Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
ABC News
ABC News

Prime energy drink sold by KSI and Logan Paul banned from Australian schools

Several schools across Australia have banned the viral energy drink due to its health risks for children.

Schools across the country are banning students from bringing a super-caffeinated energy drink to school, after a campaign by social media influencers KSI and Logan Paul created a frenzy around the beverage.

Prime energy drinks — founded by the influencers in January last year — contain almost double the legal limit of caffeine per 100ml, and are not available in stores in Australia.

However, they can be bought on resale websites and it is believed students are gaining access to them online.

The drink is so popular stock has reportedly run out in the UK and the US, due to the immense following of influencers Logan Paul and KSI, who have 40 million YouTube subscribers between them.

Several schools in Queensland and Western Australia have already issued warnings to parents and banned the drinks following health industry advice that they contain dangerous levels of caffeine for children.

Social media influencers Logan Paul and KSI have 40 million subscribers between them. (Facebook: DrinkPrime)

Among the schools enforcing the bans are Swanbourne and Mount Hawthorn primary schools in Perth, Maryborough State High School in Queensland, and Miami State School on the Gold Coast.

In a social media post on Monday, Miami State School principal Jemille Malouf told parents Prime energy drinks were not to be brought to school as they posed a health risk to students.

She said the ban was issued after some students were seen with the drinks on school grounds.

"This is a new elite athlete drink that is in high demand," Ms Malouf said.

"It clearly states on the packaging that these drinks are 'not suitable for children under 15 years of age'."

Drinks 'addictive' and 'dangerous'

Professor Ben Desbrow, a sports dietician at Griffith University, believes schools that ban the drinks are doing their duty in protecting young people from "the addictive substance".

He said the consumption of highly caffeinated drinks had a range of physiological and cognitive effects including insomnia, increased breathing and heart rate, and restlessness.

"In this case, giving a dose of caffeine to young children who've got … developing cognitive function is not a wise idea," he said.

Professor Desbrow says young children are vulnerable to the physiological and cognitive effects of high-caffeine drinks. (Supplied)

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) code limits the maximum amount of caffeine allowed in a drink to 32mg per 100ml.

A can of Prime contains double the legal limit — about 56mg per 100ml.

The hype around the drink has created frenzied scenes among teenagers at some Woolworths stores, where a caffeine-free "hydration" sports version of Prime is available for purchase. 

But it, too, contains a disclaimer on the label that states it is not suitable for children under the age of 15, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision.

A Woolworths spokesperson told the ABC the retailer would not be giving a statement in relation to stocking the Prime sports drink, as other energy drinks and sports supplement products that they sell also have similar warnings on their labels. 

Some retailers and consumers are taking advantage of the scarcity and hype by selling the drinks at a higher price.

One 500ml bottle, which retails for $4.50 in some stores, is listed on eBay for about $20. Students are also reportedly selling the drinks to their peers in the school playground. 

The influencers founded the Prime drink company in January last year. (Supplied)

Influencers create frenzy

The frenzy over the drinks is largely due to the popularity of Logan Paul and KSI, who were greeted by a massive crowd of young fans hoping to catch a glimpse of them during a visit to Sydney last month.

The drink bans, which have also been enforced by many schools around the world, has angered the YouTube stars.

KSI announced on social media that he would send "a truckload of Prime" to the schools "to counter this blatant wrongdoing". 

KSI tweeted his fury about the drinks being banned in schools. (Supplied: twitter)

'No-one policing this' 

Miami State School parent Ben Langridge said he allowed his son to buy the sports drink but got a shock when he read the packaging.

He said he couldn't believe retailers were selling the sports drinks to young children given its warning label.

"So many kids go to the service station or the IGA, Woolworths, Coles, and they're just buying these energy drinks over the counter," he said.

"That's the biggest problem as a parent. There's no-one policing that."

He said schools should be educating students about its harmful effects to deter them from purchasing the drinks before and after school.

"I don't know if there's that much happening, but at least protecting it and then confiscating it is a good step."

All energy drinks prohibited in some schools

Some schools across Queensland already have blanket bans in place on energy drinks.

Maryborough State High School principal Simon Done said their ban extends to sports drinks.

Mr Done says all energy and sports drinks are banned at the school. (ABC Wide Bay: Jake Kearnan)

"The policy that's in place at Maryborough State High School as well as a number of other schools is that your energy drinks and sports drinks just aren't permitted," Mr Done said.

The school recently sent a reminder to parents about their stance on the banned substance, informing them of the "potentially dangerous new trend".

Mr Done said the harmful effects of the drinks, particularly on children, were worrying.

"We had a student who had just the sports drink, not the energy drink, and this is a child who's quite shy, retiring and quiet normally, and it was like someone had shaken him up and made him fizzy," he said.

"He was physiologically different looking — that's coming out anecdotally from one of my staff in the school."

He urged parents to monitor what their children were consuming.

"I would be strongly recommending having a good look at the labels on some of these things and really educate yourself about what your kids are putting into their body," he said.

Calls for more schools to ban Prime

Professor Desbrow hopes more schools will ban the drink.

"The people behind it have absolutely no interest in the health and wellbeing of the people who consume the product," he said.

"They're just there to make as much money as they can, as quickly as possible."

A Queensland education department spokesperson said schools play an important role in helping students develop healthy lifestyle habits and that they respond to "emerging local community matters".

"This may include communicating with parents about healthy drink choices or imposing a ban if required," the spokesperson said.

"Parents with specific concerns about the type of drinks being brought to their child's school are encouraged to raise this directly with the school principal."

The Prime drink company has been contacted for comment. 

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.