What’s the difference between Red Bull and Monster?
Red Bull is a drink made from fermented fruit juice. It contains caffeine and other stimulants such as guarana. Its taste is described as fruity, sweet, and spicy with hints of lemonade. There are many brands of red bull available including: Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar (formerly known as Viceroy), Energy Drink (RED) and others.
Monster is a soda brand created by Coca Cola. It was first introduced in the United States in 1985 and became popular among teenagers and young adults.
Monster has been marketed as a “party” beverage since its introduction. It contains no caffeine but does contain artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives.
Both drinks have similar ingredients but different marketing strategies. For example, Monster uses a catchy name while Red Bull uses a clever slogan (“It tastes good!”).
The main differences between these two beverages are their cost and availability. Red Bull costs $3.99 per 12 ounce bottle while Monster sells for $1.29 per 12 ounce bottle.
They are both available at most grocery stores, convenience stores, drugstores, supermarkets and large chain retailers like Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy and Target Drug Mart. Both products are sold in cans or bottles that hold 32 ounces each.
How do they differ?
1. Price: One of the major differences between these two drinks is their price.
Red Bull can cost as much as $3.99 per single serving can.
That’s more than $4 for one can of a drink that doesn’t taste all that great when you compare it to cheaper alternatives such as Rockstar ($2.89), Monster ($1.89) or even traditional sodas like Coke or Pepsi ($1.59).
When it comes to choice, you have a much wider variety of energy drinks from which to choose. Most grocery and convenience stores will carry Red Bull, Rockstar and Monster, while others such as Mother, Full Throttle, NOS and even the traditional sodas are available at most supermarkets and drugstores.
2. Taste: Let’s face it, Red Bull tastes pretty awful.
It has a weird aftertaste that makes it difficult to swallow, especially when you drink more than one can in a short period of time. In fact, most people can’t even finish a single can without pouring the rest of the Red Bull down the drain.
Monster on the other hand is very easy to swallow and doesn’t have much of an aftertaste at all. It’s a lot easier on the stomach and doesn’t make you burp up a rotten egg smell like Red Bull does (yes, this is a documented side effect).
3. Additives: Red Bull contains several additives that your body doesn’t need or want.
It contains several B vitamins including Niacin which can lead to liver toxicity if you consume more than the recommended dosage. Other additives such as Panax ginseng, inositol, choline bitartrate, L-Carnitine, glucuronolactone, and in some cases sugars (sucrose) are disguised within the ingredients list.
Monster contains several of the same additives but lacks others found in Red Bull such as niacin and choline bitartrate. In addition, Ginkgo Biloba is one of the main ingredients in some Monster energy drinks.
Ginkgo Biloba is an herb used to improve memory and enhance blood flow to the brain. It can also increase risk of bleeding and should not be consumed by people who are taking blood thinners, suffering from liver or kidney disorders or have a history of heart disease.
4. Prevalence: Red Bull is a worldwide brand that is most popular in Australia, Austria, the UK and North America.
You can buy a can almost anywhere including sporting events, convenience stores, grocery stores and even some vending machines.
Monster is one of the most popular energy drinks in North America with Starbucks’ launch of their “Monster” coffee drinks. It’s also available in the UK, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
5. Energy level: If you want a ton of energy and are looking for a boost to help you power through the day, both Red Bull and Monster can do the trick.
Of the two, Red Bull will hit you harder and faster but it will also wear off faster. In some cases, Red Bull’s effects may only last an hour to an hour and a half, especially if you’re already getting enough sleep and consume regular meals during the day.
Monster on the other hand provides a more mellow yet longer-lasting boost which may increase concentration and alertness but not to the same degree that Red Bull does. If you’re the type of person who wants a drink in the morning to get your engine going, you’ll most likely want to stick with Monster.
Both drinks should be avoided by children, pregnant or nursing women as well as people with epilepsy or other seizure disorders. Both drinks have a lot of caffeine and other additives that could trigger a seizure.
The choice between Red Bull and Monster comes down to personal preference more than anything else. However, due to the amount of negative press Monster has received for its adverse side effects, it’s probably best to avoid this drink if you’re a Red Bull fan looking for a change.
Sources & references used in this article:
A survey of energy drink consumption patterns among college students by BM Malinauskas, VG Aeby, RF Overton… – Nutrition journal, 2007 – Springer
Monsters are people too by J Levy, T Foulsham, A Kingstone – Biology Letters, 2013 – royalsocietypublishing.org
Monsters: Evil beings, mythical beasts, and all manner of imaginary terrors by DD Gilmore – 2012 – books.google.com
Mr. Kremer Writing 102 5, December 2014 Caffeine: The Monstrous Red Bully by K Mitchell – docs.google.com
Safety issues associated with commercially available energy drinks by KA Clauson, KM Shields, CE McQueen… – Journal of the American …, 2008 – Elsevier
Riding high on energy drinks by SF Braganza, M Larkin – Contemporary Pediatrics, 2007 – go.gale.com
Energy drinks: A review article by B Klepacki – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2010 – cdn.journals.lww.com