Of Course Monster Energy Drink Is Bad For You

Monster | Photo: ashleyrosex/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Steroids cause a baseball player to hit more home runs. That timeshare deal in Vegas is not going to be the bargain it's made out to be. It's a very, very, very bad idea to answer that late-night booty text from your ex.

While none of these things can necessarily be proven -- even the steroid question has a few too many variables to make for good science -- they are still "gut facts," things that we just know because we know. The examples I used are more universal, but everyone has their own private personal ones as well. For me, for instance, it's a bad idea to go to Trader Joe's at any time except two in the afternoon, nothing good can come from watching "Doctor Who," and Monster Energy Drink is terribly bad thing to put inside of the human body.

Hold on a second with that last one, actually. It may have been nudged in the direction of "actual scientific fact" this past week. As this article over at the New York Times explains, the popular energy drink is now in that murky realm of maybe, possibly being linked to actual deaths! Five deaths, in fact, over the past three years have mentioned the drink in their reports. Says the Times:

The records were recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the mother of a 14-year-old Maryland girl who died in December from a heart arrhythmia after drinking large cans of Monster Energy on two consecutive days.

The Maryland girl, Anais Fournier, is one of the five cases. Now, Fournier supposedly had a pre-existing heart condition, which is where all of these cases and their link to Monster become unclear. If someone has a condition, diagnosed or otherwise, and Monster acts poorly in their body because of it, then it may not be cause for national concern. As such, the findings are far from anything that will have the FDA putting a "Warning: Can Cause Death" sticker on Monster, or begin requiring the signing of a waiver every time you buy one from 7-11. Right now, it's no more than a possible coincidence between deaths and drink that's being looked at.

But, c'mon, we all know Monster energy drink cannot be good for you.

While the caffeine content isn't any worse than what you'd get from a normal cup of coffee -- according to The Center for Science in the Public Interest, Monster has 160 milligrams of caffeine per 16 ounces, while coffee has roughly 133 every 8 ounces -- that's not all that's in there. Just looking down the label, an ordinary can of Monster has (deep breath):

(1) 27 grams of sugar;
(2) vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12;
(3) a whole bunch of Taurine;
(4) more than twice as much sodium as a 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola;
(5) An "energy blend" containing Carntine, Glucose, Guarana, the aforementioned Caffeine, Inosital, Glucuronolactone, and Maltodetrin.

That's a lot of ingredients. But beyond those, it's simply the "gut test" that's most worrisome about Monster, and most other energy drinks for that matter.

There's certainly something unnatural about the whole thing. It tastes like chemicals. One doesn't feel "good" after drinking them. Maybe they're not vomiting for the next hour or curled up in the corner waiting for their eyes to stop bleeding, but after that sense of sugar/caffeine rush, you tend to feel like you just were in a boxing match. It's just a general sense of uneasiness, knowing that what you just consumed can't be all that good for you. (The same feeling I get whenever I have a six-pack of McNuggets, a tradition before my flights from L.A. back home to Chicago; if I'm going down, might as well make it a tasty last meal.)

Which is all to say: This news about Monster possibly being involved in actual deaths is not surprising. This is to be expected. Anyone who's ever had a can should've been prepared for this the minute they finished off the last few drops.

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About the Author

Rick Paulas has written plenty of things, some of them serious, many of them not, scattered over the vast expanses of the Internet. He lives in Los Angeles and is a White Sox fan.
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You sound like a total moron writing this. First of all where are your facts. Feeling uneasy and the bad taste don't mean anything. Ice cream is amazing so is it good for you? No its not. Just cause you think it taste bad doesn't mean it is bad and not everyone feels bad after having them. Every once in awhile I drink them and I feel amazing. Let me ask you what is your background in health seems you dont have any. Im pursuing 2 degress right now in nutrition and excercise science. On top of that I have a specialized nutrition certification from NASM the leader in fitness and health education. So let me tell you 27 grams of sugar is nothing. Thats about a serving of cereal and less then a serving of any sports drink like gatoraid or poweraid. Thats the same amount of sugar found in a candy bar. That much sugar is easily metabolised especially if its after a work out or in the morning when the body has a glucose deficiency. Next thing is monster is not a bunch of chemicals. All those b vitamins are found in bananas. B vitamins are water soluble so taking amplitude of them is fine. The herbs like taurine are natural as well. Another thing sodium is not bad for you its when you have 2 much. An athlete can consume up to 5000 mg in a day. I know there have been some deaths blamed on energy drinks but first of all they most likely had underlying conditions. Many people have died from drinking too much water so should we not drink water? No its all about moderation that is the key to all foods. So next time don't go around posting stupid junk on the internet unless you have facts to back it up and know what your talking about