As one of the most popular beverages on the market today, a lot of people find themselves asking plenty of questions about Monster Energy, and if you happen to follow a gluten-free diet, you’re probably wondering if having a can of Monster might affect that.
The short answer is yes, the ingredients in Monster Energy Drink are very much gluten-free, and the drinks themselves do not seem to be processed in facilities that contain wheat, barley, or rye products.
That being said, there’s more to Monster Energy than just being gluten-free, and just because it has that label, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy for you. So read on to find out more about Monster Energy and its relationship with gluten.
Are Gluten-Free Diets Worth It?
Unless you happen to be suffering from celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or have any form of substantial gluten sensitivity, you shouldn’t really be too concerned with excluding gluten from your diet.
For context, gluten is a family of proteins naturally found in specific cereal grains like wheat, barley, and rye, and is basically the main ingredient that gives grain-based foods (such as bread) a soft and chewy texture.
While gluten-free diets have been all the rage in recent years, there are only a few subsets of individuals who actually need to go gluten-free, namely individuals with celiac disease or any form of gluten sensitivity.
So unless you have the above health conditions, there’s really no need to start removing gluten from your diet, as most individuals can process gluten just fine, and a diet lacking in it may deprive you of some valuable nutrients, to quote:
A review of the literature indicates several nutrient inadequacies associated with a GF (gluten-free) diet. These include B vitamins (as wheat is often fortified), vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, iron, and fiber.Columbia Surgery
While there are definitely ways to remedy nutrient deficiencies (vegetable-based diet, whole grains, Vitamin C-rich food, etc), there’s really no point in putting your body through the trouble if you’re body is perfectly capable of handling gluten.
For a look at what a gluten-free diet can do for you, the video below should prove to be an insightful watch.
Are Energy Drinks Gluten-Free?
Returning back to the topic of energy drinks, most energy drinks (and drinks in general) shouldn’t contain any traces of gluten.
Energy drinks, for the most part, contain sugar and caffeine more than anything, and it’s pretty unlikely that you might come across gluten products when having one straight out of the can.
There are, of course, exceptions to this, and you’re definitely going to have to go by it on a drink-to-drink basis. G Fuel Cans, for example, seem to be processed in facilities that also process wheat products, which means that they might contain traces of gluten, which isn’t great.
If you’re ever unsure about the gluten status of a certain food or drink, have a look through celiac.org’s list of gluten-containing foodstuffs to be sure.
As for Monster Energy’s gluten status, the following headings should be an insightful look into them.
Monster Energy Nutrition Facts
A quick peek at the nutritional value of a Monster Energy drink, to see what you’re getting out of it regardless of its gluten status.
|Typical Values (Per 16 fl.oz)||Monster Energy|
(Of which Saturated)
(Of which Sugars)
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||3.6mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||46mg|
Monster Energy Drink Ingredients
And now for Monster’s ingredients list, as you can see, there shouldn’t be anything here that might include gluten, but I will highlight some ingredients that might be worrying.
- Carbonated Water
- Citric Acid
- Natural Flavours
- Sodium Citrate
- Color Added
- Panax Ginseng Extract
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate
- Sorbic Acid
- Benzoic Acid
- Guarana Extract
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B2
Is Caffeine in Monster Energy Gluten-Free?
Derived from plant-based origin (coffee beans, tea leaves) or synthetically made in a lab, the caffeine in Monster Energy (and in most other drinks) should be entirely gluten-free.
When not in coffee (which may or may not be gluten-free), caffeine by itself is simply a chemical and can’t logically contain gluten, which means that you really don’t have to worry about a drink’s caffeine content if you happen to be gluten-intolerant.
As for Monster’s caffeine content, there’s about 160mg of caffeine per 16 fl.oz can of caffeine; not the highest caffeine content for an energy drink (that honor goes to Reign and Bang), but still substantially more than your regular cup of coffee.
Caffeine is mainly responsible for an energy drink’s long list of benefits (namely increased awareness, reaction times, and keeping you awake) but too much of the stuff can be pretty bad for you.
The FDA usually prescribes a max 400mg daily limit, going over that limit (or having more than you can tolerate) can lead to:
- Restlessness and shakiness
- Rapid or abnormal heart rhythm
So be sure to moderate how many cans of Mountain Dew you have a day, and try not to go overboard with the caffeinated beverages either.
