Monster Energy Drinks were first created in 2002 and have been Redbull’s main competitor since they were first released. For over twenty years, Monster has been building a reputation for itself and is currently the second-most-popular brand of energy drinks in the world.
If you’re reading this post, though, you’re probably wondering, “Are Monsters vegan?”
A quick look at the ingredients list reveals that Monster energy drinks are vegan-friendly.
Although the drinks contain some questionable ingredients (such as taurine), the company has verified that these additives don’t come from animals. The only somewhat problematic ingredient is refined white sugar.
Many vegans don’t like to consume white sugar, as it’s filtered through animal bone char. However, Monster offers a number of sugar-free energy drinks that don’t contain any refined white sugar whatsoever!
So, the next time you’re feeling tired, feel free to give yourself a boost with Monster energy!
In today’s post, I’m going to give you a full breakdown of Monster energy drinks, so you can see exactly what they’re made of. First, though, I want to take a minute to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about these drinks.
Are Energy Drinks Vegan?
Humans have been consuming various energy drinks for hundreds of years. For example, tea, coffee, ginseng, cacao, and coca leaf are all energy-inducing herbs and plants that global civilizations have used to give them a boost when they need it most.
With the exception of coca (which is illegal, as the plant is used to make cocaine) and kratom (which is illegal in some countries and U.S. states), all of the other ingredients are commonly consumed to this day. They’re also found in many energy drinks.
Unfortunately, there’s no cut-and-dry answer to this question.
In general, most energy drinks tend to be vegan. However, you should always be on the lookout for problem ingredients.
The most common culprit is, of course, sugar. As I mentioned above, many vegans don’t like to consume white sugar, as it’s filtered through bone char.
Additionally, you should also be careful when it comes to coffee-flavored energy drinks. Most coffee energy drinks also contain milk or dairy additives to give them that “creamy iced coffee” flavor.
As a rule of thumb, you should read ingredients labels before buying any energy drink.
Is Taurine Vegan?
Taurine is a common organic compound that’s found within animal and mammalian tissues. It’s commonly believed to improve athletic performance by boosting nervous system functionality. Unfortunately, taurine is not always vegan.
This is because taurine naturally comes from animal flesh. Most people naturally consume a bit of taurine every time they eat meat (especially red meat).
However, with today’s technology, it’s now possible to synthesize taurine in a laboratory.
So, most of today’s energy drinks and supplements use synthetic taurine as it’s cheaper, cleaner, and easier to blend!
What Are Plant-Based Energy Drinks?
The latest energy drink trend is plant-based energy. An increasing number of energy drinks (including Monster) are releasing plant-based energy drinks that use a higher percentage of herbal energy supplements than traditional caffeine-only energy drinks.
Some of these plant-based energy drinks may also use natural caffeine from tea or green coffee beans instead of synthetic lab-derived caffeine, as it’s more natural!
Plant-based energy drinks also tend to be low-sugar (or sugar-free), which means that you usually don’t have to worry about white sugar content! Other than that, however, plant-based energy drinks have many of the same ingredients found in plain energy drinks.
Are Java Monster Drinks Vegan?
Although most Monster energy drinks are vegan, the Java Monster drinks are NOT vegan.
These sweet, creamy, iced coffee drinks contain milk and dairy products, which are used to give them their signature creamy texture.
This is also the case with most other coffee-flavored energy drinks.
You’re better off sticking to regular energy drinks or plant-based energy drinks instead!
What Are Monster Energy Drinks Made Of? A Look At The Ingredients
While Monster energy drinks may be vegan, they’re not exactly “healthy.” A quick look at the ingredients will reveal lots of sugar, acid, and chemical preservatives.
Monster has also been sued in numerous cases for advertising their products to teenagers who over-consume them and have died from too much caffeine.
So, just because they’re vegan doesn’t mean that you should go overboard. Drinking one in moderation every now and then is fine. Just don’t make a habit of chugging down multiple Monsters a day!
Here’s everything that’s used to make the original green Monster drinks:
Most of the other flavors of Monster energy drinks use similar ingredients as well. So, I figured it was the best example to use.
Now, let me take a couple of minutes to go through the ingredients list with you guys and clear up any confusing items that you might be questioning.
