{"id":606232969522,"title":"Is Monster Energy Bad for You? A Dietitian Answers","created_at":"2023-09-05T23:51:51-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Is Monster Energy Bad for You? A Dietitian Answers\",\n \"keywords\": \"is monster energy bad for you, are monster energy drinks bad for you, monster energy ingredients\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team and dietitian analyze the ingredients in Monster Energy based on medical studies to give our take on whether the popular energy drink is bad for you or not. We highlight several questionable ingredients and pick the healthiest Monster flavor.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-monster-energy-bad-for-you\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"http:\/\/djmazzoni.com\/\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Monster_Energy_Bad_For_You_Thumbnail.png?v=1693972850\",\n\"width\": \"1590\",\n\"height\": \"1590\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5306327\/\", \n\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/media\/135299\/download#:~:text=The%20Daily%20Value%20for%20added,goods%2C%20desserts%2C%20and%20sweets.\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6959843\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/are-ghost-energy-drinks-bad-for-you\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3620743\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30535090\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30805607\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28832835\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/5-hour-energy-review\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-celsius-good-for-you\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29458115\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5621476\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/pmid\/36091835\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/15982990\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29624410\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/products\/panax-ginseng-extract\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"caffeine\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"sugar\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"FDA\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"citric acid\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"sucralose\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Red Bull\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"5-hour Energy\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Celsius\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Chubbyemu\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"acesulfame potassium\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2023-09-05\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ],\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Monster_Energy_Bad_For_You_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1693972255\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDisclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to energy drinks.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eM\u003c\/span\u003eonster Energy is arguably the most popular energy drink in the US. It’s sold at a wide range of retailers both in-person and online, and the brand’s website describes their drink as “one of the meanest energy drinks on the planet.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eBut what’s actually in Monster Energy to provide the energy boost? Does the drink contain any unhealthy additives? How does it compare to other popular energy drinks? And which Monster flavor is the healthiest?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Monster Energy based on medical studies to give our take on whether the drink is bad for you or not.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe’ll compare Monster to other popular energy drinks to see how it stacks up in terms of healthiness, and pick our healthiest Monster flavor.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIngredient Analysis\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Monster_Energy_Caffeine_Sugar_Content_Optimized.png?v=1693972490\" alt=\"Monster Energy caffeine and sugar content graphic\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe main active ingredients in Monster Energy (caffeine and sugar) are shown above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCaffeine\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is included at a dose of 180 milligrams (mg), which is slightly less than two standard cups of coffee. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis is an effective caffeine dose for improving energy levels \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5306327\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eaccording to\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e clinical research, and should not cause health issues in otherwise healthy adults.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eSugar\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is included at a dose of 54 grams (g) per can which is concerning in our opinion.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis exceeds the entire day’s value of added sugar \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/media\/135299\/download#:~:text=The%20Daily%20Value%20for%20added,goods%2C%20desserts%2C%20and%20sweets.\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eestablished by\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e the FDA, and diets high in added sugar promote obesity according to a 2019 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6959843\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe entire ingredient list of Monster Energy is shown below:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Monster_Energy_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1693972518\" alt=\"Monster Energy ingredients\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBeyond added sugar, there are several ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCitric acid\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a preservative and flavor enhancer that can cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals, as we documented in our article on \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/are-ghost-energy-drinks-bad-for-you\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eare Ghost Energy drinks bad for you\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eNatural flavors\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a broad categorical descriptor that fails to identify the specific flavoring chemicals used.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3620743\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eEnvironmental Health Perspectives\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal suggests that some flavoring compounds and their metabolites can be toxic. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eColor added\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a very strange ingredient descriptor, and fails to document whether the colorants used are artificial or naturally-derived.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eSucralose\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is an artificial sweetener that’s \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30535090\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinically shown\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to negatively affect insulin function.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eMonster Energy is one of the few energy drink brands we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health that contains both an artificial sweetener and substantial amounts of added sugar.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eSorbic acid\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e and \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ebenzoic acid\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e are preservatives.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eGlucuronolactone\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e caused negative changes to blood pressure and insulin levels when combined with taurine and caffeine (both included in Monster Energy) in a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30805607\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eJournal of Nutrition\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do believe that Monster Energy is likely to be effective for its intended purpose because it contains a number of stimulatory ingredients (primarily caffeine).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eOverall, we consider Monster Energy to be bad for you\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e due to all of the questionable additives referenced above. However, it’s likely acceptable in moderation in otherwise healthy adults, as are pretty much every food product approved for sale in the US.