Whenever you reach for that cup of coffee in the morning, you pretty much know exactly what’s going into it — coffee, milk, sugar, and maybe some flavored syrups here and there if you order it from Starbucks. But what about a can of Khaos, Rehab, or any of Monster’s 34 other energy drinks (via Delishably)? While both coffee and Monster rely on caffeine to keep you alert, according to Livestrong, Monster takes a lot more than just the one ingredient to “Unleash the Beast.”
In most cases, a long list of ingredients is bad news for your health, but drinking Monster isn’t necessarily the worst option in the world. For one, the main ingredient is actually carbonated water. So while it looks like a can of soda and is high in sugar, it’s way better for you than Mountain Dew. In fact, the brand behind Monster is Hansen’s Natural, a family-owned fruit juice company known for its all-natural fruit-based drinks (via Fortune). Monsters may not be fruit-based, but they do use vitamins and amino acids to naturally boost energy.
Monster energy drinks are loaded with vitamins
Seeing a word like “cyanocobalamin” on the nutrition label might make you second guess your choice of drink, but it’s actually just the scientific name for vitamin B12, and is one of six vitamins that make up Monster’s signature “Energy Blend,” according to Livestrong. In addition to vitamin B12, Monster also contains vitamin C, vitamin B8, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, and vitamin B3. The most significant of these is vitamin B2, which plays a role in energy production, and vitamin B3, which helps turn food into energy.
While you might’ve not known about Monster’s vitamin content, chances are you probably knew about its taurine, as it’s printed right on the front of the can. According to Healthline, taurine is an amino acid that reduces fatigue, and along with the drink’s other amino acid L-carnitine, taurine helps increase physical endurance. But aside from vitamins and minerals, what else comes in these cans?
Are Monster energy drinks healthy?
Vitamins and amino acid supplements might be considered healthy on their own, but that doesn’t mean Monster is a healthy drink. Monster is not only packed with vitamins, it’s also packed with a whopping 54 grams of sugar (via Healthline). This amount of sugar makes Monster drinks tasty, but it doesn’t do anything in terms of energy. In fact, there’s a good chance it’ll cause your blood sugar to spike.
The zero-sugar Monster flavors aren’t any better, as they rely on a chemical additive called sucralose instead, which is “600 times sweeter than table sugar,” Livestrong reports. Unfortunately, that impressive number of healthy vitamins in every can of Monster won’t cancel out either the artificial sweetener or the sugar.
Because all of Monster’s energy-boosting ingredients — the vitamins and the amino acids — are already naturally occurring in the foods we eat every day, they function purely as supplements to Monster’s 80 mg of caffeine per serving. Supplements by definition are only supplemental, not essential, so while they’re not exactly bad for you, it’s important to remember that too much of a good thing can sometimes be a bad thing.