Life can get exhausting. Whether you are pulling an all-nighter to study and get homework done, or you need a pick me up to finish a long shift at work, energy drinks can help. The problem is that there are many drinks to choose between, and it can be challenging to figure out which ones are vegan. From Full Throttle to Redbull, the list of energy drinks seems endless. Is Monster Vegan? Are they all safe for those living a plant-based lifestyle?
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Monster Energy has been around since 2002 and quickly became one of the most popular energy drinks available. They offer more than 30 flavors and sell their drinks in over 100 countries. People love Monster Energy because the brand is far from boring, and they put money into sports and music scenes.
It may be plant-based, but…
The majority of Monster Energy drinks are vegan. Some factors make certain Monster Energy drinks not vegan-friendly such as flavors, styles, and even if you live in North America or a European country. Most Monster Energy drinks are just fine for those living a plant-based lifestyle, but not all of them are safe.
Different flavors mean different ingredient list
Lines of drinks created by Monster include:
- Monster Energy (Original Line)
- Monster Hydro
- Monster Ultra
- Java Monster
- Juice Monster
There are tons of flavors within each of these drink lines. It appears that all flavors of Monster Energy, Monster Hydro, Monster Ultra, and Juice Monster are vegan.
One of the most popular drinks that Monster Energy sells is Java Monster. This coffee energy drink is non-vegan because it contains milk. None of the flavors of Java Monster are vegan, including Mean Bean, Loca Moca, and Salted Caramel.
How do We know Monster is Vegan?
Taurine and L-carnitine are often on the list of ingredients in energy drinks. In many cases, these ingredients come from animals. In the case of Monster Energy, these ingredients are not from animals.
L-carnitine mostly comes from animal sources, yet the energy drink’s customer service claimed that it is plant-based. The other two ingredients that vegans avoid are taurine and refined sugar. Luckily, It’s just a common myth that taurine is extracted from bull testicles. It is mostly created synthetically. Sugar is sometimes refined with bone char and we can’t be 100 percent sure about that this time. However, there are many sugar-free Monsters.
Whether or not Monster Energy is vegan may depend on the country you live in and the flavors you select. In the United Kingdom and some other countries, you might find that Monster Energy Ultra Red contains carmine. Carmine is a natural red dye derived from crushed-up bugs.
In addition to the taurine, L-carnitine, and occasional carmine mentioned above, there are tons of ingredients in Monster Energy drinks. They include:
- Citric acid
- Sodium citrate
- Carbonated water
- Panax ginseng root extract
- Guarana seed extract
- Benzoic acid
- Sorbic acid
- Sodium chloride
- Pyridoxine hydrochloride
There may be a few other ingredients in Monster, and the recipes could always change.
Some of the ingredients in Monster Energy drinks are a bit concerning for vegans.
Monster Energy also contains added color and natural flavors. It is not always a bad thing when food and drinks have color added. In most cases, this coloring is not derived from animals, but the creation of artificial coloring is not always cruelty-free. Many artificial colors, such as Red 40 and yellow 5, are often tested on animals.
Natural flavors can be an issue because this is a term that encompasses many ingredients. According to the FDA, natural flavors can come from spice, fruit, fruit juice, vegetables, vegetable juice, edible yeast, herbs, bark, bud, root, leaf, and other plant materials. However, they can also come from meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy, or fermentation products. These flavors can come from any of the sources above and be called natural flavors.
Natural flavors can come from plants, or they can come from animals. These flavors can be vegan or non-vegan; it just depends. Monster has stated that they use no animal by-products but are not vegan-certified. In addition, even if there is no animal trace on the ingredients list, cross-condonation may occur on the product lines.
So, is it safe to drink?
One vital aspect of veganism is choosing cruelty-free products. Vegans search for items that are created without animal-derived ingredients or animal testing. While most flavors and styles of Monster do not contain animal-derived ingredients, it is difficult to say whether or not they are cruelty-free.
Then, why doesn’t Monster advertise being Vegan?
Monster is not certified as cruelty-free. The Monster Beverage Corporation website has a page dedicated to environmental sustainability, but you will not find any statements about animal testing here. There is also a page dedicated to the supplier code of conduct. This page discusses their ethical standards, but again there is no comment on animal testing.
Unfortunately, the Monster Beverage Corporation has not defined a clear animal-testing policy or taken the necessary steps to become certified cruelty-free.
For the most part, Monster Energy is vegan. This may depend on if you are a strict vegan or not. Monster Energy, Monster Hydro, Monster Ultra, and Juice Monster do not contain animal products, but they are not certified cruelty-free.
Be careful when it comes to Monster Energy Ultra Red. In most cases, this drink is vegan-friendly, but in some European countries, it is not. In these countries, Ultra Red may contain an ingredient derived from bugs.
As a vegan, you should avoid all Java Monster drinks. At this time, they do not have a dairy-free option in this line.
Remember that just because something is vegan does not mean that it is healthy. Energy drinks are fine when enjoyed occasionally, but do not overdo them. These drinks can contain artificial colors, among other not-so-great ingredients. Consuming too much caffeine can be harmful to the body, so drink wisely.
Monster Energy does not usually contain animal products, but as stated above, it is hard to say if they are cruelty-free. Whether or not something is cruelty-free is essential to vegans. Hopefully, someday the Monster Beverage Corporation will become certified cruelty-free. For now, most Monster Energy flavors make a tasty option for vegans looking for a boost.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Monster vegan?
Good news, it is! The majority of Monster Energy drinks are vegan. However, none of them are vegan certified and some flavors and styles should be totally avoided.
Is java Monster vegan?
This coffee energy drink is non-vegan because it contains milk. None of the flavors of Java Monster are vegan, including Mean Bean, Loca Moca, and Salted Caramel.
Is Monster ultra vegan?
It appears that all flavors of Monster Energy, Monster Hydro, Monster Ultra, and Juice Monster are vegan. However, in the UK – and some other countries, Monster Energy Ultra Red contains carmine, which makes that specific version non-vegan.