Is Monster Energy Bad For You? Should You Avoid It?

Monster Energy health concerns

Monster Energy as a drink provides you a temporary energy boost by acting on your nervous system. It contains a lot of caffeine and sugar and can be quite harmful if consumed in substantial quantities or over a long period of time.

Moderate consumption of the drink is safe for healthy individuals, but note that the major benefit of increased brain function from the product comes at the cost of a variety of associated health risks. 

Monster Energy Ingredients

Before you take that big sip off your energy drink and wait for the magic to happen, you may like to know what exactly gets into your body through its consumption.

Let us take a look at the ingredients of each 16 fl oz can of Monster Energy:

  • 190 Calories 
  • 160 mg of Caffeine 
  • 54 g Carbohydrates 
  • 54 g Sugars 
  • 370 mg Sodium 
  • Vitamin B2
  • B3 Vitamins
  • Vitamin B6
  • B12 Vitamins 
  • Carbonated Water
  • Citric Acid 
  • Natural Flavours 
  • Sodium Citrate 
  • Added Colors
  • Sorbic Acid 
  • Benzoic Acid 
  • Niacinamide 
  • Sucralose 
  • Salt 
  • Pyridoxine hydrochloride 
  • Riboflavin 
  • Cyanocobalamin 

The brand website will not let you in on much of its ingredients apart from the explicitly stated caffeine content. The information provided here has its source in the USDA Branded Food Product Database.

Besides the Regular Monster Energy, the drink comes in various options such as Rehab, Ultra, Juice, Punch, Java, Muscle, Hydro, and Maxx. On top of the ingredients already mentioned, these special blends of the product may contain glucose, taurine, ginseng extract, L-carnitine, L-tartrate, glucuronolactone, inositol, guarana extract, and maltodextrin. Each of the available monster Energy options also has varying flavors, and the amount of sugar and calorie in them show significant variation. The drink offers three sizes: 16 fl oz, 24 fl oz, and 32 fl oz, each 50% larger scaling up.

Does Monster Energy Have Caffeine?

Yes, Monster Energy contains caffeine, and a lot of it indeed. On average, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that it is safe for a healthy adult individual to consume up to 400 mg of caffeine a day and not more than 200 mg at one go. The 16 fl oz can of Regular Monster Energy contains 160 mg of caffeine.

While 160 mg of caffeine seemingly falls below the problematic amount per dose, note that a large number of the drink’s consumers are young children and adolescent teens – and they are not supposed to consume so much caffeine.

If consumed regularly, caffeinated energy drinks can cause problems of restlessness, disrupted sleep, increased anxiety, high blood pressure, mood swings, abnormal heart rhythms, and in severe cases: seizures among these young children.

Caffeine is essentially a drug, and a person’s dependence on Monster Energy or any similar drink is a case of addiction.

It might come across as surprising that a lot of young children show withdrawal symptoms if they were to stop consuming Monster Energy suddenly, and this includes headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

Monster drinks used to come under the category of dietary supplements until 2014, when the corporation changed its title to an energy beverage.

Energy drinks get subjected to stricter food regulations than dietary supplements, especially regarding sugar, caffeine, and in the case of Monster Energy drinks, taurine. The efforts came after the product got linked to several hospitalizations and deaths. 

With the change in label, Monster Energy attempts to convey that it is a conventional food item and not a supplement. But the change, rather than marking the drink safe, questions the functioning of the regulating system.

Does Monster Energy Have More Caffeine than Coffee? 

No, Monster Energy drinks do not contain more caffeine than coffee. One fl oz of standard filter coffee contains at least 18 mg of caffeine, while the same amount of Monster Energy contains 10 mg.

Therefore, if you are someone who considers energy drinks unhealthy for the caffeine content in them, coffee is a definite no-no for you.

Suppose you had to compare Monster drinks and coffee, a lot of factors other than caffeine come into the picture. First and foremost, the number of research on coffee is paramount while on energy drinks, since it is a more recent invention, not so. 

Indeed, look closer and we find coffee to be a better option than Monster Energy and other energy drinks. Consider the number of overdose cases that have come about as a result of both the drinks and you will see a striking contrast.

