Young people have gone wild for the latest craze sweeping the nation -YouTube stars KSI and Logan Paul's Prime hydration drink. Launched in the UK in February 2022, the £2 hydration drinks proved an instant hit, with fans queuing up outside supermarkets to get their hands on a bottle.
With the viral drinks, which the creators say will "refresh, replenish, and refuel" you, selling out immediately everywhere, they are even being resold on eBay and Facebook Marketplace or in corner shops for extortionate prices amid the hype. But while parents desperately try to get their hands on a bottle, which come in a variety of flavours including Blue Raspberry and Ice Pop, for their children, not everyone is a fan of the beverage.
The Prime website says the hydration drinks contain 10 per cent coconut water, antioxidants and electrolytes and is caffeine-free, which has led many people to assume it is a healthy alternative to traditional energy drinks. Despite this, nutritionist Hannah Macey told The Mirror she would not buy Prime for her own child.
Hannah, the lead nutritionist at Feel Complete, said Prime was essentially a "watery coconut drink" and was not worth the hype or the money people are willing to fork out to get hold of a bottle. When asked if she would allow her child to drink it, she said: "No, I would not. It has nothing worth spending any money on. There is nothing special in this drink that you would not get from water, a sip of coconut water and a well-balanced meal."
The nutritionist said you are essentially paying a lot of money for a small vitamin and mineral boost. She said: "The first ingredient is water, then 10% coconut water (which brings in the 825 mg of electrolytes to every Prime bottle) and some very low-dosage vitamins and minerals.
"Then we have the 'star' branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) l-isoleucine, l-valine and l-leucine. Research shows some benefit in supplementing with these BCAAs before exercising, but in the range of 5,000 to 10,000 (mg) per day. Prime has just 250mg, so after the water and coconut water, it's mostly preservatives and artificial sweeteners."
Despite her scepticism, Hannah does say that Prime is a better alternative to traditional energy drinks which are "often just water, sugar, caffeine and a lot of artificial food colourings, sweeteners and preservatives".
She added: "The water and coconut water will hydrate you, and if you are eating a diet very, very low in any whole foods (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, etc) then it will give you a small vitamin and mineral boost."
When asked whether Prime was safe for young people to drink, Hannah said: "In general, yes it is safe to consume but it does still contain sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium.
"These are artificial sweeteners which have potential health risks. There may be no calories, but artificial sweeteners can cause glucose intolerance and induce metabolic syndrome, which is associated with weight gain, all increasing the risk of obesity."
Elaborating on the negative impact of artificial sweeteners, Hannah added: "Artificial sweeteners are bad for our health, and Prime has them. They can negatively affect our gut microbiome, which plays a crucial role in food digestion and energy balance in the body.
"Natural flavour sounds like it should be fine, it's 'natural' but it's a term that doesn't tell us what flavouring agents are in it, and we know toxicity concerns are related to flavouring agents."