There’s not a brand that’s more synonymous with energy drinks than Monster Energy. With its distinct green-claw logo running down the side of a black can, it’s definitely a very recognizable energy drink.
But does its fame and popularity translate into a good energy drink? And just how does Monster Energy compare to the other energy drink brands on the market?
For the brief review, I find Monster Energy to be the quintessential sugary energy drink; great in a pinch to give you a good boost and sugar rush, but not great for daily consumption due to all the sugar.
For a longer, more detailed response, read on to find out more about Monster Energy, from its caffeine and ingredients to its taste and flavors, and determine how good Monster Energy Drink is.
Monster Energy Nutrition Facts
Here’s a quick comparison of the nutritional value of Monster Energy Drinks with some other popular energy drink brands out there:
|Energy||210 calories||110 calories||10 calories||122 calories|
(Of which Sugars)
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||3.5mg||–||–||–|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||51.5mg||22mg||–||16mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||–||5.05mg||10mg||–|
How Many Calories Are In Monster Energy?
A regular 16 fl.oz can of Monster Energy will net you 210 calories on average, which is definitely quite a bit.
If you’re looking for a low-calorie energy drink to complement your diet, Monster Energy Drink might not be the best option due to its large amount of calories.
Given that the average adult usually needs around 2000 to 2500 calories per day (based on metabolism and lifestyle choices), a can of Monster is more than 1/10th of your daily required caloric intake.
Consuming a can of Monster too soon to mealtime might have an adverse effect on your appetite and, as a result, contribute additional calories to your daily intake. But if you’re in a pinch and need a rapid calorie boost to keep going, a can of Monster can do the trick.
That being said, while Monster works great as a pick-me-up, it’s definitely not as good as a full meal, mostly due to both the caloric and nutritional difference. So never use Monster as a substitute for a meal.
If all those calories don’t seem all that appealing, Monster does have the sugar-free Monster Ultra series for you, with a variety of flavors that come along with it.
And for other recommendations on energy drinks with a lower amount of calories, check out the article I’ve written on the best zero-calorie energy drinks for some great alternatives.
Monster Energy Ingredients
Moving on to the contents of Monster, here’s a look at Monster’s ingredients in an easy-to-read list:
- Carbonated Water
- Citric Acid
- Natural Flavours
- Sodium Citrate
- Color Added
- Panax Ginseng Extract
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate
- Sorbic Acid
- Benzoic Acid
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
- Guarana Extract
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
- Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Monster Energy Caffeine Content
A standard 16 fl.oz can of Monster Energy has 160mg of caffeine, which is a fairly common amount of caffeine for an energy drink its size.
Caffeine is essentially the most important part of an energy drink, responsible for benefits such as keeping you awake, improving reaction times as well as improving cognitive function while it’s in your system.
Although it’s not as excessive as a Reign or Bang (300mg per 16fl.oz), at 160mg per 16fl.oz, a can of Monster does have a fair amount of caffeine, nearly equal to 2 cups of coffee.
In any case, it’s not really about how much caffeine is present in an energy drink, but how well you can adapt to the caffeine, especially since having a bit too much of it can tip the positive effects of caffeine into a negative one.
For example, I personally prefer to have between 50 to 100mg of caffeine per serving, which is just the right amount to give me a nice boost, but not too much that I might get a headache afterward.
As such, a can of Monster may have a bit more caffeine than I would like, but it’s not too far off the mark that I wouldn’t enjoy having one.
But depending on your own caffeine metabolism and personal tolerances, you might have to adjust how much or how fast you have a can of Monster to get the fullest effects from it.
Just be sure not to overdo it on the caffeine, as the FDA approves a caffeine intake limit of no more than 400mg per day, and any more than that might lead to side effects such as:
All-in-all, be sure to keep your overall caffeine intake to a tolerable level, especially if you’re new to energy drinks, and try not to double down on Monster alongside other caffeinated beverages as well.
Monster Energy Sugar Content
A standard 16 fl.oz can of Monster Energy has 55g of sugar, which makes it one of the most sugary energy drinks on the market.
