First, school districts scaled back sodas in vending machines. Now, one Florida Bay area school district is targeting energy drinks, a growing $9 billion business in the U.S.
The Manatee County School Board voted 4-0 to ban the drinks from schools, placing them on the same level as cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.
School officials say the high sugar and caffeine is a bad combination for students. Each 16 ounce can has about 200 calories, more than 14 teaspoons of sugar, and 200 milligrams of caffeine, the same as in about three cups of coffee.
Energy drinks are so strong Monster manufacturers advise users in small print on the back of the can to "consumer responsibly." Customers are to limit themselves to one can every four hours no more than three times a day.
The drinks are usually found by the sports drinks and water bottles in convenience stores and cost about $2 each. The labels promise the drink will enhance performance and make one think better.
"People should be able to drink these, stay focused in school," said one teen who wishes to remain anonymous. The Manatee High School teen said he drinks at least one a week.