In the USA, there is no age limit or restrictions on the sale of any caffeine-containing foods and beverages, including energy drinks. But in 2013, The American Medical Association voted that the marketing of energy drinks o those under 18 should be suspended. But the FDA hasn’t yet made a decision about the age restriction to sell energy drinks. There are few states in the USA, where it is banned to sell energy drinks below 18 years of age.
- Energy drinks mostly contain caffeine, and sugar and may or may not be carbonated
- Soda is the most common type of energy drink that delivers caffeine to the human body
- Kentucky legislators are looking at banning energy drink sales to minors
- The City of Los Angeles city council is considering energy drink sales restrictions
What are Energy Drinks?
An energy drink usually contains stimulant compounds that provide mental and physical stimulation. Energy drinks mostly contain caffeine, and sugar and may or may not be carbonated. Some energy drinks also contain herbal extracts, taurine, and amino acids. There is also a larger group of energy products that are distinct from sports drinks and advertised to enhance sports performance. You can find energy drinks of various brands and categories.
The IOM’s Findings Regarding Energy Drink Consumption of Children’s
The International Life Sciences Institute has been tracking caffeine consumption in the USA, The IOM referenced the study and stated –
- Energy drinks only make up a small percentage of the way 2-17-year-olds are consuming caffeine
- Most caffeine is consumed by Soda and tea for this age group
- Energy drinks are more popular with 13-17-year-olds or minor teenagers
- Soda is the most common type of energy drink that is delivering caffeine for this age group
According to IOM –
“Energy product exposure calls to U.S. poison centers initially increased but appear to have stabilized, although, without a full year (2013) of data, it is difficult to know whether the trend has in fact stabilized. Most energy product exposure calls are unintentional, followed by misuse and abuse. The most frequently reported clinical effects were agitation, irritability, and tachycardia. But 18 percent of energy product calls were recorded as having no effect.”
History of Proposed Energy Drink Bans in the USA
- Kentucky legislators are looking at banning energy drink sales to minors (that’s anyone under 18).
- Suffolk County (New York City) tried to ban the sale of energy drinks to those under 19 years of age.
- Chicago attempted to restrict those under 21 from buying energy drinks.
- The City of Los Angeles city council is considering energy drink sales restrictions.
- Maryland is considering a teen energy drink ban:
- Prohibit energy drink sales to minors.
- Make it illegal for minors to possess energy drinks.
- Remove energy drinks from vending machines state-wide.
The Bill H.2023 Law
The Senate and House of Representatives in the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prohibit the sale of “energy drinks” to persons under the age of 18. SECTION 1. Section 3 of chapter 270 of General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new paragraph:
“Whoever distributes, delivers, gives away, or sells, any “Energy Drink” or other ingredients, substance or beverage that exceeds a caffeine content of seventy-one (71) milligrams per twelve (12) ounce serving and contains taurine and glucuronolactone or a soft drink that is classified as a dietary supplement not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and that contains eighty (80) or more milligrams of caffeine per eight (8) fluid ounces and generally includes a combination of methylxanthines, B vitamins and herbal ingredients which are advertised as being specifically designed to provide or increase energy to any persons under the age of eighteen (18) shall be punished by a fine not less than fifty (50) dollars for the first offense, one hundred (100) for the second offense and two hundred fifty (250) for the third offense”
FAQs about Do You have to be 18 to Buy Energy Drinks
Can you buy energy drinks under 18 in the US?
Depending on the state where you live, you can buy energy drinks under 18 in the USA. Except for a few states, there is no age restriction to buy energy drinks in the USA.
Do you have to be 18 to buy Red Bull?
Red Bull is a non-alcoholic energy drink. So, Red Bull can be bought by people of any age.
Can you drink energy drinks under 18?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t have any official guidelines about children consuming caffeine. In this regard, you can drink energy drinks under 18. However, according to many pediatric experts, kids under the age of 12 should not drink energy drinks that have caffeine.
Do you need an ID to buy energy drinks?
Depending on what state you live in, you might have to show a valid photo ID to buy energy drinks.
Can a 14-year-old buy monsters?
Monster is a type of energy drink. So, if there is no age restriction in the state where you live, then a 14-year-old can buy Monster.
Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by Magalie D.
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.