Energy drinks are an effective way to boost one’s energy. I know they are because I have tried them. On more than one occasion, reluctantly, I have to admit.
But here’s the thing.
This is especially true for people that are doing some stressful or highly demanding jobs. You may just need that extra boost. But how good are they for a person on a keto diet? Let’s find out.
Are monster energy drinks keto-friendly? Not all Monster energy drinks are keto-friendly. Many Monster energy drinks do contain high amounts of sugar, which can kick you out of ketosis. Consuming less than 20 grams of carbohydrates is usually considered safe for anyone on a keto or carnivore diet.
But there’s a lot more going on with the monster energy drinks.
Below I share with you more information.
Table of Contents:
Will Monster Energy Drinks Kick You Out of Ketosis
Caffeine is considered to be keto-friendly and should not take you out of ketosis. There is even a study that suggested caffeine may potentially increase the levels of plasma ketones. But more studies and research needs to be done as the results are not really conclusive.
So what exactly is an energy drink?
Energy drinks are loosely described as non-alcoholic drinks that contain energy-boosting and stimulating compounds like caffeine, taurine, guarana, ginseng, B vitamins, and more.
However, to stay in ketosis, you need to consume, on average, no more than 20 to 30 grams of carbs per day.
Maintaining ketosis is a cornerstone in any low-carb, no-carb, keto, or carnivore diet.
Ketosis is a completely normal metabolic process during which the body uses the fat for energy. This happens when the body does not have a sufficient amount of glucose from carbohydrates to use for energy. In short, if there is a severe lack of carbohydrates, the body will turn to fat in order to create energy.
If we provide large enough amount of carbohydrates to the body, it can switch back to running on glucose, essentially kicking you out of the ketosis.
Here is where the problem lies. Some energy drinks do contain high amounts of sugar as well, which makes them not keto-friendly.
So the answer is yes, Monster energy drinks can kick you out of ketosis if consumed in high amounts. Some Monster energy drinks do contain high amounts of carbs and sugar, which can easily put you over the threshold of 20 to 30 grams of carbs per day. And others contain almost zero carbs and sugar and may not be able to kick you out of ketosis if consumed in moderation.
What Do Monster Energy Drinks Contain?
Monster energy drinks usually contain:
- carbonated water;
- sodium citrate;
- natural flavors;
- benzoic acid;
- sodium chloride;
- color added;
- panax ginseng root extract;
- l-tartate; and more.
As you can see, it does contain some artificial sweeteners like sucralose, but also glucose, which in simpler terms, is basically sugar.
How Do the Monster Energy Drinks Affect the Body?
I may be one of the few people that can sleep even after drinking an energy drink, but I will be lying if I say that I didn’t like the buzz they provide.
However, I found out – this my personal experience, of course, and may not apply to you – that energy drinks in general, whether it will be Monster, Red Bull, or other, have an excellent pick-me-up effect.
The energy-boosting capabilities of energy drinks come from a few sources:
- Sugar; and
- Legal stimulants.
The first two are pretty straightforward, but what exactly are those legal stimulants? Several legal stimulants can be found in energy drinks:
- Guarana – which is made from brewing the seeds of the guarana plant;
- Taurine – which is an amino acid naturally occurring in meat and fish;
- L-carnitine- which is a naturally occurring amino acid which helps us turn fat into energy; and
- B-vitamins – which play an essential role in the energy metabolism in the body,
I do a good mixture of both creative work and physical work in my daily routine. And this can be very exhausting. And it can even really lower the motivation sometimes as I found out. But what happens with my output and performance after an energy drink?
First, I always noticed that my creative work suffered. Yeah, I had the stamina, if you will, to push-though, but the creativity was just not there for some reason. After discussing it with some of my friends and acquaintances, it seems that this sort of thing happens to them, too. Some good food for thought, I suppose.
However, when it came to my physical work, at least the kind of physical work that doesn’t involve creativity or much, though, the effect wasn’t that bad, I have to say.
However, some anecdotal reports consuming high amounts of energy drinks can be extremely dangerous to our health.
Types of Monster Energy Drinks
Not all monster energy drinks are created equal. Although I am not a big fan of energy drinks, I admit I have tried most of the monster energy drinks, although there are always some new and weird ones emerging out of the blue.
There are several different lines of Monster energy drinks:
|Brand and Model||Carbs*||Sugars*|
|Original Monster Energy (green)||12 g||11 g|
|Monster Energy Absolute Zero||1.1 g||0 g|
|Monster Energy Assault||12 g||11 g|
|Monster Energy Ultra Sunrise||0.7 g||0 g|
|Monster Energy Ultra Red||0.9 g||0 g|
|Monster Energy Ultra Citron||1 g||0 g|
|Monster Energy Ultra Violet / Blue||1.4 g||0 g|
|Monster Ultra Zero||0.9 g||0 g|
|Monster Energy Drink Lo-carb||1.25 g||1.25 g|
|Monster Energy Ripper||9.3 g||8.4 g|
|Monster Energy Punch Mixxd||9.5 g||9 g|
|Monster Energy Pipeline Punch||12 g||12 g|
|Monster Energy The Doctor||11 g||10 g|
|Monster Energy Mango Loco||12 g||12 g|
|Monster Energy Rehab Tea + Lemonade||2.7 g||2.1 g|
|Monster Energy LH 44 (Lewis Hamilton)||5.2 g||4.2 g|
|Monster Energy Espresso and Milk / Vanilla||8.1 g||7.9 g|
|Monster Hydro Mean Green||9 g||4.6 g|
|Monster Java Coffee + Energy – Vanilla Light||7 g||5 g|
|Monster Java Coffee + Energy – Kona Blend||7.5 g||6.6 g|
* Data was taken from Monster. These amounts are per 100 mL. One serving of a Monster energy drink is usually considered about 8 oz or 240 mL. Monster energy drinks can contain several servings per can (generally at least 2). In some countries, these numbers may vary or be displayed per serving instead.
