Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Unleashing the monster

 I have to admit it, though I have given up soda, or strongly carbonated beverages that have no nutritional value, I do support and drink the lo-carb version of the Monster energy drink.  Now, most energy drinks contain sugar and caffeine and while that may be the norm for them all, the low-carb Monster energy drink seems to be at least somewhat healthy and good for you.

Unlike other energy drinks, Monster actually has vitamins and other chemicals that are considered antioxidants.  One can of Monster gives you twice of your RDA for B12, for instance.  This chemical is essential to your immune system and your health.  Taurine is listed as an ingredient and this chemical has been shown to act as an antioxidant and help the body run better.

Now the first energy drink was likely Irn-Brew, which was introduced in 1901 in Scotland.  Iron Brew, as it became known as, contains as many as 32 secret ingredients and while I would love to find out why it is so popular and what it did to become the first 'energy drink', it has such a large secret that only two people know of it at any one time and they cannot be at the same place at the same time; for safety.

Now, what are some issues with the other drinks?  Well, in particular, the largest competitor with Monster is Red Bull.  What is in a Red Bull and can it really give you wings.

Red Bull is adapted from a Thai energy drink that when the name is translated into English, gives you "Red Bull".  It was introduced worldwide in 1987 and is considered the most famous energy drink of the world.  Red bull contains Taurine, caffeine, B vitamins, Glucuronolactone, Sucrose and Glucose.  There is 110 calories in a single 8.3 oz can.  It has 27 grams of sugar, 100% of your daily Niacin(B3), 80% of your B12, 250% of your B6 and 50% of your Pantothenic Acid(B5).

Taurine is an antioxidant which has been shown to also help lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood
Caffeine is the thing that gives us that buzz
B Vitamins are important for a healthy metabolism and immune system
Glucuronolactone is a sweetening agent that helps to detoxify the body
Sucrose is your basic table sugar
Glucose is the simple sugar that is produced by plants during photosynthesis
Pantothenic Acid is vitamin B5 which is important for a healthy metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins

Now a Monster drink, in particular, the regular Monster drink, since I looked at the regular Red Bull, is 2.5 servings in a single can.  Red bull only lists but a small number of ingredients on their site or anywhere else while Monster lists as many as 15-20 ingredients.  A serving size of Monster will let you have 27 grams of sugar, 100% of your B2, 100% of your B3, 100% of your B6 and 100% of your B12. Also, it is not listed on the Nutritional table, but Monster does list Pantothenic Acid(B5) as an ingredient.  So, it does in fact contain the B5 that Red Bull has as well.

So, Monster has more B12, less B6 and B2 and some B5.  So, what is the difference?

B2 is important in the creation of energy from metabolism.  So, having this is ideal.  Monster wins.
B6 is a major co enzyme for reactions that help with the metabolism.  Red Bull wins.
B5 is for metabolism of fats, carbs and proteins. There is a tie.
B3 is for DNA repair. Tie for both.
B12 is for the brain and nervous system.  Monster wins, as it has more.

From what it looks like, B2 is actually more powerful than B5, so having the ability to get a greater amount of energy from foods is better than being able to metabolize the foods at all, I think.  Also, with the additional 20% of your daily B12, Monster seems to take the win.

Again, I prefer the low-carb Monster which doesn't give me the sugar and gives me the vitamins and nutrients that my body needs.

No comments:

Post a Comment