Kickstart–the gateway energy drink

South High shouldn't be enabling teens by providing Kickstart in its vending machines.


Jane Rundahl

Junior Kendall McBryan downs a can of Kickstart during school.

Decisions are things we all have to learn to make, and we must learn what makes a decision positive or negative. But as teens, we can’t always be trusted to make the best decisions in the long run. And this can be seen when we walk past the vending machines every day and spot someone choosing to buy a Kickstart instead of water. 

Almost one-third of teens between 12-17 drink energy drinks regularly and some people say, “well Kickstart isn’t actually an energy drink” and well this may be true. There is 92 mg of caffeine and 19g of sugar in each 16oz can of Kickstart, and many teens can be seen drinking them at least 3-4 times a week. In our vending machines at school we do have healthier more responsible options such as Bubly, Propel and a few more sugar-free options but I have seen more kids then I can count walking around school with our least healthy option.

When asking people why they drink energy drinks, they say it helps them get through the day and keep a healthy level of energy. I also believe that in moderation these drinks could help students to get a little extra energy here and there similar to coffee.  

But I truly do believe that drink such as Kickstart can get kids into more extensive energy drinks, such as C4 or Bang. By putting Kickstart in our vending machines we are condoning the drinking of them. Now I’m not saying if you were to drink them you would nearly explode, but with drinks with such a high caffeine level, it’s important to use moderation as some lasting effects of Kickstart and drinks like it can be: heart palpitations, insomnia, chest pains, and vomiting. 

Teens and their choices aren’t the only issues, however. The real issue is the Parkway School District supplying these drinks to students and making them much more accessible. We can’t stop kids from buying their own unhealthy drinks into school, but we can do our part by not providing students with the means to obtain them. 

Why would our school be providing drinks that they themselves have taught us to avoid? In your everyday health class, you are taught how to make good choices with your eating and are shown how energy drinks and long-lasting negative effects on your overall health. 

In conclusion, I strongly believe putting Kickstart in our vending machines will only cause more harm than help. Putting this drink in our school only opens kids up to more unhealthy eating habits, and we are only contradicting yourself by providing them.