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Monster Energy Drink Review (Deep Dive)

There’s nothing quite as recognizable as a can of Monster Energy. With its iconic logo and black can nearly synonymous with energy drinks, Monster Energy is definitely a popular option amongst energy drink newcomers, and is often people’s first taste into the world of energy drinks overall.

But how effective is Monster Energy, and does it really give you the energy you need, or a simple caffeine and sugar boost to give you the illusion of energy?

Original monster energy drinks on a table
Monster Energy drinks

In my opinion, Monster Energy is a notable energy drink that definitely works on the basis of giving you caffeine and sugar. It’s not the most complicated or healthiest energy drink, but it certainly warrants a solid 7 out of 10 for giving you a boost when you need it.

If you want to learn more about Monster Energy and what it can do for you, read on to find out.

Monster Energy Nutrition Facts

Now let’s dig into more of what makes Monster Energy, Monster Energy. Here’s a quick look at the nutrition facts:

And here’e a summary of what you can find at the back of Monster Energy can:

Typical ValuesMonster Energy
(16 fl.oz)
Energy210 calories
Fat
(Of which Saturated)
0g
(0g)
Carbohydrates
(Of which Sugars)
54g
(54g)
Caffeine160mg
Protein0g
Sodium370mg
Vitamin B2
(Riboflavin)
3.6mg
Vitamin B3
(Niacin)
46mg
Vitamin B64.6mg
Vitamin B1213µg
Monster Energy Nutrition Facts
Monster Energy Nutrition Facts

Based on the table, Monster Energy has 210 calories, 54g of sugar and 160mg of caffeine per 16 fl.oz can, along with other vitamins and minerals that may assist in your physical and mental performance.

Monster Energy Drink Calories

Each 16fl oz. can of Monster Energy contains 210 calories, a fairly hefty amount, and certainly a lot more than necessarily healthy.

As a reference, a healthy adult usually only needs somewhere between 2000 to 2500 calories per day (depending on biological factors, daily activity etc.).

Given that Monster has 210 calories per serving, drinking a can of Monster is equivalent to having 1/10th of your daily caloric intake; great for giving you a quick boost, not so much if you’re watching your diet.

While you can definitely burn off the excess calories you get from Monster, prevention is definitely better than cure, so definitely opt out of Monster if you’re trying to cut down on carbs and calories in your life.

As an additional note, while a can of Monster may provide you with calories, they’re mostly empty calories void of healthy nutrients. So if you’re feeling peckish, consider an actual meal instead of reaching out for another can of Monster.

Monster Energy Ingredients

All of Monster Energy’s ingredient in one easy to read list:

  • Carbonated Water
  • Sugar
  • Glucose
  • Citric Acid
  • Natural Flavours
  • Taurine
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Color Added
  • Panax Ginseng Extract
  • L-Carnitine L-Tartrate
  • Caffeine
  • Sorbic Acid
  • Benzoic Acid
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
  • Sucralose
  • Salt
  • D-Glucuronolactone
  • Inositol
  • Guarana Extract
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • Maltodextrin
  • Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Monster Energy Ingredients
Ingredients of Monster Energy

For a more detailed discussion, have a look at my Monster Energy Caffeine and Ingredients article, where I go further into discussion every ingredient.

Caffeine Content in Monster Energy

A 16 fl.oz can of Monster has 160mg of caffeine, which is pretty average for an energy drink.

A fairly important energy drink ingredient, caffeine works by binding to the adenosine receptors in your brain, preventing you from feeling fatigued and heightening both physical performance and general reaction times.

At 160mg of caffeine per serving, Monster serves as a pretty decent benchmark for average caffeine content in an energy drink, not as high as the likes of Bang or Reign (which have 300mg per 16 fl.oz), but certainly a lot more than your average cup of coffee.

While having some caffeine may be beneficial to you, having too much caffeine in a short period of time may lead to side effects such as:

  • Restlessness and shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid heart rhythm
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

As a general rule of thumb, the FDA recommends you limit your caffeine intake to a maximum of 400mg per day; going over that limit, or more than you can personally tolerate, is a one-way trip to a caffeine-induced headache.

Coming back to Monster Energy, while you should be okay with having 2 cans of the stuff caffeine-wise (it’s a total of 320mg of caffeine for 2 cans), it’s sugar content might give you some pause.

In any case, be sure to moderate your overall caffeine intake, and try not to have too many caffeinated beverages in a day.

Sugar Content in Monster Energy

Sugar Crystals
Sugar is sweet, but too much of it is pretty bad for you.

A 16 fl.oz can of Monster Energy has 54g of sugar, which is definitely a lot more then what you should be having a day.

While definitely a great addition to the taste factor of Monster Energy, all that sugar isn’t exactly healthy for you in any sense of the imagination.

The AHA recommended that no more than 25g of sugar for women and 36 for men, and given that a single can of Monster already goes over that limit and then some, it’s definitely not a casual drink you should be having all the time.

Some of the detrimental effects of excessive sugar intake include:

  • High Blood Sugar
  • Acne
  • Irritability
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Problems
  • Weight gain/obesity

Apart from that, you’re also pretty liable to a sugar crash, due to the spike in fall in your insulin levels as your body tries to cope with the large intake of sugar.

