Monster Energy is the most prominent contender to Red Bull’s number one energy drink position but takes the cake when it comes to badass product names and designs.
Probably due to the insane levels of popularity that Monster Energy has (I mean, it’s available EVERYWHERE) been a target of many controversies and rumors.
One such rumor is that Monster contains alcohol, but does it really contain alcohol?
Here’s a brief answer:
None of the products in Monster’s current lineup have alcohol in them. But many people are indeed mixing alcohol and Monster, which can have pretty dangerous effects.
If you want to know more about those effects, then you’ll have to stick with me up to the end of this article. Are you with me? Good.
First, we’ll discuss the particulars of Monster Energy’s composition.
A Brief Overview Of Monster Energy
Monster Energy was an energy drink introduced in 2002 by a company called Hansen Natural Company, which is now called Monster Beverage Corporation.
It soon made its mark on the market as the meanest energy drink out there, with the baddest buzz of energy. By 2019, it had a 35% share of the energy drink market after Red Bull.
Monster Original comes in 16 ounce or 500ml cans, with each can having 160mg of caffeine, 54 grams of sugar, and 210 calories, along with other ingredients.
Onto the details…
Monster Energy Ingredients
Monster Energy has the following ingredients in its blend:
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL)
- Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
- Carbonated water
- Citric acid
- Natural Flavors
- Sodium Citrate
- Color added
- Sorbic Acid as preservative
- Benzoic acid as preservative
A look at the list of ingredients in Monster Energy shows that it is indeed non-alcoholic.
Monster Energy Nutrition Facts
Here are the nutritional values of a 16 fl.oz can of Monster:
|Nutrient||Amount (per 16 fl.oz)|
(of which sugars)
(of which saturated)
|Magnesium||1% of the daily value|
|Calcium||1% of the daily value|
Overall, Monster is a pretty loaded beverage with high amounts of calories, sugar, and sodium. But there’s no trace of alcohol in it.
Caffeine in Monster
A single 16 fl.oz serving of Monster offers 160mg of caffeine, relatively high for an energy drink.
For those who don’t know, caffeine is a psychoactive drug that helps us remain alert and keeps us fatigued at bay by interfering with our adenosine receptors.
At any rate, while caffeine is excellent in moderate to small amounts, it can be harmful if you ingest too much.
400 mg is the amount deemed safe by the FDA, and any more than this will cause the following side effects:
- Irregular heartbeat
Monster’s 160mg of caffeine is relatively safe for most people, as it’s less than half of the daily limit.
But caffeine can quickly add up if you drink different caffeinated beverages, like energy drinks and tea/coffee. So it is best to limit yourself to one Monster a day.
Also, note that not all people have the same tolerance for caffeine. People with low caffeine tolerance will find that the caffeine in Monster is too much for them.
It is also not recommended for underage children and pregnant or breastfeeding women to ingest high amounts of caffeine.
Calories In A Monster
A Monster Energy provides 210 calories per 16 fl.oz serving.
Calories are the fuel that our bodies run on. When we consume more calories than we use, the excess gets stored as fats, which causes us to gain extra weight. So as a general rule of thumb, 2000 calories are considered the recommended daily calorific requirement for an average human. However, this number may vary wildly depending on gender, height, age, and other factors.
Coming back to Monster Energy, it gives you slightly more than 10% of the average calorie requirement; this by itself isn’t a bad thing. But if you’re already eating enough to give you all the calories you need, then adding a can of Monster Energy on top isn’t the wisest of choices.
I mean, you can do it, but you’ll have to burn off the extra calories by either working out, going for a jog, or swimming. Otherwise, you’ll gain weight.
Monster Energy is far from the ideal choice for a sedentary lifestyle.
Now, this brings me to my other point. Extra calories can be significant for people with active lives who also eat in moderation. They can be an additional reserve of energy for you to burn through during exercise.
Whatever side of the spectrum you lie on, keep in mind that overeating is a dangerous habit, and the same goes for overconsumption of energy drinks.
Here are some side effects of overeating:
- Messes up your hunger control
- Increases your body’s fat levels
- It can be bad for your brain
- Make you nauseous and sleepy
- Make you more susceptible to diseases
- May cause excessive gas and bloating.
So you should consider restructuring your diet if you wish to incorporate Monster Energy into your daily routine. But I wouldn’t recommend drinking it daily.
Let’s talk about Monster Energy’s sugar content.
Sugar In Monster Energy
The sugar content in a single Monster Energy can is truly monstrous.
A 16 fl.oz serving has more than 50 grams of sugar! This much sugar would be equivalent to more than a dozen teaspoonfuls.
For reference, the AHA recommends no more than 24 grams of sugar a day for women and 36 grams for men.
Drinking even a single can of Monster will give you significantly more sugar than you should have. And that is a severe problem.
