There’s nothing that quite as iconic as a Monster, being of the more popular energy drinks on the market alongside the likes of Red Bull and Rockstar.
Even though public perceptions of Monster have had its ups and downs, not a lot of people actually know what goes into every can of Monster Energy, which I’m hoping this article will hopefully rectify.
As a quick overview, your standard 16 fl.oz can of Monster Energy contains 160mg caffeine and 54g of sugar, along with a handful of other ingredients such as taurine, guarana, and Panax ginseng extract, to name a few.
If you want a deeper dive into the what exactly goes on behind the scenes of a Monster Energy Drink, read on to find out all you need to know about Monster’s caffeine content and ingredients list.
Monster Energy Nutritional Facts
Before we get to the ingredients, let’s take a look at the nutritional value of Monster Energy and what exactly it can do for you.
(Of which Saturated)
(Of which Sugars)
As you can see, your 16 fl.oz can of Monster Energy will run you about 210 calories, 370mg of sodium, 54g of sugar, 160mg of caffeine and 200% of your daily value of vitamins (DV based of 2000 calorie diet).
As far as sugar energy drinks go, this is pretty average. Now granted all that sugar content is fairly alarming (as it should be), you’re probably not going to put yourself into the ER after having one can of it on ocassion.
While this a pretty bare-bones summary, do check out my article on Monster Energy Nutrition Facts for a more detailed look, you’ll definitely find it an informative read.
Monster Energy Drink Ingredients
Let’s have a quick look at Monster Energy’s ingredients.
- 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)
There’s definitely a lot going on here, and Monster certainly isn’t going to win any prizes for formula simplicity. So let’s dive deeper into it and see what exactly most of these ingredients do (sans preservatives).
Monster Energy Caffeine Content
A usual 16 fl.oz can of Monster Energy has 160mg of caffeine, which is a fairly standard serving for an energy drink, and quite a bit more than your usual cup of joe.
One of the most popular stimulants in the world, caffeine is responsible for the plethora of immediate benefits you can get out of an energy drink such as Monster. From keeping you awake, improved reaction times, and even temporarily increased cognitive function.
The main reason caffeine is able to do all this is that caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors in the brain, preventing adenosine itself from binding to said receptors and slowing down nerve cell activity (in turn, preventing sleepiness and drowsiness).
For a more detailed look at how exactly caffeine works, the video below should prove informative:
Caffeine is pretty great stuff, but too much of it can be pretty bad for you, and you don’t even have to hit the FDA daily recommended intake of 400mg to start to feel the side effects, especially if your tolerance levels for caffeine aren’t that high.
While some caffeine may prove beneficial, having too much of it may lead to side effects such as:
- Inability to focus
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Heart palpitations
Coming back to Monster Energy, 160mg is well below the FDA limit, so a single can definitely isn’t going to send you to the ER. However, having 2 or 3 cans will definitely lead to some issues, especially if you’re new to the whole energy drink thing.
As such, it’s best to moderate your overall caffeine intake throughout the day, and try not to have too many caffeinated beverages within a short period of time, as you can definitely have too much of a good thing.
Monster Energy Sugar Content
A single 16 fl.oz can of Monster contains 54g of sugar, which is an incredibly high amount.
Other effects of too much sugar may include:
- High Blood Sugar
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Problems
- Weight gain/obesity
The AHA recommends you have no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day for men, and no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day
Does Monster Use Artificial Sweeteners?
Besides already having sugar and glucose in its content, Monster still uses artificial sweeteners like Sucralose.
Sucralose is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener known widely for its sweet giving properties while providing no-calorie or sugar components. It’s also 600 times sweeter than sugar; that’s why it’s only used on an ample amount enough to give food that sweet drive.
Moreover, it is FDA approved for its safe use because sucralose has little to no insulin levels. That’s why it’s the substitute for people who try to avoid risks of diabetes, have diabetes, or on strict healthy lifestyle choices.
Here’s a list of the advantages of sucralose:
- zero calories
- does not promote tooth decay
- highly soluble
- performs well in fermentation
- approved by regulating authorities
- suitable for people with diabetes
Guarana extract is sourced from guarana seeds which are commonly harvested in the Amazon basin. These plants naturally contain caffeine that is much stronger than the caffeine found in coffee beans.