While this approach may find it necessary for one to think of the possible difference in the amount of consumption at one time, the thought is also one that exposes the presence of artificial ingredients (preservatives, flavors, and dyes) in energy drinks that make them a popular substance among the young as compared to the natural, but bitter coffee. 

Perhaps the most significant difference next to caffeine content between both drinks is the amount of sugar they contain. Surprisingly enough, the 54 grams of sugar in Regular Monster Energy is equivalent to about 13.5 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee!

Does Monster Energy have Alcohol?

No, not one of the Monster Energy products has alcohol as its ingredient. However, a 2008 study on one of the popular brands of energy drinks related its consumption to increased alcohol intake.

As we are talking about energy drinks and alcohol, it is common among adolescent teens to mix both during their drinking sessions. The caffeine in the energy drink alters the intoxication effects of alcohol, allowing one to get much drunker than they realize. In essence, the mix may very well be the road to alcohol poisoning.

Also, note that binge drinking is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and memory disorders.

Does Monster Energy have Creatine?

Yes, Monster Energy drinks contain creatine. But interestingly, you will not find the term mentioned among the listed ingredients. You will, however, find sodium citrate in the list, which is an indirect reference to the chemical creatine. 

While creatine is a relatively safer food supplement with few reported side effects, long-term consumption of the chemical may lead to obesity as the consumption enables water to retain in your body muscles.

Does Monster Energy Have Sugar?

Yes, Monster Energy contains a lot of sugar; 54 grams in a 16 fl oz Regular can to be exact. The amount is about twice more than the recommended sugar intake per day by the American Heart Association: 25g grams for women and 36 grams for men.

The high amount of sugar helps the product provide that sudden surge of energy expected from the product’s consumption. 

Energy drinks can spike blood sugar levels in no time and pose severe threats to a person who already has diabetes or problems controlling their blood sugar levels.

In a completely healthy individual, excessive sugar consumption can cause oxidative stress and inflammation. The condition is related to a wide range of chronic health problems such as diabetes, cholesterol, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and non-fatty liver disease. 

As a solution, Monster Energy offers many sugar-free options. But these options are not free of artificial sweeteners like Ace-K and sucralose. Used in many sugar-free drinks as a calorie-free sweetener, Ace-K was tested on mice and showed links to thyroid problems, cancer, and several alterations in brain function. 

Does Monster Energy Drinks Give You Energy?

Yes, the caffeine and sugar content of Monster Energy provides you with a sudden but temporary boost of energy. Couple the intake of the items with the fact that the consumption of both ingredients gets primarily done in quick succession. The energy gained is a result of stimulation to your central nervous system.

Does Monster Energy Have Electrolytes?

Yes, Monster Energy contains electrolytes. But the number and amount vary from one variety to the next. For instance, the only electrolyte in Monster Zero is sodium. 

The advantages of electrolyte intake include balancing the water content in your body, maintaining the average pH level, movement of substances (nutrients and wastes) in and out of cells, and help the proper functioning of your central nervous system.

The presence of caffeine and sugar in energy drinks can cause dehydration, which in turn needs to be compensated with electrolytes that help replenish water content in your body.

Though most energy drinks primarily get marketed for athletes or individuals requiring quick energy for some intense activity, it remains doubtful whether these products contain enough electrolytes to fight possible dehydration. 

Does Monster Energy Have Nicotine?

No, Monster Energy does not have nicotine as one of its ingredients. The intake of caffeine and nicotine together may help one arouse physiologically, but only for a short span of time, like when you take a cigarette with a cup of coffee or an alcoholic drink mixed with Monster Energy. 

Frequent intake of both these substances together will cause insomnia and increased heartbeat, among many other side-effects. 

Does Monster Energy Have Water?

Yes, water is one of the main three ingredients of all energy drinks, including Monster Energy. The other two are electrolytes and sugar.

Does Monster Energy Have Ginseng? 

Yes, Monster Energy does contain ginseng as a flavoring agent. The amount of the ingredient present differs depending on the variety of the drink. The Regular Monster has 82 mg of ginseng extracts. 

Does Monster Energy Contain Gluten? 

Monster Energy drinks claim to be gluten-free. But the energy drink does not contain a gluten-free label. This may be a matter of concern for people who have gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or severe gluten allergy.

Consult a doctor before considering Monster Energy as part of your diet if you have health risks associated with gluten consumption.