As a reference point, 55g of sugar is equivalent to approximately 3.5 tablespoons worth of sugar, which is an unhealthy level of sugary goodness, regardless of if you have a sweet tooth.
Given that the AHA advises that the daily added sugar limit for adults is 25g for women and 36g for men, the amount of sugar present in a single can of Monster Energy definitely far exceeds that limit.
While its perfectly okay to go on the occasional sugar binge, consistently having too much sugar in your diet can lead to some notable health issues, such as:
- Weight gain
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Aging skin
Furthermore, having too much sugar in a short period may lead to an inevitable sugar crash, a feeling of slowness, and lethargy due to the spike and fall in your blood sugar levels.
So while a can of Monster Energy will definitely give you a pretty good rush, I don’t particularly recommend it for your daily caffeine fix at all, as all that sugar really isn’t good for you.
If you would rather have energy drinks with a little less sugar in them, take a look at the article I’ve written on the best sugar-free energy drinks, which you’ll hopefully learn something out of.
B Vitamins In Monster Energy Drink
Monster has a pretty generous serving of B-Vitamins, offering up to 200% of the daily intake value.
Energy drinks and B-Vitamins often go hand-in-hand, so it’s not surprising that there’s some amount of it in Monster.
I’ve detailed all the B-Vitamins in Monster in a short table below, and if you need more information on B-Vitamins in general, check out the link here.
(Per 16 fl.oz of Monster)
|Tolerable Upper Intake Level|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||Helps body release energy, keeps skin healthy.||43mg||35mg|
|Cell growth, fat breakdown and energy production||5.05mg||N/A|
|Vitamin B6||Store energy from protein and carbohydrates, formation of red blood cells||5.05mg||100mg|
|Vitamin B12||Release energy from food, forms red blood cells, keeps the nervous system healthy||5.1µg||N/A|
Taurine is an amino acid that has a variety of potential benefits, being a common ingredient in energy drinks such as Rockstar and Red Bull.
And before you ask, taurine is sourced synthetically from labs and is not, as the urban myths floating around would claim, derived from a bull’s particular part.
Moving on, while taurine has claimed to improve cognitive performance, research suggests that caffeine plays a bigger role in comparison to taurine for this particular aspect of energy drinks.
As such, it’s pretty hard to determine just how much of a benefit you’re getting from taurine, but since there’s no harm in having it in your drink, you don’t have to worry too much about it either.
Ginseng is a natural herb that’s used in a variety of traditional remedies and dishes, so it’s not surprising that it finds itself in energy drinks as well.
Among the potential list of benefits you may get from ginseng includes:
- Increase energy
- Sharper cognitive function
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Lower blood sugar
Apart from rare interactions with certain drugs, ginseng is perfectly safe for general use and consumption, so even if you’re not too sure about its benefits, you can rest assured that having one won’t harm you.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that’s produced in the body, which helps turn fat into energy.
Due to a pretty sufficient amount of it already being produced by the body, if you’re a relatively healthy individual, the possible benefits you might get from its presence in Monster Energy are pretty minimal.
How Bad Is Monster Energy Drink For You?
As long as you’re relatively healthy and know how to moderate your caffeine and sugar intake, having a can of Monster on some occasion is fine, but is still best to keep it to a minimum.
Nutritionally, Monster isn’t going to be all that great for your health. Being an energy drink, it’s meant to give you a temporary boost to keep your energy levels high and isn’t something you should be having too casually.
As such, it’s best not to use Monster Energy as a sort of crutch if you’re feeling tired, as the better option is to fix your sleep schedule to get a healthy night’s sleep.
Apart from that, the high sugar content in Monster means that having too many cans of this energy drink may lead to having metabolic syndrome, which isn’t great at all.
All-in-all, the best way to enjoy Monster is to have it on occasions when you really need it and to know your personal caffeine tolerances before you end up having one too many.
Monster Energy Flavors
Monster has one of the most prolific selections of energy drink flavors, its flavors ranging from multiple sugar-free flavors to coffee-based ones. There’s definitely a Monster that’s tailor-made for your taste.
