Looking longingly at that 2nd can of Monster energy drink but not really sure whether or not you should drink it because it might be bad for you?
Noticing that your stock of Monster energy drinks has been dwindling but now you’re getting worried about whether or not this will affect your health in the long term?
I’ve got you covered – in this article I take a look at the ingredients in Monster, whether they’re good for you, and what side effects there might be.
How does Monster give you energy?
Monster gives you energy through the huge amount of caffeine, sugar, and their special blend, the “Monster Energy Blend”.
Compared to many other energy drinks, Monster has quite a high amount of caffeine and sugar.
The caffeine gives you a boost because it tricks both your body (both physically and mentally) into thinking that it’s awake and ready to go, while sugar gives you an extra store of energy to draw from.
The special ‘Monster Blend’ contains ingredients such as taurine and panax ginseng extract, which can keep you alert and your mind focused – but as the amounts aren’t clearly stated, it’s questionable as to whether they’re present in large enough amounts to truly be effective.
Ingredients in Monster energy drink
Each 16 fl.oz can of Monster contains the following:
- 190 calories
- 179mg of caffeine (making it a fairly strong energy drink)
- 54g carbohydrates
- 54g sugars
- 370mg sodium
- Vitamin B2 (230% of the recommended daily intake)
- B3 Vitamins (230% of the recommended daily intake)
- Vitamin B6 (230% of the recommended daily intake)
- B12 vitamins (230% of the recommended daily intake)
It also contains trace amounts of:
- Carbonated water
- Citric acid
- ‘Natural Flavors’
- Sodium Citrate
- Color added
- Sorbic Acid (preservative)
- Benzoic Acid (preservative)
- Pyridoxine hydrochloride
The special ‘Monster energy blend’ includes these ingredients as well:
- Panax Ginseng Extract
- Guarana extract
Is Monster energy drink bad for you?
Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as if Monster energy drinks are good or bad for you- there’s actually quite a lot to consider with regard to them as well. There are both beneficial ingredients and also some which can cause side effects.
The Good Ingredients
Panax Ginseng Root
Most people have heard of the ginseng root, a traditional Chinese herb, and a staple in some energy drinks. Panax ginseng root grows mostly in the eastern hemisphere of the world, mainly in Korea and China.
Ginseng root comes with a myriad of benefits, such as being a good source of antioxidants, helping heal damaged cells, and in recovery, and it can be used in the prevention of cancer as well, and in boosting the immune system.
Guarana Seed Extract
Guarana seed extract is derived from the guarana plant, which is named after the Guarani tribe in the Amazon.
Guarana contains caffeine, which in turn, stimulates the central nervous system and gives you an energy boost.
Besides caffeine, guarana also contains the chemicals theophylline and theobromine, which have a similar effect on the body as caffeine does.
Guarana has no known side effects besides those that usually come with an overconsumption of caffeine – as already mentioned above.
Taurine is an amino acid that is found in the body and commonly used as a dietary supplement.
Studies suggest that the combination of taurine with caffeine can be effective for the brain, but these studies are only preliminary.
The Not-So-Good Ingredients
Monster energy drink contains 179mg of caffeine.
I don’t think caffeine is bad, in fact, I think it’s actually very good for you if consumed in moderation. But, in my opinion, 179mg in a single serve is getting a bit much, which is why I’ve included caffeine in the “not-so-good” list.
179mg is almost half of the maximum recommended daily limit of caffeine consumption – 400mg, so it is not advised that you drink more than one of these per day, and you need to be aware of what other drinks containing caffeine that you’re consuming, or else you run the risk of a caffeine overdose.
Some possible side-effects of too many energy drinks may include:
- Anxiety/panic attacks
As usual, pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding should not consume this drink, and neither should children under the age of 18, or people who are very sensitive to caffeine.
A single 16 fl.oz can of Monster energy drink contains 54g of sugars, which is actually a pretty dangerous amount, especially if you drink a can a day.
As a general rule, adult women should only consume 25g of sugar and adult men only 38g of sugar per day. This amount includes both naturally occurring sugar in foods, as well as added sugars in things such as energy drinks. That guidance comes from the American Heart Association.
Monster far exceeds any person’s daily recommended intake of sugar, and should be consumed with care.
Artificial sugars in Monster have to be acknowledged as well, as Monster also contains sucralose.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is supposed to replace natural sugars in food and drinks.
Although sucralose is considered safe to be eaten and included in food by government authorities, there have been concerns about the side effects that occur after consuming this sweetener.
Sucralose is a simple sugar made from sugar in a chemical process where 3 hydrogen-oxygen groups are replaced with chlorine atoms.
Doesn’t sound all that tasty when put this way, right?
