Monster Energy Drinks Pack a Punch — Is the Energy Elixir Vegan?


Feb. 12 2024, Published 4:43 p.m. ET

Close-up of four cans of Monster energy drink in a row.
Source: iStock

If you're in need of a pick-me-up, Monster Energy drinks are a go-to for many. The caffeine-loaded and flavorful energy drinks contain a blend of ingredients that provide an intense burst of energy. However, if you're following a plant-based lifestyle, you might be wondering: is Monster vegan?

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Like with so many things in life, it depends. We’ll explain what that means and go into more detail on what goes into the energy drink below. We’ll also give you the lowdown on Monster's alcoholic beverages.

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Is Monster vegan? Here’s what the energy drink is made of.

Helpfully, in 2023, Dale Cudmore of VegFAQs contacted Monster directly to clarify. In short, it would appear Monster Energy's drinks are vegan-friendly — with one exception.

Monster Energy told Cudmore: "We use no animal byproducts in any of our products ... However, they are not vegan certified."

Monster's FAQ page echoes that Monster products aren’t certified as being vegan-friendly. It also says dairy features in the Java Monster drinks (the brand's coffee line), so vegans and dairy-free eaters should definitely steer clear of the Java Monster beverages.

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The brand’s website cites the main components in the Monster range of drinks as caffeine, taurine, inositol, B vitamins, and L-carnitine. But you only have to look at this list on HEB’s Monster product page to see that there’s a lot more to these energy bombs than those five ingredients.

However, Monster does point out that the taurine use in Monster drinks is made in a lab. This is good news for vegans since, per Healthline, taurine can also be derived from animal sources.

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Monster has a wide range of energy drinks, each with its own character profile. Along with Monster Original, some of the brand's other flavors include Rehab Monster, Monster Ultra, Juice Monster, Monster Hydro, and Java Monster.

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Monster also makes alcoholic drinks — are they vegan?

Just in case you’d like even more pep in your step, the well-known brand has now made a foray into the alcohol market. At the beginning of 2023, Monster released The Beast Unleashed and Nasty Beast Hard Tea, giving consumers a boozy twist on the energy drink.

Business Insider says these beverages, which come in at 6 percent ABV, offer drinks in flavors like Peach Perfect and Scary Berries, but without caffeine or an energy boost.

If you're wondering whether these alcoholic beverages are vegan, the answer isn't clear. As noted on Food Lion's website, the ingredients in each of Monster's four alcoholic drinks are: malt beverage with natural flavors, artificial sweeteners, and certified colors. The Peach Perfect flavor also includes FD&C Yellow 5.

Spoonful confirms that Monster’s Beast Unleashed doesn’t contain shellfish, dairy, or eggs. However, the website declined to give it the vegan green flag due to one unnamed ingredient that "could derive from meat or fish depending on the source." So if you follow a vegan lifestyle, your best bet may be to go with a vegan-certified drink instead of a Monster Energy beverage.

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