet. Don’t completely exclude gluten from your diet because it can induce food deficiency and even constipation because gluten-based foods are a high source of fiber.

Overall, a gluten-free diet has both advantages and disadvantages but the decision is entirely yours. You can go gluten-free if you believe it would improve your health.

Mountain Dew Kickstart Flavors

Mountain Dew Kickstarts are mostly made of real fruit juice, which gives them a pulpy, carbonated taste. Take a look at the flavor options for this energy drink:

  • Original
  • Orange Citrus
  • Orange Cherry
  • Midnight Grape
  • Fruit Punch
  • Mango Lime
  • Pineapple Orange Mango
  • Blueberry Pomegranate
  • Raspberry Citrus

Check out this video to learn everything about the flavors of Mountain Dew Kickstart.

Find out about every Mountain Dew Kickstart flavors from this video

Other Gluten-Free Energy Drinks

If you’re curious if there are other gluten-free energy drinks around, the answer is YES! I’ve compiled a list of my favorites:

The Bottom Line

Mountain Dew Kickstart is absolutely gluten-free as it has no substantial traces of gluten, and it also doesn’t appear to be cross-contaminated with gluten-containing products.

However, I’d also recommend consulting your doctor before incorporating this energy drink into your gluten-free diet, particularly if you have celiac disease.

Overall, I believe Mountain Dew Kickstart is an excellent energy drink for both gluten-free and non-gluten-free individuals.

So relax and keep enjoying your favorite Kickstart!


The only thing I like more than a delicious energy drink is uncovering the TRUTH about energy drinks. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I like to share the facts that I uncover and I hope you find my words interesting and useful.

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