In a nutshell, Monster consider their drinks vegan, despite not being officially certified.
If you make a google search about it, you’ll see the company has clearly mentioned that they use no animal by-products, however, the brand does not use any vegan labels.
I know it sounds a bit confusing, so I’m here to shed some light particularly to this question – is Monster vegan?
In this article, we’ll inspect Monster Energy ingredients’ to see how vegan they are. So, read and learn to find out!
For reference, a standard can of Monster contains 160 mg caffeine, 210 calories, 54 grams of sugar, taurine, B-Vitamins, guarana extract, and other energy-boosting properties.
Ingredients in Monster Energy Drink
A 16 fl. oz. can of Monster Energy contains the following ingredients:
- Carbonated Water
- Citric Acid
- Natural Flavours
- Sodium Citrate
- Color Added
- Panax Ginseng Extract
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate
- Sorbic Acid
- Benzoic Acid
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
- Guarana Extract
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
- Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Is Monster Energy really Vegan?
If you’re vegan and you love Monster Energy, it’s fair to expect your favorite energy drink to contain vegan-friendly ingredients.
Based on the ingredients list above, there are no traces of animal by-products in Monster Energy Drink. In that sense, we can assume that Monster is indeed vegan!
However, the Java series is the only exception, as it contains reduced fat milk as its prime ingredient. Apart from that, there are no animal products or by-products in any of the Monster drinks.
If you’re still unsure about the ingredients, I’ve put together a data table to clear things up for you.
|Ingredients||Source||Is it vegan?|
|Glucose||Fruits & Vegetables||Yes|
|Citric acid||Plant, Bacterial, Fungal, or Mould.||Yes|
|Calcium pantothenate||Usually synthetic.||Yes|
The question is, would this be sufficient to prove that Monster Energy is a vegan-friendly energy drink?
Despite the fact that most of the components in Monster Energy are obtained from plants (except for the Java series), the matter of Monster being vegan-friendly is still unclear.
To clarify, let’s take a closer look at Monster’s main ingredients namely: caffeine, sugar, taurine, and B-Vitamins.
Caffeine in Monster Energy Drink
A 16 fl. oz. Monster Energy Drink has a caffeine content of 160 mg.
Caffeine is a stimulant that is naturally sourced from cocoa beans, tea leaves, and coffee beans. Other sources include guarana berries and yerba mate.
That being said, the caffeine in Monster is definitely vegan!
Caffeine is obviously the most important of all the ingredients because it provides you with the required energy boost that you’ll be needing throughout the course of your workout or any physical activity.
Caffeine is naturally addictive and it is to your advantage to keep your intake below the recommended limit to avoid its unpleasant side effects. The FDA sets 400 mg as the recommended daily caffeine intake for most individuals.
Are the Added Sugars in Monster Energy Vegan?
The sugar substitutes used in Monster Energy are considered vegan because it is derived from plants and synthesized in laboratories.
For reference, there’s 54 grams of sugar in a 16 fl.oz. can of Monster.
However, there are doubts about these two sweeteners being vegan. For example, glucose can either be sourced from animal tissues or plants. Also, there are reports about the use of animals to test on the side effects of sucralose.
In addition to this, there may be uncertainties regarding sugar being vegan due to the use of bone char during the filtering and bleaching process. Bone char is made by heating animal bones at a very high temperature.
After what I’ve just said, I understand if you’re put off. However, in my opinion, it is safe to add Monster to a vegan diet if you’re doing it for health purposes.
The decision is entirely yours. You can include it in your diet or stay away from it depending on your view about being vegan or veganism.
B-Vitamins in Monster Energy Drink
Monster Energy Drink contains Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, and Vitamin C, which are all essential nutrients in terms of boosting energy levels and many other functions in the body.
Let’s look at this table to determine the sources of B-vitamins found in Monster Energy Drink.
or Pantothenic Acid
(as calcium pantothenate)
(as pyridoxine hydrochloride)
or Ascorbic Acid
|Citrus fruits, mushrooms|
From the above table, it’s clear that the majority of B-Vitamins of Monster Energy are artificially synthesized, and a few others are extracted from plant-based sources. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that the vitamins in Monster Energy Drink are considered vegan.
Is the Taurine Used in Monster Energy Drink Vegan?
Taurine is considered to be the most animal by-product on the whole ingredient list of Monster Energy Drink.
It is commonly sourced from fish and mammals, which adds to the uncertainty since you don’t know the exact source of taurine used in Monster Energy.
However, most energy drinks use laboratory synthesized taurine in their drinks. So we can presume that Monster Energy Drink also uses the synthetic version of taurine.
Are the Natural Flavors of Monster Energy Drink Vegan?
Natural flavors may be obtained from both animal or plant sources, which is another uncertainty of whether or not Monster is vegan.
