Monster is the second most sold energy drink in America, with sales of 263 million in 2020. This fizzy drink has several admirers due to its varied flavors and some haters as a result of its unhealthy elements.
True to its name, consuming a 473 ml or 16-oz can have monstrous effects on your health - especially with regular consumption.
In this article, we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t drink an entire can of Monster in a day.
Firstly, let’s explore the ingredients and nutrient composition of a 473 ml or 16-oz Monster Energy can.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that’s around 600 times sweeter than sugar. Although it’s chemically modified to be extra sweet, it doesn’t supply any calories. Moreover, it doesn’t leave any aftertaste in the mouth.
The most common sucralose product is Splenda. Unlike sucralose, it can give up to 3.36 calories per gram.
Guarana is a plant that’s native to Amazon, Brazil. It’s a great source of caffeine and two other caffeine-like compounds, theophylline and theobromine.
Guarana extract can help people fight obesity and attain better athletic and mental performance when taken by mouth. It’s also an effective energy booster. But there are no scientific studies supporting these claims.
However, consuming Guarana extract in high doses for long periods can harm your body because of its caffeine content.
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid present in the human body parts, like the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles. It’s believed to help maintain healthy muscle strength, which improves mental and athletic performance. However, there are not many studies supporting these.
Energy drinks contain this compound in high amounts, which has raised concerns about its side effects. So far, the studies conducted on taurine have shown positive effects on the body. According to a study published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine in 2016, taurine doses up to 10 g per day for 6 months are safe for human consumption.
PANAX GINSENG EXTRACT
Also known as the Korean Ginseng, Panax ginseng is a medical herb said to help with diabetes, erectile dysfunction, and memory and thinking skills. But it can show side effects, like headache, digestive problems, and insomnia, in some people. Also, Panax ginseng can increase blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels.
As a result, pregnant and nursing women and children should avoid having Panax ginseng.
Vitamins B2 or riboflavin increase the red blood cell count and help carry out other cellular functions in the body. It can also break down fats, proteins, and carbs, giving an energy boost after ingestion.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value (reference amounts of a nutrient you should consume or not exceed in a day) for vitamin B2 is 1.3 mg for adults and children aged 4 years and older. And foods supplying more than 20 percent of the DV (daily value) are high sources of vitamin B2.
This means that a person shouldn’t have more than 1.3 mg of vitamin B2 in a day.
From the label, we can see that a serving of Monster (half of a 473 ml can) gives 1.3 mg (or 100 percent) of vitamin B2. Since a 473 ml or 16-oz Monster has two servings, it will supply 2.6 mg of vitamin B2 — which is twice the recommended daily intake value.
Excess vitamin B2 consumption can trigger liver damage. However, for adverse effects, you will have to consume 400 mg of riboflavin/day for at least 3 months. Since that’s highly rare, much data isn’t available on vitamin B2 overdose.
Vitamin B3 or niacin is essential for turning the food you have into energy. It also helps keep your nervous system, digestive system, and skin healthy.
Niacin is available in the market in different forms:
- Nicotinic acid
- Inositol hexanicotinate
- Nicotinamide or niacinamide
The FDA has mentioned a daily value of 16 mg for adults and children aged 4 years and older. And from the label, we know that a serving of 473 ml or 16-oz Monster will provide 16 mg of vitamin B3. A can of 16-oz Monster has two servings, and therefore, will supply 32 mg of Vitamin B3. This is, again, twice the amount of the daily value!
However, high intake of vitamin B3 has not been reported to cause any adverse effects. But nicotinic acid and nicotinamide intake in excess can be toxic.
30 to 50 mg of nicotinic acid can cause flushing, burning, tingling, and itching sensations. You could also experience headaches, dizziness, or decrease in blood pressure. Similarly, nicotinic acid consumption above 1000 to 3000 mg/day can lead to hypotension and fatigue.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is crucial for regular brain development and a healthy nervous and immune system. It was also proven to reduce the effect of morning sickness during pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and sideroblastic anemia.
The recommended daily value of vitamin B6 is 1.7 mg for adults and children age 4 years and older, as per the FDA. Since a can of 473 ml or 16-oz Monster has 200 percent DV of vitamin B6 (image), we know that the energy drink will give 3.4 mg of the nutrient.
Although excessive vitamin B6 intakes haven’t been reported, its regular consumption at high doses (1 to 6 g) per day for 12–40 months can lead to ataxia, a condition in which the person loses control over body movements. Painful skin lesions, nausea, heartburn, etc., are its other side effects.
The vitamin B12 nutrient maintains healthy blood and nerve cells and helps make DNA. It also prevents megaloblastic anemia, which makes people tired and weak.
Adults and children aged 4 years and older have a recommended daily value of 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 (FDA). 240 ml or 8-oz Monster contains 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12, and a can (473 ml) gives 4.8 mcg.
Monster supplies the body with twice the DV of the nutrient.
But the nutrient is water-soluble, and you can eliminate the excess nutrient via bodily secretions. However, in some cases, vitamin B12 excess has led to acne outbreaks and pus-filled, red bumps on the face (rosacea).
Caffeine needs no introduction. This widely loved drug can be found in coffee, tea, chocolates, and many other daily consumed food items.
It functions by blocking the effect of neurotransmitter adenosine on the brain, keeping you active even when you’re tired. In addition to this amazing benefit, it can also act as a mood booster.
But in kids, caffeine can raise blood pressure, cause insomnia, increase anxiety, and show withdrawal symptoms. Similarly, the drug can harm pregnant and lactating women as it can lead to miscarriage or children with behavioral problems, like attention difficulties and hyperactivity.
For adults, having more than 400 mg of caffeine can be harmful, according to the FDA.
A can (473 ml) of Monster gives 160 mg caffeine — almost half of the RDA (recommended dietary allowance).
According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science, these drinks have:
- Espresso: 240–720 mg caffeine
- Decaffeinated coffee: 3–12 mg caffeine
- Brewed tea: 40–120 mg caffeine
- Black tea: 25 to 110 mg caffeine
- Coffee: 102–200 mg caffeine
This means that you’re more likely to surpass the caffeine limit by having a Monster along with two cups of coffee.
Overconsumption of caffeine can cause anxiety, restlessness, irregular heartbeat, and more, in adults. It can also promote headaches, high blood pressure, and migraine.
Sugar is another major component of energy drinks like Monster. Typically, 1 g added sugar supplies the body with 4 calories.
Energy drinks contain added sugars that are easily digested and absorbed by the body, making them addictive.
But its overconsumption can result in diabetes, heart diseases, increased blood pressure, pancreatic issues, and more. Therefore the FDA has recommended a 50 g of DV for added sugar.
A 473 ml or 16-oz can of Monster provides 54 g of added sugar. And you exceed the FDA recommended limit by drinking one can of Monster.
Monster can be healthy if you consume one serving. Since Monster has 473 ml cans with two servings, you can drink half of it and stay within the recommended daily values.
Moreover, drinking a can once in a while may not harm you. But rethink before you drink a whole can regularly due to excess sugar and caffeine content.
Disclaimer: This article isn’t a piece of health advice from a professional. It’s based on other reliable articles and studies, and the writer’s observation. It’s written solely to enlighten readers.