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut how does Monster compare to other energy drink brands in terms of health? We’ll discuss that in the next section of this article.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eMonster vs. the Competition\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMost commercial energy drinks have similar formulations to Monster, but there are relevant differences.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHere’s our take on the healthiness of Monster versus other popular energy drinks in the US.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRed Bull\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRed Bull contains artificial flavors, and this class of ingredients was shown in a 2018 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28832835\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eanimal study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to be toxic.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHowever, Red Bull also contains 17 g less sugar per can, and no artificial sweeteners.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eVerdict: Red Bull over Monster\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e5-hour Energy\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs we documented in our article on \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/5-hour-energy-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis 5 hour energy bad for you\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, the brand is added-sugar-free which gives it a big edge over Monster in the health category.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHowever, 5-hour Energy contains artificial flavors and a preservative called potassium sorbate that’s clinically shown to be toxic to human cells which makes it hard to pick one over the other.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eVerdict: Tie\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCelsius\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCelsius uses the same artificial sweetener as exists in Monster Energy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe core difference, as we documented in our article on \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-celsius-good-for-you\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis Celsius bad for you\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, is that Celsius is sugar-free and uses fruit and vegetable juice for natural colors.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCelsius is also free of preservatives other than citric acid.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eVerdict: Celsius over Monster\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eCan you OD on Energy Drinks?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eA clinical pharmacist and toxicologist with a YouTube channel called \"ChubbyEmu\" has a video documenting what happened when a gamer took too many energy drinks at once:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/tAtaIZD0Ebs?si=JBhFPLUVUJQJKXLZ\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWhat’s the Healthiest Monster Flavor?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Rehab_Monster_Watermelon_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1693972441\" alt=\"Rehab Monster watermelon flavor ingredients\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe consider Rehab Monster to be the healthiest product line sold by the brand.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe ingredient list above is from Rehab Monster Watermelon.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIt’s important to note that this drink contains less caffeine (by 30 mg), significantly less sugar (by 51 g), and the sugar is derived from a natural source (\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eapple juice concentrate\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e) rather than a refined additive.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eVegetable juice\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is used as a natural colorant.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are no preservatives other than citric acid.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis drink still contains several ingredients we consider questionable from a health perspective as outlined in the ingredient analysis section (citric acid, natural flavors, sucralose) so we don’t recommend it overall.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRehab Monster also contains a second artificial sweetener called \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eacesulfame potassium\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e which was shown to cause negative changes to brain function in a 2018 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29458115\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eanimal study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe would recommend that consumers intent on purchasing a Monster beverage use this product rather than the regular Monster Energy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eOur Clean Energy Picks\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Nootropic_Supplement_Image_Optimized_45500da0-b6cf-4dbb-8aa8-0e17eb86221d.png?v=1668151828\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePanax ginseng extract\u003c\/strong\u003e has been clinically shown to \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/15982990\/\"\u003ereduce mental fatigue\u003c\/a\u003e and \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29624410\/\"\u003ereduce physical fatigue\u003c\/a\u003e; both health effects that can benefit e-sports athletes.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIlluminate Labs manufactures a \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/products\/panax-ginseng-extract\"\u003ePanax Ginseng Extract Supplement\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ethat's potent (standardized to minimum 8% ginsenosides) and third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eInterested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/products\/panax-ginseng-extract\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/a\u003e to the secure product page on our website, \u003c\/span\u003ewhere it retails for\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eonly $15\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eat a subscription price.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.performancelab.com\/products\/energy?a_aid=64a3e09e8e7cd\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003ePerformance Lab Energy\u003c\/a\u003e is our top multi-ingredient energy supplement pick.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThis supplement contains acetyl-l-carnitine which can \"improve energy status\"\u003c\/strong\u003e according to a \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5621476\/\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/a\u003e published in the \u003cem\u003eNeurochemical Research\u003c\/em\u003e journal, as well as \u003cstrong\u003eCoQ10\u003c\/strong\u003e which is produced by the body but decreases with age, and \u003cstrong\u003e\"is an effective and safe treatment for reducing fatigue symptoms\"\u003c\/strong\u003e according to a 2022 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/pmid\/36091835\/\"\u003emeta-study\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eInterested consumers can check out Performance Lab Energy \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.performancelab.com\/products\/energy?a_aid=64a3e09e8e7cd\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/a\u003e to the product page on the brand's official website.\u003c\/span\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMonster Energy is not a healthy choice in our opinion given its very high sugar dose, its artificial sweetener, preservatives and more.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis is one of the few energy drink brands we’ve reviewed to date that includes both a high refined sugar dose and an artificial sweetener.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMonster is an equally unhealthy or an unhealthier option than other popular energy drinks based on our ingredient analysis.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor consumers intent on purchasing Monster, we recommend choosing a Rehab Monster rather than Monster Energy, because the former product has much less sugar and is naturally-colored.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2023-09-05T23:56:50-04:00","updated_at":"2023-11-25T23:08:26-05:00","summary_html":"We analyze the ingredients in Monster Energy based on medical studies to give our take on whether the popular energy drink is bad for you or not. We highlight several questionable ingredients and pick the healthiest Monster flavor.","template_suffix":"","handle":"is-monster-energy-bad-for-you","tags":"_related:energy-drink"}

