You are probably really aware of the PRIME drink brand if you have a teen in your house. PRIME drinks are insanely popular. So many parents have asked me to write about them because their kids (mostly teenagers, but some even younger) are totally obsessed with these drinks. The are THE THING right now, heavily promoted on TikTok and YouTube.
It’s really important to know that PRIME has two different drinks. The first one they came out with is a sports drink (kinda like Gatorade) called PRIME Hydration. They say it’s “the fastest growing sports drink in history” with $250 million in sales in its first year. (1) This is the drink that really got kids hooked on the PRIME brand.
After that huge success, they came out with energy drinks earlier this year called PRIME Energy which have become very controversial…
PRIME Energy drinks are LOADED with caffeine: 200mg per can. As much caffeine as 2 Red Bulls or 6 cans of Coke!
In some other countries, PRIME Energy is banned from schools & stores due to its high caffeine content.
The reason these drinks are being singled out is because the PRIME brand is popular with kids and teens. The energy drinks have been banned from schools in several countries (2) such as Australia and New Zealand where they are not even sold in stores. Kids are still getting a hold of them…buying them on the black market and selling them to each other on social media. (3) Some are even buying EMPTY bottles of PRIME off of Facebook for $20 a pop because the brand is so huge and kids want to be seen with the logo. (10) PRIME Energy drinks are selling out in grocery stores in America, and some U.S. schools will confiscate them from students if they see them.
Caffeine has many negative health consequences in kids…
Kids and teens are more susceptible to caffeine and more likely to suffer from its effects like anxiety, abnormal heart rhythm, moodiness, sleep disruptions, and tremors. (4)
High amounts of caffeine in energy drinks are also linked to heart problems in teens. (5) Sometimes even teenage heart attacks have been attributed to drinking too much caffeine. (6) It’s awful! And most parents don’t know about this.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says there’s no safe dose of caffeine for children under 12…And teens under 18 should have no more than 100mg of caffeine a day.
PRIME Energy Drinks contain other questionable ingredients:
SUCRALOSE: An artificial sweetener made in a laboratory by reacting sugar with Chlorine. This zero-calorie sweetener has been linked to leukemia since 2016. (7) And more recently to other cancers too. (8) This is one ingredient I personally avoid at all costs.
ACESULFAME POTASSIUM: Another artificial sweetener that Center for Science in Public Interest says to avoid it because safety testing was inadequate and some research also links it to cancer.
NATURAL FLAVORS: Proprietary mixtures that make food taste irresistible so that you keep coming back for more. Preservatives, emulsifiers, solvents and other additives can make up 80% of the formulation (such as: sodium benzoate, glycerin, potassium sorbate, and propylene glycol) – None are labeled.
CITRIC ACID: Heavily processed preservative and flavoring made from sugar fed to fungus (a GMO black mold, not fruit). It can contribute to leaky gut, or make it hard to heal from leaky gut.
Are PRIME Hydration Drinks any healthier?
Besides the caffeine, you’ll find those same questionable ingredients in PRIME Hydration sports drinks. They don’t contain artificial colors, but I don’t otherwise consider these drinks any healthier than Gatorade Zero even though they are advertised that way.
I’d say ALL energy drinks are not safe for kids to drink… and many parents don’t know how dangerous they can be.
PRIME Energy has 200 mg. caffeine, but some brands have even more! To give you an idea of how much caffeine you’ll find in other drinks here’s a rundown:
- Bang – 300 milligrams
- Celsius Heat – 300 milligrams
- Rockstar Punched – 240 milligrams
- Ghost Energy – 200 milligrams
- Celsius – 200 milligrams
- Alani Nu – 200 milligrams
- Java Monster – 200 milligrams
- Monster Energy: 160 milligrams
- NOS – 160 milligrams
- Rockstar – 160 milligrams
- Starbucks Grande Latte – 150 milligrams
- Red Bull (12 oz) – 111 milligrams
The thing is, the PRIME brand is especially popular with kids.
A Senator in NY is asking the FDA to investigate the marketing of Prime Energy as it’s packaged and marketed “in near identical form” as Prime Hydration. (9)
I’ve seen reports of parents who didn’t realize the PRIME Energy drinks were different than their sports drinks or that they contain caffeine. Even though the cans have a small warning on them that they aren’t for anyone under the age of 18, some parents are accidentally buying them for young children!
This is why it’s so important to spread the word about this. Please share this post with every parent you know!
Thank you for doing your part Food Babe Army! You are the best.
P.S. I posted this Reel about Prime Energy on Instagram. Please also share it to help spread the word!
P.P.S. I help you sort out the best drinks for your children in my new book Food Babe Family, with a beverage ranking chart. You’ll find drinks listed in four categories: (1) Worst Drinks for Kids, (2) Not-Much-Better Drinks for Kids, (3) Still-Not-the-Best Drinks for Kids, and (4) Best Drinks for Kids. It makes it so easy for you. If you pre-order your copy of Food Babe Family today, I’ll send an incredible bonus to your email that you don’t want to miss! Details here.