It has the highest caffeine concentration and may contain up to 3.6% to 5.8% caffeine compared to coffee beans which only have 2%.
Some Guarana extract benefits:
- Rich in antioxidants
- Potentially reduces fatigue
- Improve ability to learn and remember
- Promotes weight loss
- Relieves digestive problems like diarrhea
Panax Ginseng Root Extract
Panax Ginseng is a plant commonly planted and harvested in Korea, northeastern China, and far eastern Siberia.
Panax Ginseng works by affecting different body systems with its active substances like ginsenosides or panaxosides; that’s why it’s referred to as a general well-being medication.
Some uses of Panax Ginseng include:
- Improving abstract thinking, mental arithmetic skills, and reaction times
- Improve sexual function in men
- Reduce the risk of getting cold or flu
- Reduces feelings of tiredness
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate is a supplement with chemoprotective and antioxidant activities that reduces purine catabolism and free radical formation, preventing exercise fatigue, muscle weakness, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and hyperlipoproteinemia.
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate roles:
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improve exercise recovery
- Increases oxygen supply to your muscles
- Reduce symptoms of type 2 diabetes
- prevent mental decline
To know more about L-Carnitine L-Tartrate and its uses, here’s a video:
D-Glucuronolactone naturally occurs in the body, particularly in the liver, and is also made in laboratories and widely used by the energy drink industry to enhance any intense physical activities.
- Detoxify liver
- Prevents cancer
- prevents high cholesterol levels
Inositol is a substance that can be found in plants and animals and even produced in human bodies. The main role of Inotisol is to balance chemicals in the body that potentially helps in alleviating mental conditions such as depression.
Potential Inositol benefits include:
- Reduces anxiety
- Improving Insulin sensitivity
- Improve fertility in women with PCOS
- Reduce symptoms of depression
- Few side effects
Of course, the effectiveness of Inositol in energy drinks isn’t really well documented, and you’re probably not going to get that much benefit from it if you happen to be a relatively healthy individual.
Maltodextrine is a starch derived from rice, corn, potatoes, or wheat. It is also used to supplant the use of sugar and is commonly used in products such as cereals, snacks, and beverages.
Maltodextrin is usually invisible to the ingredient labels in products, but it can be found in pasta, energy drinks, sweets, and cereals.
While maltodextrin doesn’t generally add any calories to a food product, there is a possibility of it spiking your blood sugar levels due to its high glycemic index, so be aware of it in foodstuffs that deem itself sugar-free.
However, given that Monster Energy already has a high amount of sugar, maltodextrin spiking your blood sugar levels are probably the least of your concerns.
Monster Energy offers plenty of beneficial B-Vitamins which holds up to 200% of the daily value. Have a quick look at the table below to find out more about each vitamin.
(Per 16 fl.oz of Monster)
|Helps the body release energy,
maintains healthy skin
fat breakdown and energy production
|Store energy from protein and carbohydrates,
forms red blood cells
|Release energy from food,
forms red blood cells,
maintains a healthy nervous system
Is Monster Energy Bad For You?
As long as you’re a healthy individual and know how to manage your caffeine and sugar intake, Monster won’t be bad for you.
Monster Energy is a decent beverage that may help with physical and mental performance when you’re tired, but having too much of the stuff is certainly detrimental.
Considering that Monster is high in sugar and may lead to health risks such as diabetes when overconsumed, you should look out for it.
Here’s a table that shows the ingredients of Monster compared to the daily maximum limit:
|Monster Energy Drink
(Per 16 fl. oz)
|Daily Max Limit
|2400 calories / 3000 calories
|25g / 36g
While Monster Energy may provide you a boost, its high sugar content and moderate caffeine content does mean you probably should moderate your overall intake of it,
The 210 calories per 16 fl.oz can, 90mg of caffeine, 54g of sugar and 370mg of sodium per can something yo need to be cautious about because, mainly because of the notable side effects and health problems may arise.
So if you’re craving a sugar and caffeine rush, Monster Energy is definitely a great option to keep you going, but as a daily caffeine fix, you’re probably a bit better off with something less likely to raise your blood sugar levels.
- Monster Energy Drink Nutrition Facts
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