New York Sen. Chuck Schumer has written to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking that they investigate the influencer-created drink, PRIME Energy. Health experts and lawmakers have found the viral drink (popular with kids) to hold concerningly high amounts of caffeine, which can cause health problems.
Founded by YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI, the beverage launched last year. It became a viral success, with children and teens being the main consumers. PRIME is marketed as zero sugar and vegan in brightly colored cans, yet contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, the equivalent to half a dozen Coke cans. With this high content of caffeine, many schools in the United Kingdom and Australia have banned the drink under advice of pediatricians.
Representatives for PRIME defended the drink, statin it is clearly labeled “Not recommended for children under 18.” There is a separately marketed sports drink, PRIME Hydration, that doesn’t have caffeine. Schumer claims there is little difference in online marketing for the two drinks. Most parents could mistakenly buy the wrong one.
“A simple search on social media for Prime will generate an eye-popping amount of sponsored content, which is advertising,” Schumer wrote in his letter to the FDA. “This content and the claims made should be investigated, along with the ingredients and the caffeine content in the PRIME energy drink.”
While I’ve never had either version of PRIME, I have seen it in stores. The only difference between the two products is the ‘Energy’ version is in cans, and Hydration is in bottles. So I do see Schumer’s argument. As someone who tends to have a few energy drinks over the week, the caffeine content in PRIME is alarming.
Caffeine can do some serious damage to the body- especially with young children and teens- starting with intense migraines and can escalate to heart attacks. The fact that schools in other countries are banning the product says a lot about the potential damage PRIME can do. Interestingly enough, while on tour in the U.K. earlier this month, Paul and KSI had bottles of PRIME thrown at them. Paul may have taken the situation as a joke, but I think the instance really speaks about the outrage parents have.