1) Carbonated Water
The first ingredient in Monster drinks (and most other energy drinks) is carbonated water. Water is always vegan and the only thing that’s different about this water is that it’s infused with carbonated gas (which is natural and vegan).
That being said, not everybody’s stomach agrees with carbonated water. It’s often the cause of gassiness, bloating, excessive burping, and acid reflux.
Sugar is the only ingredient in Monster drinks that may cause some vegans to rethink their decision. Unfortunately, Monster drinks are made with refined white sugar. This sugar is the most commonly used sweetener in processed food and drinks, which makes it hard to escape.
However, a growing number of vegans are boycotting sugar due to the fact that it’s filtered through animal bone char to remove all of the sugar’s natural brown coloring and malt flavor.
Glucose is pure sugar and typically comes in a syrup form, mixed with water. Glucose is the same stuff that runs in our blood, which makes it a rather dangerous sweetener that can mess with your blood sugar levels quicker than normal sugar.
Glucose is often used in energy drinks as it’s absorbed immediately by your body, giving you a quick energy boost and giving your body time to process the caffeine in the beverage.
4) Citric Acid
Citric acid is a natural plant-derived acid that’s found in citrus plants. In Monster drinks, citric acid is used as both a flavoring (creates a tart, citrusy flavor) and a natural preservative.
5) Natural Flavors
Monster drinks were originally created to compete with Red Bull. If you taste the original green Monster, you’ll notice that it tastes very similar to the original Red Bull flavor.
This is thanks to the natural and artificial flavoring blend used to create Monster. These flavors are all vegan, though, so there’s nothing to worry about here!
As I mentioned, taurine is a natural compound that’s typically found in animal flesh. Thankfully, though, Monster drinks are made with synthetic taurine, which makes them vegan-friendly.
7) Sodium Citrate
Sodium citrate is a concentrated salt that’s derived from citric acid. It’s often used as a mild preservative in energy drinks and sodas.
8) Artificial Coloring
My mom used to always joke with me that I was drinking “antifreeze” whenever I showed up chugging a Monster after school.
Needless to say, Monster’s iconic green coloring is the result of artificial food dyes. These are all synthetically derived, though, so they aren’t an issue for vegans.
9) Panax Ginseng & Guarana Extract
Ginseng and guarana are both herbs that have been used for centuries to give humans a boost of energy. Both are all-natural herbs, and are a great source of plant-based energy!
10) L-Carnitine & L-Tartrate
L-Carnitine and L-Tartrate both work together to give your metabolism a boost, which can help you burn fat and increase your body’s energy levels.
L-Carnitine helps your body turn fat cells into energy and L-Tartrate helps your body produce more of its own natural L-Carnitine for a sustained energy boost.
What would an energy drink be without caffeine? The caffeine used for Monster drinks is almost always synthetic.
12) Sorbic & Benzoic Acid
Sorbic acid and benzoic acid are both acidic preservatives that are commonly used to make Monster drinks. They’re not healthy in the slightest and can damage your stomach when consumed regularly. At least they’re vegan, though!
13) B Vitamins & Inositol
Monster drinks contain lots of synthetic and plant-based B vitamins. B vitamins are most commonly associated with healthy metabolic function and are known for providing your body with a natural energy boost.
Sucralose is a sugar-free, zero-calorie sweetener that’s often used in place of sugar. It’s vegan and is used to make Monster drinks taste sweeter without having to add extra calories.
Salt is added to most energy drinks and sports drinks, as it helps boost your body’s electrolyte levels, which can help you sustain energy. Salt is always vegan.
D-Glucuronolactone is a natural stimulant that’s produced by our body. When consumed, its effect is similar to that of caffeine, which is why it’s commonly added to energy drinks.
Maltodextrin is a common starch that’s extracted from corn. It’s readily absorbed by your body as an immediate source of sugar, which is why it’s often used in vegan mass gainers. In Monster drinks, however, maltodextrin is used to jump-start your metabolism.
The Verdict – Are Monster Drinks Vegan-Friendly?
Other than sugar, which might be problematic for vegans, Monster drinks are vegan-friendly. If sugar is an issue, there are tons of Monster drinks that are sugar-free as well! Just remember that consuming energy drinks in excess is never healthy, so watch your caffeine intake.
If you’re looking for a more natural source of caffeine, then be sure to check out my list of the best vegan drinks at Starbucks next!