In the past decade, stories have surfaced about teenagers who drank energy drinks and died. In most of these cases, the minors consumed more than a single drink, which is concerning since a single can contains more than their recommended caffeine amount for the whole day. Public outcry has been building up, and many groups have pushed for a governmental ban on energy drink sales to minors. Monster Energy is 18+ because of its high caffeine content.
So how old do you have to be to drink Monster Energy? While Monster and similar energy drinks may have an 18+ label on the can, there is currently no federal regulation in the United States that legally bans the sale of energy drinks to minors. Depending on your state, county, and the store you’re visiting, you may or may not be asked for identification for buying an energy drink if you appear to be under 25.
Here are a few interesting facts you might not know about Monster energy drinks, including reasons why the proposed energy drink ban isn’t as solid as it seems.
Top 8 Reasons Monster Energy Drinks Are 18+:
1. A 16 oz Can of Monster Contains 160 mg of Caffeine
While this may sound like a lot, it’s actually around the same amount contained in a Grande latte at Starbucks. A Grande latte has a double shot of espresso, which is the industry standard for any medium sized espresso beverage. Thus, a 16 oz. can of Monster doesn’t really have any more caffeine than your typical specialty cafe beverage which hovers around 150 mg.
2. Even 160 mg Is Still Over the Recommended Daily Amount for Teens
Although you’ll find a comparable amount of caffeine in pretty much any coffee beverage at Starbucks, Monster still goes over the 100 mg caffeine limit recommended by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry for minors between 12 and 18. Children under 12 years old should avoid caffeine entirely.
3. It’s Not Just the Caffeine
One argument for the age ban with Monster is that caffeine isn’t the only ingredient to worry about. Monster Energy also contains an excessive amount of sugar. There are 51 grams in a 16 oz. can, which is more than the average adult should drink in a day. Even so, if we apply our Starbucks argument, some of the Grande beverages contain 60+ grams of sugar, so why do energy drinks get such a bad rap?
4. Cut the Bull; Taurine Is Synthetic Now
Energy drinks earned their bad reputation a few years ago when it was revealed that the added taurine was derived from bull semen. This was actually true. However, the taurine is now synthetically engineered, so there’s no need to worry about any cow juice floating in your drink. Unfortunately, though, that image has been hard to erase.
5. As of 2022, There Is No Federal Law Regulating the Sale of Energy Drinks to Minors
Some states, counties, or stores may require you to show identification if you appear younger than 25 years old. However, legally, an energy drink ban can’t be enforced since there are no such laws on the books. If a law does pass in the future, it’ll be interesting to see if it will address other caffeinated beverages or will only apply to energy drinks.
6. There Are 8 Types of Monster Energy Drinks
We’ve been talking about a standard Monster Energy in this article, but Monster actually has eight different types of beverages. They have a Java line of coffee energy drinks, a juice Monster, and a protein shake, to name a few.
7. Monster Is Set to Release The Beast Unleashed in Summer 2023
Riding on the coattails of popular ready-to-drink malt beverages, Monster will debut its first alcoholic malt drink next year. We’re curious how the FDA will receive its release. Almost a decade ago, the FDA shut down production of several caffeine-alcohol beverages after deeming alcoholic beverages with added caffeine to be unsafe. Since then, companies have gotten away with releasing coffee malt beverages since coffee contains a natural source of caffeine. However, the caffeine in Monster Energy is artificially added, so we’re curious to see how they’ll maneuver around the legal challenges.
8. Children Aren’t the Only Ones Who Are Warned Not to Drink Monster
The warning label actually says that Monster isn’t recommended for “children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant women, or women who are nursing.” The “people sensitive to caffeine” often includes a large percentage of the senior population, as well as people with heart disease.
Monster Energy Drinks & Age: Final Thoughts
When adolescents drink Monster Energy drinks, they’re not only consuming more caffeine than is healthy for them, but they’re also drinking an excessive amount of sugar, which puts them at risk for obesity and other health concerns. But as of now, there are no laws in place that say that someone younger than 18 can’t purchase them. However, in light of the proposed bans, we have to admit that the sugary caffeinated beverages lurking in most of the coffee cafes around the nation might be just as harmful to minors as a can of Monster. We’re curious how these other caffeinated beverages will be addressed if a ban is implemented in the future.
Featured Image Credit: Gkgraphix 53, Unsplash