Sucralose has been found to reduce good gut bacteria (the ones that help improve your digestion – this study found that up to 12 weeks after the experiment, the gut bacteria had still not returned). It can also help you lose weight to some extent, if you replace sugar in your diet with sucralose.
As with many modern chemicals, there often isn’t enough data for scientists and researchers to clearly state that these are side effects that are associated with the chemicals – only data collected over time will tell what effects the chemicals really have on the human body.
I advise consuming these added sugars in moderation, and make sure that your diet is supplemented with healthy, organic food.
Are sugar-free Monster energy drinks bad for you?
No, they aren’t bad for you.
There are some concerns about the presence of artificial sugars within them, but they aren’t going to be horrible for your health.
Just remember to consume them in moderation and consult your doctor if you are unsure of anything. People with diabetes may definitely want to be wary of the artificial sugar, so be extra careful!
Can kids drink Monster?
Drinking it can cause adolescents and children to have adverse neurological developments, and it is not great for their hearts either, because of the high amount of caffeine, which can cause them to have seizures or develop heart conditions.
Their dental health may also suffer, as Monster contains a lot of sugar that is not good for their teeth.
I address the issue of teenagers and energy drinks in this article which I recommend you check out.
Can Monster give you cancer?
No, there is no proof that Monster causes cancer.
However, the high amount of sugar in Monster can feed cancer cells, which is an undesirable outcome anyway.
Is Monster bad for your teeth?
Monster contains 52g of sugars in addition to artificial sugars, so this isn’t a great sign.
An excess of sugar can cause the plaque bacteria to produce acids that attack tooth enamel, which then can cause unwanted side effects like decay and cavities.
Best to stick to their sugar-free options or limit your consumption of the sugary energy drinks to avoid any issues.
How many Monsters can you drink in a day?
Given that a single can of Monster already has 179mg of caffeine and 52g of sugar, this already far exceeds the daily recommended limit of sugar a person should have in a day and if you drink two cans you will be approaching the daily caffeine limit too.
That means you should only drink a single can of Monster in a day.
However, if you do happen to drink more than one a day, that isn’t going to be very harmful either – just make sure you replace the lost sleep, and supplement your drinking with a lot of water and other nutrients.
Can you die from drinking too much Monster?
Honestly- not exactly.
This is not to say that you should take this as a cue to go ahead and replace your usual drinking water with Monster, but drinking it over a long period of time should not be harmful to you.
“Too much” is a word that differs from person to person, so you need to take into consideration your own health. For example, if you’re at risk of getting diabetes or incredibly sensitive to caffeine, this drink is probably not for you.
However, just keep in mind the usual warnings – don’t drink it if you are pregnant, and absolutely not if you’re a child.
Is it bad to drink a can of Monster a day?
Nope, it’s not bad to drink a can of Monster a day.
If you’re thinking of drinking it over a long period of time, I would advise you to go for sugar-free versions instead, rather than the regular Monster, which is packed full of sugar.
But even if you do drink the sugar-free version, do monitor your condition, because negative health effects may occur in the future. If you’re not really sure about whether the drink is suitable for you, check with your doctor.
Just keep in mind if it was really bad to have a single can of Monster a day, the government would have placed restrictions on bulk buying and would not really allow the product to be sold in the first place.
Best place to buy Monster energy drink online
You really can’t go past Amazon. You’ll occasionally find some good deals, but even the cheapest deals you’ll find are still more expensive than my favorite energy drink – REIZE.
Alternatives to Monster energy drink
There are lots of great energy drinks on the market. If you’re looking for some ready-to-drink energy drinks that are similar to Monster, take a look at:
• Red Bull
• Rip It
Powdered energy drinks are also an option, and they tend to be more convenient and also more affordable than a lot of the market’s top energy drinks, but with the same great flavor and efficacy:
• REIZE (my personal favorite)
You could also take a look at Vivarin caffeine pills if you are looking for something that’s quick and easy to take. At 200mg of caffeine, it’s around the same amount of caffeine that regular Monster Energy has, but without the great, energizing taste.
Of course, there are also loads of other caffeinated products out there that you could turn to for your energy needs. Something like Make It Mio immediately comes to mind, which is supposed to flavor your water and give you an energy boost at the same time, for those who are a bit more health-conscious.
With 50mg, REIZE contains a lot less caffeine than Monster Energy, but it does contain plenty of other great energy-boosting ingredients that are healthy for you, such as 1000mg of taurine, 50mg of ginseng and plenty of B group vitamins.
REIZE is a lot more convenient and versatile, since you can add all types of liquids to it – soda, hot water, cold water, flavored juice, it’s up to you.
REIZE ships right to your door for around $1 per drink, more affordable than most of the energy drinks on the market – including Monster Energy.
Give REIZE a try today and you might just find that you prefer it to Monster.