- Zero Sugar
- Mule Ginger Brew
- Energy Assault
- Zero Ultra
- Ultra Paradise
- Ultra Fiesta
- Ultra Rosa
- Ultra Gold
- Ultra Watermelon
- Ultra Violet
- Ultra Sunrise
- Ultra Red
- Ultra Blue
Energy + Juice Series
- Mango Loco
- Pacific Punch
- Pipeline Punch
Rehab Series (Iced Energy Tea)
- Tea + Lemonade
- Tea + Orangeade
- Raspberry Tea
- Peach Tea
Dragon Tea Series
- Green Tea
- White Tea + Dragonfruit
- Yerba Mate
Java Monster Series
- Mean Bean
- Loca Moca
- Salted Caramel
- Swiss Chocolate
- Kona Blend
- Irish Blend
- Vanilla Light
What Does Monster Energy Taste Like?
Monster Energy tastes pretty similar to classic energy drinks such as Red Bull or Rockstar; sweet, to the point of being sickening for some people, with a slightly syrupy texture and a mild hint of apple.
If you’re looking for a clean, crisp soda-like energy drink, Monster probably isn’t the energy drink for you, being more akin to the slight syrupy texture that most classic energy drinks have.
It’s also quite sweet, which, depending on your preferences, may be a bit much for your actual enjoyment.
Of course, this is just my opinion on the original flavor of Monster Energy, so your mileage may vary depending on what you enjoy.
On that note, if you’re not too fond of the taste of Original Monster, the apparent best-tasting flavor from Monster is Monster Zero Ultra, which has a lot less sugar and calories in it as well.
Monster Energy Price
A regular 12-pack of 16 fl. oz Monster Energy Drink cans will cost you on average $19, which roughly translates to $2 per can.
Pricing-wise, Monster Energy is fairly average for an energy drink of its size and is actually cheaper than a 12 fl. oz can of Red Bull ($2.50).
As such, it’s a pretty good energy drink to have if you’re on a budget, although be sure Monster isn’t your main energy drink of choice due to all the sugar and calories you’re adding to your diet if you have it daily.
Monster Energy Review (7 out of 10)
To conclude, I would rate the original Monster Energy a pretty solid 7 out of 10 for its ability to give you a great boost, but at the expense of adding a fair bit of calories and sugar to your diet.
Monster Energy is one of those energy drinks that aren’t exactly healthy but will keep you going for as long as its effects last, which is definitely something useful to have if you ever need it.
While its high-calorie content and overly sweet taste may be a turn-off, given that there are plenty of other varieties of Monster floating around, there’s a version out there that you’ll definitely enjoy.
However, do note that this score is only for the original version of Monster, as I would rank other versions of Monster, such as Zero Ultra, higher due to it having different nutritional content and taste.
On that note, Monster Energy definitely deserves its spot as one of the most popular energy drink brands, as it’s the energy drink of choice if you’re in need of some sugary goodness.
Monster Energy Alternatives
Looking for something other than Monster for your energy drink needs? Here are some other great brands for you to try out as well:
- 3D Energy
- Game Fuel
- Rip It
- Full Throttle
- NOS Energy
- C4 Energy
- Raze Energy
- AMP Energy
On the other hand, if you prefer powdered energy drinks, these brands might be the more viable option for you:
- Advocare Spark
- REIZE Energy Drink (my fav)
REIZE (10 out of 10)
If all the calories and sugar in Monster don’t really do it for you, you’ll probably enjoy what REIZE has to offer.
REIZE is a powdered energy drink with each 4g sachet having a sensible 50mg of caffeine and is completely sugar-free, having only 11 calories per serving.
It also contains a bunch of other beneficial ingredients such as taurine, ginseng, and B-group vitamins, which come together to give you an energy boost without the crash.
Best of all, you can get REIZE shipped straight to your door for only about $1 per drink, which is outstanding value for money.
Try REIZE today, and you might also find it to be a better choice than Monster.