Investigates: Kids and teenagers thirsty for Prime Energy drink amid health concerns
Prime is a new energy drink available in the U.S. after being banned in some schools across Europe amid health concerns. The product was launched last month.
You may have seen the ad during the Super Bowl. It’s fueling a worldwide craze with teenagers chanting “We want Prime” in the streets of places like the United Kingdom and Australia.
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The ad featuring YouTube star, boxer, and WWE performer Logan Paul along with former boxing rival KSI claims Prime is the fastest growing sports drink in history. In fact, it’s hard to find at many typical supermarkets.
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At first, Prime was available only on its own website, but right now the site shows the drink is sold out.
There are two kinds of Prime drinks: Hydration in a bottle and Energy in a can which is the controversial one.
The energy drink contains 200 mg of caffeine, nearly double the amounts in Red Bull or Monster.
Kellie Westercamp is a registered licensed dietician. She said the extreme caffeine can be addictive and cause insomnia, depression, irregular heart rates, and high blood pressure.
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“Would you let your children drink this?” Action News Jax Ben Becker asked Westercamp, “No. Absolutely not.”
“Energy drink companies do not have to have FDA approval,” Westercamp said.
She explained that it’s because energy drinks are considered “dietary supplements” which means drink manufacturers can sidestep regulations like caffeine limits, while sports drinks like Prime Hydration similar to Gatorade are categorized as “food” and have stricter regulation.
Becker emailed Prime but never heard back. However, the website does state, “Prime Energy is not recommended for children under the age of 18, women who are pregnant or nursing, or individuals who are sensitive to caffeine.”
Prime has been banned in a number of schools in other countries including one in the U.K. not only because it did not comply with “…healthy school policy…” but because some students are “selling these items on the school premises…”
The Duval and St Johns County school districts said they currently do not report any issues with students bringing the drink on campus and re-selling it. Although numerous parents and students told Becker off-camera that’s not the case with some claiming there’s a so-called “black market” with the drink being sold for three times its normal price.
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Both Prime drinks are typically not cheap. A pack of 12 regularly cost $29.99 while 24 Gatorades are $14.99.
As for shoppers like Javaris White, he’s trying to keep an open mind. “Do you think this is healthy?” asked Becker. “I don’t think it’s healthy, but to each their own,” White said.
Mother Dana Porcelli said she will be careful purchasing Prime for her children, and said, “Maybe at 12″.
Christin is a shopper for a local delivery service. She said Prime is a new ask among parents since it was launched last month. She said, “Kids will drink anything if its colored, sugared there you go.”
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For more information on the drinks and their ingredients visit https://drinkprime.com/pages/faq
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