A zero-sugar energy drink sounds too good to be true. If you want all the energy, but none of the sugar, then at first glance Monster Energy Zero Ultra appears to be a healthy and tempting proposition.
Drinks retailers have been quick to jump on the ‘zero sugar’ bandwagon and Monster is no exception, but is the high caffeine drink a revolution in the energy drinks marketplace or is Monster Energy Zero Ultra bad for you?
What ingredients are in Monster Energy Zero Ultra?
Monster Energy Zero Ultra drinks contain the following ingredients:
- Citric Acid
- Acesulfame Potassium
Zero-sugar drinks replace natural sugar with artificial sweeteners which are calorie-free, but not necessarily a healthy choice.
Monster Energy Zero Ultra drinks contain two common artificial sweeteners (sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium), a natural sweetener (erythritol), and citric acid—an organic acid which occurs naturally in citrus fruits.
The reason we consume energy drinks is for the fast stimulation they give us. There are four stimulants in Monster Energy Zero Ultra, which are all-natural. Caffeine occurs in the cacao bean, ginseng and guarana are plants that can help to reduce fatigue— and taurine is an amino acid that’s important for brain and body development.
- Panax Ginseng Root Extract
- Guarana Seed Extract
These acids are common food preservatives which help to prevent the growth of microbes.
4. Other ingredients:
- Carbonated Water
- Sodium Citrate
- Natural and Artificial Flavours
- Malt Dextrin
Let’s take a closer look at the caffeine levels
The most well-known stimulant in all energy drinks is caffeine. It’s the most widely used stimulant in the world and is used to improve concentration and give our body and brain a boost when we feel tired.
The NHS recommends that adults should not exceed 400mg of caffeine a day, which is roughly four cups of coffee. If a woman is pregnant or breast-feeding, then it is advisable to reduce caffeine levels to not exceed 200mg a day.
Here’s how the caffeine levels of Monster Energy Zero Ultra compares to other popular drinks.
|Drink||Caffeine Per Can / Cup|
|Monster Energy Zero Ultra||140mg|
Compared to the Regular Monster Energy Drink the Zero version contains much less caffeine, but still has four times as much caffeine as a regular can of Coke and three times more than a cup of tea.
The nutritional values of Monster Energy Zero Ultra
Monster Energy Ultra Zero does not contain many nutrients. 500ml of the classic recipe (in a white can) will give you:
- 0.9g carbohydrates
- 0.2g salt
- 11 calories
There are negligible amounts of protein, fat and saturated fat in the drink.
The drink does contain some B vitamins, which have a positive impact on energy levels, general physical health and mental well-being:
- Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
- Vitamin B5 (D-Calcium Pantothenate)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride)’
You may not be able to pronounce the names of these important vitamins easily, but their inclusion in the ingredients of Monster Energy Zero Ultra means you do get a boost of B vitamins. 100ml of the drink contains 53% of an adult’s Recommended Intake (RI) of Vitamin B3 and 100% RI of Vitamin B12.
Calories in Monster Energy Zero Ultra
As the name suggests, the drink has zero sugar, which helps to make it low in calories at just 11 calories per 500ml.
The Ultra Blue flavour is slightly higher at 15 calories per 500ml, but when compared to other drinks in the Monster range, all seven Ultra flavours are a low-calorie option.
If you were to opt for the Regular Monster Energy the calorie count would jump to 237 for a 500ml glass, while the Monster Espresso range averages at 170 calories per 500ml.
Does Monster Energy Zero Ultra have any side effects?
The drink can provide a welcome boost of energy if you occasionally need a quick pick-me-up, but some of the ingredients can have side-effects if consumed regularly or in large quantities. Ginseng can affect blood pressure and also cause headaches and digestive issues in some people.
Caffeine in large quantities can also cause digestive issues and a rapid heartbeat. The Monster Zero version has less caffeine than the Regular Monster, so if you need a quick fix for tiredness, Monster Zero is a better option.
Can Monster Zero cause weight gain?
There are very few calories in Monster Zero, so weight gain is unlikely from consuming the drink itself. Caffeine is also documented to curb appetite, which can help you to lose weight.
However, a medical study has reported that regular consumption of artificial sweeteners can encourage sugar dependency and cravings which can cause weight gain.
Can diabetics drink Monster Zero?
The high quantity of artificial sweeteners and caffeine might cause issues for diabetics. If you have any concerns, we recommend checking with your dietician or doctor before consuming any form of energy drink.
Monster Zero vs coffee: how do they compare?
Monster Energy contains artificial sweeteners which are not the healthiest option. Black coffee contains no sugar (if you prefer a sweeter tasting coffee, use natural Stevia as a sweetener) and wins out over Monster Zero in the ‘sugar-free’ stakes. If you are on a budget, coffee is also a cheaper option than Monster Zero – and has the added benefit warming you up on a cold winter’s morning!
Conclusion: Is Monster Energy Zero Ultra bad for you?
Monster Zero is a low-calorie energy drink which contains less caffeine than the regular version. However, we would not recommend excessive consumption of any energy drink, as gut health can be compromised by artificial sweeteners and reduce the amount of ‘good bacteria’ in the stomach.
It’s important to maintain healthy bacteria in the gut to build a strong immune system and aid digestion. To keep your body balanced and to minimise the risk of forming a sugar dependency as a result of consuming artificial sweeteners, we believe that Monster Energy Zero Ultra is not good for you and should not be consumed on a daily basis.
Kerry Garner has an interest in nutrition and is always on the look-out for new, healthy and exciting snacks for her son’s packed lunch to ensure he gets a balanced diet that’s not boring. She is a keen home-cook and loves nothing more than experimenting in the kitchen and inventing nutritious, yet tasty meals for her family to enjoy.