Is Monster Energy Bad for You? A Dietitian Answers

Is Monster Energy Bad for You? A Dietitian Answers


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to energy drinks.

Monster Energy is arguably the most popular energy drink in the US. It’s sold at a wide range of retailers both in-person and online, and the brand’s website describes their drink as “one of the meanest energy drinks on the planet.”

But what’s actually in Monster Energy to provide the energy boost? Does the drink contain any unhealthy additives? How does it compare to other popular energy drinks? And which Monster flavor is the healthiest?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Monster Energy based on medical studies to give our take on whether the drink is bad for you or not.

We’ll compare Monster to other popular energy drinks to see how it stacks up in terms of healthiness, and pick our healthiest Monster flavor.

Ingredient Analysis

Monster Energy caffeine and sugar content graphic

The main active ingredients in Monster Energy (caffeine and sugar) are shown above.

Caffeine is included at a dose of 180 milligrams (mg), which is slightly less than two standard cups of coffee. 

This is an effective caffeine dose for improving energy levels according to clinical research, and should not cause health issues in otherwise healthy adults.

Sugar is included at a dose of 54 grams (g) per can which is concerning in our opinion.

This exceeds the entire day’s value of added sugar established by the FDA, and diets high in added sugar promote obesity according to a 2019 medical review.

The entire ingredient list of Monster Energy is shown below:

Monster Energy ingredients

Beyond added sugar, there are several ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.

Citric acid is a preservative and flavor enhancer that can cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals, as we documented in our article on are Ghost Energy drinks bad for you.

Natural flavors is a broad categorical descriptor that fails to identify the specific flavoring chemicals used.

A medical review published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal suggests that some flavoring compounds and their metabolites can be toxic. 

Color added is a very strange ingredient descriptor, and fails to document whether the colorants used are artificial or naturally-derived.

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that’s clinically shown to negatively affect insulin function.

Monster Energy is one of the few energy drink brands we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health that contains both an artificial sweetener and substantial amounts of added sugar.

Sorbic acid and benzoic acid are preservatives.