Does Monster Energy Contain Lead?

No, lead is not a part of the listed ingredients of Monster Energy. Well, if you are wondering whether energy drinks can contain lead, the answer is yes. However, the item is poisonous in higher levels and has limitations regarding its presence in any edible whatsoever.

Do Monster Energy Drinks Dehydrate You?

Yes, the amount of caffeine in Monster Energy acts as a diuretic and has the potential to dehydrate you. Diuretics promote the increase of the loss of body water. Add to this the fact that your body’s ability to absorb water gets slowed down to a significant extent due to the high sugar content in the drink.

If you plan to take a can of Monster Energy before exercise, keep in mind that physical activity will worsen dehydration and can be a serious threat to your heart.

Is Monster Energy Safe for 12-14 Year Olds? 

Monster Beverage Corporation labels its energy drink products as unsuitable for children and caffeine-sensitive individuals. Despite this fact, it is one of the most popular drinks among children and adolescent teens. The consumption of the drink among the young may cause nervousness, palpitations, restlessness, and tremors.

Teens with a history of heart disease or high blood pressure are at the most risk from the drink. Taking a cautious approach, Monster Energy should not be part of the diet of 12-14 year olds.

Can Monster Energy Drinks Cause High Blood Pressure?

Yes, various researchers have confirmed the association between frequent consumption of energy drinks and high blood pressure. The product also puts at increased risk the chances of abnormal heartbeats. In case you are on any medications, taking energy drinks may result in fatal complications.

Can Monster Energy Drinks Cause Liver Damage? 

Yes, intake of Monster Energy drinks over a long period of time may cause acute liver failure. While caffeine, in general, is not linked to liver problems, many studies consider the excessive presence of the same in one’s body as a cause of the condition.

Is Monster Energy Safe in Pregnancy?

Monster Energy contains caffeine, sugar, and many artificial ingredients in high levels that are unsafe for pregnant women. Since there remains a lack of clarity about the exact ingredients in an energy drink, you must steer clear of the product if you are carrying in order to avoid any threat to the baby. Keep in mind the product dramatically increases the risk of stillbirth. 

Can Monster Energy Drinks Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Though numerous studies regarding caffeine in energy drinks and erectile dysfunction exist, no tangible link has been noted between the product and the condition.

Can Monster Energy Drinks Cause Kidney Stones? 

Yes, people who regularly drink Monster Energy put themselves under the threat of kidney stones. Consumption of caffeine and sugar together causes dehydration that increases the risk of uric acid stones.

Along with that, there are increased chances of kidney stones associated with energy drinks if:

  • You are an athlete who engages in a lot of physical activity.
  • You follow a high protein diet.
  • You are genetically predisposed to the condition.

Do Monster Energy Drinks Expire? 

Yes, Monster Energy drinks will expire 18 to 24 months from the date of manufacture. 

Do Monster Energy Drinks Go Bad?

If not stored in proper conditions of temperature and light, Monster Energy may go bad sooner. However, if you manage to keep the product someplace cold and dark, the shelf life of the drink gets extended to about 6 to 9 months. 

Do Monster Energy Drinks Make You Gain Weight? 

Yes, Monster Energy has a high content of calories and sugar that results in weight gain if consumed long-term. Energy drinks play a major role in what is today known as the obesity epidemic.

If your energy drink consumption does not follow intense physical activity, all the calories you consumed get converted to, and stored as fat. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 16 fl oz can of Regular Monster Energy contains 110 calories and 27 grams of sugar. 

Do Monster Energy Drinks Make You Poop?

Yes, the sugar content in Monster Energy may have laxative effects on the drinker. The particular mix of ingredients in the energy drink will not go well with all the drinkers and is known to cause diarrhea. With its tendency to help the body retain fluid in the digestive tract, caffeine plays a significant role in producing watery stools. 

Can Monster Energy Drinks Kill You? 

Yes, Monster Energy products can turn lethal depending on the amount of caffeine you let enter your system through the drink.

For a healthy individual, the threat does not seem severe because it takes over a hundred cans in a short span to produce the impact in their body. About 300 to 400 grams of caffeine intake through Monster Energy will start reflecting its effects on the drinker, such as jitteriness, nervousness, and palpitations of the heart.


Anand Srinivasan
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