Overconsumption of sugar can have many side effects, some of which are:
- Difficulty with concentrating
I don’t think anyone can drink Monster Energy safely, not when it has this much sugar in it. At least not daily.
It’s fine as an occasional treat, but regular consumption will harm your health.
Does Monster have Alcohol?
Though Monster may have copious amounts of sugar, it is still a non-alcoholic drink.
Its list of ingredients shows no sign of any alcohol. This applies not only to the original version but also to all of the other variations. The entirety of Monster’s lineup is free of alcohol.
This is a good thing because mixing alcohol with a stimulant like caffeine is a terrible idea.
And I’ll explain why.
What happens when you mix alcohol and Monster?
Monster Energy or any energy drink or beverage with caffeine is considered a stimulant.
This is because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and makes you more alert while helping with focus and giving you a boost in energy.
Alcohol, on the other hand, makes you intoxicated. It is a central nervous system depressant.
Drinking any alcoholic beverage will slowly make your senses duller and your brain sluggish, reducing your ability to think correctly for as long as its effects last.
As it stands, caffeine and alcohol are opposites regarding the effect they have on the human brain. Mixing the two will produce a condition called “wide-awake drunk.”
What’ll happen is that someone who has consumed a mix of caffeine and alcohol won’t feel as drunk as they are, which will lead them to drink even more.
People who are wide-awake drunk are also more likely to drive home because they think they are not as drunk and are alert. When in reality, they aren’t vigilant and are highly intoxicated. And I don’t have to explain why driving while drunk and having consumed excessive amounts of alcohol are dangerous, right?
So, guys, I implore you to stop making this mistake if you do it and discourage others from doing it.
This is a video that will explain further why alcohol and caffeine should never be mixed together.
Is Monster Gluten-Free?
Monster Energy is free of all traces of gluten and can therefore be considered gluten-free.
This is great because people who are sensitive to gluten can also enjoy the energy boost from a can of Monster.
Is Monster Vegan?
Whether Monster is vegan-friendly or not depends on the version you’re drinking.
While most of the Monster lines are vegan, the Java Monster line contains milk, which is non-vegan. Also, a version of Monster Ultra Red exclusive to the UK has a carmine.
Carmine is made by crushing up beetles, so the vegan community does not accept it. But apart from these versions, all Monster beverages are vegan.
Check out this article by CanVegansEat for the details of what I’ve said up there.
Can you drink a Monster everyday?
If we’re talking about Monster’s standard versions, then no. The reason is simple: There is too much sugar in a single serving.
As I said earlier, 50 plus grams of sugar is more than what you should have in a day, and getting all of that from a single beverage is dangerous.
You can drink Monster every once in a while if you feel like it, but for the sake of your good health, avoid drinking it daily.
If you’re set on drinking it daily, then there’s a Monster for that. Monster’s Ultra Zero lineup is free of sugar and calories and should be much safer than the other versions.
Is Monster bad for you?
Well, if you’re drinking the original, sugary version every day, then yes, it will have some adverse effects on your health.
Similarly, having more than one Monster in a single day is also considerable risk. Not only because of the sugar but the caffeine as well. Two cans will have 360mg total caffeine, which, combined with other caffeinated beverages, will put you over the recommended limit for caffeine.
So if you’re planning on making Monster a part of your life, you might as well choose the healthier, safer, and less sweet Monster Zero Ultra version.
Monster’s Variations And Flavors
Here are the different variations of Monster Energy according to their official website:
- Java Monster.
- Monster Energy Juice.
- Monster Hydro.
- Rehab Monster.
- Dragon Tea.
- Monster Maxx.
- Muscle Monster
- Monster Zero Ultra
All of these lineups have their own sets of flavors.
Monster Energy Alternatives
Whether you’re someone who doesn’t like sugary drinks, are looking for smaller serving size, or are looking for a different amount of caffeine, I’ve got your back. Below are my recommendations:
- Bang Shots (Very high caffeine content, but with no sugar and a convenient three fl.oz size).
- 28 Black (Reasonable caffeine content).
- Guru Organic Energy (All organic ingredients and a standard eight fl.oz can).
- Celsius Energy (No sugar, high caffeine, half in size as compared to Monster).
- Red Bull Sugar-free (Moderate caffeine, no sugar).
Monster Energy has a vast lineup of energy drinks, all with varying properties and ingredients, but all versions have one thing in common:
All versions of Monster Energy are free of alcohol. They are all gluten-free, and most are vegan. So Monster energy can be drunk by almost anyone.
But do keep in mind that it’s best to avoid excess sugar as it will only lower your energy levels, albeit after causing them to rise for a little bit.
As for those who mix Monster with alcohol, I can only hope that they realize the dangers of the concoction resulting from a mixture of caffeine and alcohol.