Glucuronolactone caused negative changes to blood pressure and insulin levels when combined with taurine and caffeine (both included in Monster Energy) in a clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition.

We do believe that Monster Energy is likely to be effective for its intended purpose because it contains a number of stimulatory ingredients (primarily caffeine).

Overall, we consider Monster Energy to be bad for you due to all of the questionable additives referenced above. However, it’s likely acceptable in moderation in otherwise healthy adults, as are pretty much every food product approved for sale in the US.

But how does Monster compare to other energy drink brands in terms of health? We’ll discuss that in the next section of this article.

Monster vs. the Competition

Most commercial energy drinks have similar formulations to Monster, but there are relevant differences.

Here’s our take on the healthiness of Monster versus other popular energy drinks in the US.

Red Bull

Red Bull contains artificial flavors, and this class of ingredients was shown in a 2018 animal study to be toxic.

However, Red Bull also contains 17 g less sugar per can, and no artificial sweeteners.

Verdict: Red Bull over Monster

5-hour Energy

As we documented in our article on is 5 hour energy bad for you, the brand is added-sugar-free which gives it a big edge over Monster in the health category.

However, 5-hour Energy contains artificial flavors and a preservative called potassium sorbate that’s clinically shown to be toxic to human cells which makes it hard to pick one over the other.

Verdict: Tie

Celsius

Celsius uses the same artificial sweetener as exists in Monster Energy.

The core difference, as we documented in our article on is Celsius bad for you, is that Celsius is sugar-free and uses fruit and vegetable juice for natural colors.

Celsius is also free of preservatives other than citric acid.

Verdict: Celsius over Monster

Can you OD on Energy Drinks?

A clinical pharmacist and toxicologist with a YouTube channel called "ChubbyEmu" has a video documenting what happened when a gamer took too many energy drinks at once:

What’s the Healthiest Monster Flavor?

Rehab Monster watermelon flavor ingredients

We consider Rehab Monster to be the healthiest product line sold by the brand.

The ingredient list above is from Rehab Monster Watermelon.

It’s important to note that this drink contains less caffeine (by 30 mg), significantly less sugar (by 51 g), and the sugar is derived from a natural source (apple juice concentrate) rather than a refined additive.

Vegetable juice is used as a natural colorant.

There are no preservatives other than citric acid.

This drink still contains several ingredients we consider questionable from a health perspective as outlined in the ingredient analysis section (citric acid, natural flavors, sucralose) so we don’t recommend it overall.

Rehab Monster also contains a second artificial sweetener called acesulfame potassium which was shown to cause negative changes to brain function in a 2018 animal study.

We would recommend that consumers intent on purchasing a Monster beverage use this product rather than the regular Monster Energy.

Our Clean Energy Picks

Panax ginseng extract has been clinically shown to reduce mental fatigue and reduce physical fatigue; both health effects that can benefit e-sports athletes.

Illuminate Labs manufactures a Panax Ginseng Extract Supplement that's potent (standardized to minimum 8% ginsenosides) and third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy.

Interested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract at this link to the secure product page on our website, where it retails for only $15 at a subscription price.

Performance Lab Energy is our top multi-ingredient energy supplement pick.

This supplement contains acetyl-l-carnitine which can "improve energy status" according to a medical review published in the Neurochemical Research journal, as well as CoQ10 which is produced by the body but decreases with age, and "is an effective and safe treatment for reducing fatigue symptoms" according to a 2022 meta-study.

Interested consumers can check out Performance Lab Energy at this link to the product page on the brand's official website. 

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Monster Energy is not a healthy choice in our opinion given its very high sugar dose, its artificial sweetener, preservatives and more.

This is one of the few energy drink brands we’ve reviewed to date that includes both a high refined sugar dose and an artificial sweetener.

Monster is an equally unhealthy or an unhealthier option than other popular energy drinks based on our ingredient analysis.

For consumers intent on purchasing Monster, we recommend choosing a Rehab Monster rather than Monster Energy, because the former product has much less sugar and is naturally-colored.