Kickstart MC²


Brianna Lewis, News Writer

At the start of the school year, H-F offered new Mountain Dew Kickstarts in the cafeterias.

While Kickstart is meant to give a boost of energy, it’s not considered to be an energy drink.

“Kickstart is not an energy drink,” H-F director of dining Fred Vaughn said. “It meets the USDA smart snack standards for high school students.”

According to a data table from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the USDA regulation states that beverages less than or equaling 60 calories are allowed in 12 oz servings.

Caffeinated beverages are allowed in high schools.

The 12 oz Kickstart cans contain 69 mg of caffeine, along with 14 mg of sugar, and 60 calories, meeting the set rules.

While the drink meets the standards, during required health classes, students cover a unit concerning the dangers and consequences that come with consuming energy drinks.

Health teacher Keith Dombkowski said that although energy drinks have their benefits, the ends don’t justify the means.

“Energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine, as well as some vitamins,” he said said. “Caffeine can dehydrate you, especially in the heat.”

Caffeine has also been known to aid in the disruption of teen’s sleeping patterns if consumed too quickly.

Some people have died from consuming energy drinks, especially when combined with alcohol.

Students, such as sophomore Angelina Lopez, have been drinking them for a long time, but she said that H-F is practicing what they preach.

“I don’t think they’re going back on what they taught us, because of the simple fact that Kickstarts don’t have as much caffeine and sugar,” Lopez said. “They’re selling Kickstart, but if they were to start to sell something like Monster, then I’d feel like they were going back on their word.”

Flavors such as Energizing Watermelon and Energizing Blood Orange are amongst the offered beverages.

The kickstarts were not directly selected by the school’s dining department, but came with the PepsiCo student vending machines that were put in during the latter part of the 2015-2016 school year.  

“The vending machines were installed to provide students with beverage options after school,” Vaughn said.

Gatorade and Propel drinks are amongst the things offered in the PepsiCo Hello Goodness vending machines.

The Hello Goodness vending machines are used to fulfill the desire for a seemingly healthier lifestyle by providing healthier choices on-the-go.

“I haven’t looked at the label yet,” Dombkowski said. “I feel like they’re [Kickstarts] are geared toward being healthier.”