The Best Monster Energy Drink for a Low Carb (Keto and Carnivore) Diet
When deciding on which Monster energy drink is best for a keto diet, low-carb diet, or a carnivore diet, we need to take a look at its carbohydrate and sugar contents.
The ones that are most suitable for any zero-carb or low-carb diet are the ones with the lowest amount of carbs and sugars possible. Although very low amounts of carbs and sugar may not necessarily kick you out of ketosis, the lower the amount, the better.
The best one, and probably most popular among the keto community, is the Monster Zero Ultra – the white Monster.
The white Monster is probably the one which I enjoyed the most.
Let’s take a look at the values it has per 100 ml.
- Energy values: 2 kcal
- Carbs: 0,9 g
- Sugars: 0 g
As you can see, it has very low amounts of carbs at zero sugar. Keep in mind, though, that this is per 100 ml. And most of the Monster energy drinks come in cans that are 500 ml, but there are even 750 ml can. So drinking a whole can of these big boys can put you at anywhere between 4.5 g to 6.75 g of carbs.
Overall the Monster Ultra product line is one that has consistently low amounts of carbs and sugars (no more than 1 g per 100 ml).
The Lo-carb Monster series is also not bad; however, it does contain more carbs and sugars on average.
And although we are not supposed to drink the whole can on one sitting, let’s be honest, everybody does it. As a result, these small numbers may quickly grow.
The Worst Monster Energy Drinks for a Keto Diet
Now that we know what is the best Monster energy drink for anyone in ketosis, let’s take a look at what are the worst monster energy drinks. Short answer – not all but most of them.
The biggest concern is sugar content, and energy drinks, quite unsurprisingly, usually have a lot of it.
The original green Monster Energy, the Mango Loco, Assault, Pipeline Punch, Punch Mixxd are all easily the ones you should avoid as much as possible as they have between 9.5 to 12 g of carbs. Drinking a 500 ml can will put you way over 50 g of carbs.
With some of the other, you should also be very careful. The Ripper, Punch Mixxd, LH 44, the espressos, the java coffees, hydros, all contain an amount of carbs that can kick you out of ketosis.
How Much Energy Drinks Are Too Much?
One of the main problems is that energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine. And high caffeine consumption can cause a whole myriad of different health issues like heart palpitations, nausea, metabolic acidosis, convulsions, CNS stimulation, and even death.
Drinking a lot of energy drinks has also been associated with higher alcohol consumption (which can take you out of ketosis), smoking, higher risk of depression, and risk-taking.
Not just that, but energy drinks can be addicting too.
All of these things have been published in a health journal, and more information can be found online here.
It has been stated that monster energy drinks contain, on average, about 160 mg of caffeine in a 16 oz can. And on the packaging can be seen as a warning advising people not to drink more than 48 oz per day.
A standard 8 oz cup of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine. This means a standard 16 oz can of Monster energy drink contains about 50% more caffeine.
So let us take a look at how much caffeine in a day is believed to be safe.
According to the FDA, the upper limit is 400 mg of caffeine per day, but there is no data for children.
If we take a look at the recommendations set by Health Canada, we will see that for healthy adults, the upper limit is again 400 mg per day.
But there are additional guidelines; pregnant women should not consume more than 300 mg per day; children aged 10 to 12 should not consume more than 85 mg per day; teenagers should not consume more than 2.5 mg per kg of bodyweight.
Overal energy drink consumption should be kept to a minimum as much as possible. There are multiple documents that link energy drinks with more deaths.
What Can I Substitute Monster Energy Drinks With?
Given the content of the Monster energy drink, almost everything else will most definitely give you a little less of an energy boost. However, if you are looking for healthier options and alternatives, these may be just right for you:
Although coffee again is another relatively controversial topic in the keto and carnivore community and is usually frowned upon, a great many people like the taste and effects of their morning cup of coffee.
How good or bad coffee is a topic for another time, but I can tell you one thing for sure. Coffee is a lot better than the energy drinks many people drink.
Coffee has high amounts of caffeine, and it is a great energy booster. Avoid consuming coffee in the afternoon or late in the evening as it may interfere with your sleep quality and duration.
Also, keep in mind that coffee can be addicting. (And so are energy drinks, for that matter.)
As with anything, moderation is the key.
Bone broth is a very stimulating drink that many on the carnivore diet, including myself, frequently take pleasure in consuming.
Definitely, it is as keto as anything can be.
It is a cheap and relatively easy way to extract some extra nutrients from the leftover bones and scraps of meat that you may have lying around. Bone broth will provide your body with lots of essential nutrients and.
Tea is not going to be as strong as the monster energy drinks or coffee, but it can definitely give you a little boost throughout the day.
Make sure to focus on the teas that are made from the Camellia sinensis plant as these are considered ‘true’ teas. Why? Here’s the thing.
All teas that are prepared from the Camellia sinensis plant will contain caffeine in varying doses. So if you are really interested in getting a little bit of a caffeine boost, this is what you need to look for. Herbal teas, on the other hand, do not contain caffeine.
So which teas you should drink?
- Black tea;
- Green tea;
- Oolong tea; and
- White tea.
Tea can give you a really good and subtle boost of energy without having the energy crash that many people do experience after drinking a lot of coffee.
Diet sodas and soft drinks are another alternative that may not really be the best possible option but still far better than consuming high amounts of energy drinks.
To read more, check my other article here: Will diet coke kick me out of ketosis? Where I talk more in-depth about how diet coke and diet soda will affect your body and what you may need to know if you want to make sure, you stay in ketosis.