Monster Energy Drinks and Diarrhea

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An energy drink in a glass. (Image: nanoomstudio/iStock/Getty Images)

Monster energy drinks are marketed as a beverage that increases energy levels. These beverages are available in a variety of flavors such as toffee, mocha, tea and fruit and come in regular as well as sugar-free versions. Depending which variety you choose, these products contain various sources of caffeine, a natural stimulant. Side effects of consumption of large amounts of caffeine or other stimulants can include anxiety, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems.

Monster Energy Drinks

Monster energy drinks contain a variety of ingredients, several of which you will find in all of their energy beverages. These include panax ginseng, caffeine, guarana, L-carnitine and taurine. The majority of the purported energy that is elicited after drinking one of these beverages can be attributed to caffeine, which is also found in guarana. Labeled an energy blend by the company, this mixture of herbs and stimulants constitutes 2,500 milligrams in a single serving of Monster Energy Drink.

Diarrhea Explained

Diarrhea, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, is the experience of loose and watery stools at least three times a day. This is caused when the walls of your colon fail to absorb enough fluid to form a normal bowel movement. Instead, the fluid remains in the digestive system, causing the loose bowel movements. Viruses and bacteria can cause diarrhea, as can food allergens like milk for some people.

Monster's Relationship to Diarrhea

Certain substances and combinations of ingredients such as those found in Monster Energy Drinks may also contribute to diarrhea in some people. The amount of caffeine typically found in these drinks can be the equivalent of 14 cans of cola according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, high carbohydrate and caffeine content in energy drinks can lead to gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea. Part of this effect is attributed to the mild diuretic ability of caffeine that keeps fluid in the digestive tract, causing watery loose stools.

Treatment and Considerations

The easiest way to avoid diarrhea from energy drinks is to avoid drinking these beverages. If you enjoy Monster Energy Drinks, consuming them in moderate amounts may help decrease episodes of loose runny stools. Over the counter anti-diarrheal medication may also help treat diarrhea if necessary but should not be used on a continuous basis. If you believe you may be sensitive to the effects of the herbs in Monster Energy Drink, consider drinking a caffeinated beverage such as iced tea instead.

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