According to the US FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations, natural flavors are produced from substances derived from the following plant and animal sources:
- vegetables, spices
- edible yeast, herbs
- meat, poultry, or seafood
- dairy products, including fermented products
As Monster Energy Drink doesn’t state the exact source of the natural flavors they use, the matter remains unclear.
The best thing to do in such a case is to directly contact the manufacturer to know whether your drink contains natural flavors originating from plants or not.
Are the Additives Used in Monster Energy Drink Vegan?
The additives are usually not specified on the packaging, which makes it hard to tell if they’re vegan-safe or not.
Monster Energy drinks often contain animal-tested artificial food dyes like carmine (found in the Monster Ultra Red), red dye 40, and yellow dye 5.
Carmine is made by drying, grinding, and then boiling cochineal beetles to extract carminic acid. It is made from insects to create the bright red eye-catching flavor.
Animals are regularly tested for Red 40 and despite being labeled as “vegan,” it is not cruelty-free since it contains benzidine or other carcinogens that are toxic to wildlife.
Tartrazine, also known as Yellow 5, is a yellow coloring made from petroleum oil that has mostly been tested on mice and rats.
Knowing this, you’re probably thinking – Monster is definitely not vegan at all, which is totally rational and acceptable.
Other Vegan-friendly Ingredients In Monster Energy Drink
The following ingredients found in Monster Energy Drink are considered vegan-friendly:
- Carbonated water
- Citric Acid
- Sorbic Acid
- Benzoic Acid
- Sodium Citrate
- Sodium Chloride
- Guarana seed extract
- Panax ginseng root extract
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
Are the Other Flavors of Monster Energy Vegan-Safe Too?
Monster Energy comes with a variety of flavors, but are they all suitable for vegans?
Let’s take a look at the Monster energy drink’s major varieties:
Even though the Monster Energy Ultra Red range is considered vegan-friendly in North America, it might not be the same in other countries.
In the UK and some European countries, this series of Monster include cochineal (also known as E120 or carmine), a natural red pigment derived from scale insects which means it cannot be considered fully vegan.
Except for the java series, I believe all Monster energy flavors can be considered vegan but I strongly suggest looking closely at the ingredients of every flavor to confirm their vegan status.
Check out this video to determine the taste of each flavor of Monster Energy Drink.
As a vegan, is it okay for you to drink Monster Energy?
Personally, if I am going vegan due to health reasons, I’d say, yes, it is okay to drink Monster Energy. However, I advise you to tread lightly on this decision if you are an ethical vegan because it’s hard to tell if ingredients are completely vegan.
At this point, the best thing to do is perform due diligence to find out for yourself if Monster is vegan or not. Calling the manufacturer is wise to get a straight answer.
But don’t be too dismissive about Monster Energy’s vegan status because it still works well as an energy drink. The caffeine in this drink, along with other properties can certainly provide you with an ultimate boost.
Is Monster Energy Bad For You?
Monster Energy Drink is not bad for you, as long as you limit your intake to one can per day.
However, the high sugar content in Monster is something that you should consider. Sugary drinks are linked to health conditions, such as cardiac and blood vessel problems if consumed regularly.
But moderate use of Monster Energy Drink has very few unfavorable health effects.
So, unless you’re not a heavy drinker or have a history of health problems, consuming a can of Monster Energy Drink once in a while is not a bad idea at all.
A Comparison Between Monster & Bang Energy
To me, Bang seems to be a safer option because it is sugar-free and less expensive, but its high caffeine level might not be ideal for all.
Monster, on the other hand, will probably suit your caffeine tolerance best if you’re new to caffeinated drinks.
Here’s a table showing Monster and Bang’s calorie, caffeine, sugar, and approximate price.
|Contents per 16 fl. oz. can||Monster Energy||Bang Energy|
|Calories||210 calories||0 calories|
|Caffeine Content||160 mg||300 mg|
|Sugar Content||54 g||0 g|
|Approximate Price||About $3-3.50||About $2-2.5|
In my opinion, both Monster and Bang do have their own distinctive quality that stands out from each other. Both are really powerful drinks that promise to give you the strength that you need while engaged in physical activities.
Whatever you choose, you’re certainly fixed for a good few hours boost.
Monster Energy Drink Alternatives
If you’re looking for energy drinks similar to Monster Energy, consider the following options:
You may also like to try powdered energy drinks as well:
- Advocare Spark
In my opinion, the vegan status of Monster is unclear.
However, I’ll consider adding it to a healthy vegan diet because I believe most ingredients are relatively acceptable and healthy.
But this may not be the case if you are a moral vegan. There is definitely a concern about the use of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and additives in this drink.
So, I strongly recommend getting in touch with the manufacturer to confirm how vegan their ingredients are. That way, you can get the best information.
Lastly, even if you think Monster is totally vegan, I do not recommend binge drinking it because of the many adverse effects linked to overconsuming energy drinks in general.
So, drink in moderation and be sure to check the vegan stats of Monster ingredients!