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Of Course Monster Energy Drink Is Bad For You

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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 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.