Is The Sugar In Monster Energy Gluten-Free?
Pure sugar is definitely gluten-free, and as such, a can of Monster shouldn’t really be too worrying if you happen to be gluten sensitive, and you really should be worrying about Monster’s rather high sugar content in of itself.
Excluding the possibility of cross-contamination, sugar is definitely gluten-free and shouldn’t be too much of a worrying issue, especially given Monster’s overall drink composition.
As for how much sugar is in the drink itself, your usual 16 fl.oz can of Monster has 52g of sugar from the get-go, which is great if you’re craving a quick sugary boost, not so much if you happen to be watching your daily sugar intake.
As a reminder, the American Heart Association recommends a daily max sugar intake of no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) for men and 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) for women.
Considering that there’s 52g of sugar in a single can of Monster, that’s going to be a lot worse for your health than the possibility of Monster having gluten-present.
While too much sugar in the short-period will at most lead to a sugar crash (due to spike and fall in blood insulin levels), having Monster regularly over a long period of time and ingesting all that sugar can lead to health issues such as:
- Increased weight
- Tooth decay
- Increased risks of certain cancers
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of type II diabetes
As such it’s best to stick with having a Monster Energy only when you need it,
And if you an energy drink to keep you elevated for daily use, I would personally recommend CELSIUS, for its sugar-free nature and moderate caffeine content. Plus, it also happens to be pretty gluten-free as well.
Is Taurine Gluten-Free?
As an organic amino acid, taurine is most definitely gluten-free and certainly does not have any relation to the gluten protein compound you can find wheat, barley or rye products.
A staple energy drink ingredient, taurine is chemically very different from gluten and shouldn’t cause the same symptoms if you do happen to be gluten-sensitive.
As for what taurine actually does, the science does point to the possibility of it being beneficial for nerve growth as well as heart and brain health, but actually ingesting the stuff doesn’t really seem to do anything immediately substantial.
Is Maltodextrin Gluten-Free?
Maltodextrin, although possibly derived from wheat, is entirely gluten-free as an ingredient, and shouldn’t be harmful if you happen to be gluten sensitive.
if you’re worried about Maltodextrin’s wheat-based origins, fear not, to quote the FAQ section from Coeliac UK:
Maltodextrin is gluten-free. It can be made from a variety of cereal starches including wheat, corn (maize), tapioca, and rice. Despite the name, maltodextrins are not produced from, nor do they contain barley malt. Even when maltodextrin has been made from wheat, the grain is processed to remove the gluten.Coeliac UK
As such, you can rest assured that the maltodextrin content in Monster shouldn’t really be too much of an issue if you’re having a gluten-free diet.
Is Sucralose Gluten-Free?
An artificial sweetener, sucralose is derived from synthetic means and can be considered a gluten-free substance.
That being said, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and acesulfame potassium may aggravate existing digesting symptoms, something you might want to avoid if you’re already gluten sensitive.
Of course, there’s probably not too much sucralose in Monster (one wonders what’s it even doing here with all the sugar already present), but given energy drinks are already fairly carbonated, you might want to switch to other beverages if you’re experiencing gastrointestinal issues.
Other Gluten-Free Energy Drinks
If you’re looking for my other analyses on whether or not certain brands of energy drinks are gluten-free, have a look at the articles below for my personal opinion on each of them.
Is Monster Energy Gluten-Free?
From my brief analysis above, it’s safe to say that your standard can of Monster Energy doesn’t seem to contain any significant traces of gluten in the formula, and doesn’t seem liable to be cross-contaminated by gluten-based products based on the labels.
So yes, Monster Energy is very much a gluten-free drink, although how viable an energy drink with such an intense amount of sugar and caffeine on someone’s diet (gluten-sensitive or not) is really based on the individual in question.
In any case, I’m certainly no medical professional when it comes to the interactions of energy drinks and celiac disease, so while Monster may be gluten-free, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional if you really should be adding this energy drink into your diet.
And for those of you who simply follow a gluten-free diet for your own personal reasons, you’re free to enjoy a can of Monster without ruining that as well.