As such, I highly recommend you have a maximum of one can of every other day, especially if you want to stay on the healthier side of life.

Artificial Sweeteners in Monster Energy

Besides the 54g sugar Monster Energy has, it still uses artificial sweeteners such as sucralose.

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Sucralose is typically used as a substitute for sugar to avoid the caloric content of sugar while maintaining a sweet taste.

At this point, you’re probably thinking why Monster has artificial sweeteners alongside actual sugar, and your guess is as probably as good as mine.

So if you’re someone who cannot handle the sugar rush in Monster Energy like me, then you might consider drinking energy drinks that have little to no sugar, like Raze or CELSIUS.

To know more about artificial sweeteners, here’s a video you can check out:

Other Ingredients

Guarana Extract

Guarana extract is harvested from the Brazillian subcontinent and is a commonly used energy drink ingredient. The Guarana seeds are also a great source of caffeine, stronger than the caffeine found in coffee beans.

When concentrated, it may contain up to 3.6% to 5.8% caffeine compared to coffee beans which only have 2%.

Benefits of Guarana are:

  • 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

Commonly harvested in Korea, northeastern China, and far eastern Siberia, Panax Ginseng Root Extract is a fairly common energy drink ingredient and has been used as a herbal additive for various culinary cultures.

It 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 of the possible benefits 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

That being said, none of these benefits are based on any actual scientific research, so do take them with a grain of salt.

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate is a commonly used nutrient and dietary supplement, which may hep in:

  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Improving exercise recovery
  • Increasing oxygen supply to your muscles
  • Reducing symptoms of type 2 diabetes
  • Preventing mental decline

As we don’t know how much of it is present in Monster Energy, it’s generally a good idea

B-Vitamins

As with any energy drink worth it’s salt, Monster does have B-Vitamins in the drink, if only to make the drink appearly slightly healthier to the casual audience.

I’ve listed out the B-Vitamins and their values in the table below, but feel free to check out this informative hub to learn more about B-Vitamins in general.

PurposeAmount/DV%
(Per 16 fl.oz of Monster)
Tolerable
Upper
Intake
Level
Vitamin B3
(Niacin)
Helps the body release energy,
maintains healthy skin
43mg/200%35mg
Vitamin B2
(Riboflavin)
Cell growth,
fat breakdown and energy production
5.05mg/200%N/A
Vitamin B6Store energy from protein and carbohydrates,
forms red blood cells
5.05mg/200%100mg
Vitamin B12Release energy from food,
forms red blood cells,
maintains a healthy nervous system
5.1µg/200%N/A

Monster Energy Drink Flavors

Being one of the most prominent energy drink brands in the world, Monster Energy has plenty of flavors, ranging from fruity to coffee-based, and there’s definitely a Monster Energy made for your specific tastes.

Here are some of the notable series that they’ve released so far, and you can have a look at their full catalog on either Monster’s official website, or by browsing through your online storefront of choice:

  • Original
  • Zero Ultra
  • Energy + Juice
  • Rehab
  • Dragon Tea
  • Java Monster
Monster Zero Ultra
Not too fond of sugar? Monster Ultra might be for you.

What Does Monster Energy Taste Like?

Since Monster Energy offers different bursting flavors, the taste of Monster depends on the flavor of the drink.

But generally, Monster has this sweet and tangy taste, sort of like a soda but with less spirit or fizz. You can actually substitute it with coffee or green tea to give you that boosted feeling.

For more information about how Monster tastes like, here’s a review by Jacob Cruikshank:

Monster vs Competitors

Monster
(16 fl.oz)
Red Bull
(8.4 fl.oz)
Rockstar
(16 fl.oz)
Caffeine160mg80mg160mg
Calories210 calories110 calories250 calories
Sugar54g28g69g
PriceAround $3Around $3Around $2
A quick look at Monster vs it’s closest competitors.

While Monster is certainly popular, it definitely has some pretty stiff competition, notably from Red Bull and Rockstar, brands which are more or less synonymous with energy drinks as well.

Based on the table above, we can see that all 3 energy drinks have a pretty similar calorie and caffeine count from a per fl.oz perspective, so it’s really a matter of taste and preference when it comes to picking otu which brand suits you best.

That being said, Rockstar does tend to be cheaper than its competitors with 14g more sugar than Monster, so if you’re looking to really overdo it with the sugar, Rockstar might be something worth considering.

Final Thoughts

A can of Monster Energy
Monster Energy, yay or nay?

To conclude, Monster Energy does certainly give the boost you need when you need it, although its high sugar content may give most people some pause, especially if you’re trying to keep your calorie intake in check.

Personally, I’ll give Monster a 7 out of 10; it’s definitely got enough caffeine, sugar, and various other ingredients to work as an energy drink, but it’s also not the healthiest fare you can have.

If you ever get your hands on drinks like Monster, moderate consumption is a must, especially for those who want to avoid the pitfalls of an exessively sugary diet.

Nevertheless, if you’re feeling the need to boost your energy and unleash the beast, a can of Monster Energy might just be what you need.

Related Articles:

About Adrian Carter

Adrian writes about energy drinks and their ingredients to shine a light on the facts behind the brand names.

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