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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Ariane Sohrabi-Shiraz & Jamie Greer

Urgent warning issued to parents of children drinking Prime energy drink

The Prime energy drink, which was launched by English YouTuber KSI and American YouTuber Logan Paul last year, is set to arrive in the UK soon - and a warning to parents has already been issued.

A no-caffeine version of the drink, Prime Hydration, was developed to 'refresh, replenish and refuel' and is currently available in two major UK supermarkets, Asda and Aldi, and was fleetingly around in Costco, but fans have struggled to get hold of the drink as it seems to go out of stock as soon as it comes in.

Some smaller corner shops are selling it well over its recommended retail price, and parents are complaining about how hard it is to get hold of the beverage. The YouTubers have a relatively young fan base, and many youngsters have been desperate to get their hands on the product.

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Many may not realise that there are two Prime products for sale – Prime hydration and Prime energy, and the latter should not be consumed by children under the age of 18. This is stated on the Prime website.

The energy version of Prime isn't officially sold in major supermarkets in the UK yet, but smaller corner shops like the famous Wakey Wines in Wakefield have been selling them for £100 per can.

However, from April they are set to be more widely available in the UK, and a doctor has issued a warning to parents about children about the drink's high caffeine content. Prime energy contains a whopping 200mg of caffeine, compared to 86.4mg in a can of Monster Energy.

Dr Deborah Lee, from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, told The Mirror: "I would not recommend children drink Prime energy drinks or other energy drinks for children of any age.

"Children don't need energy drinks anyway – they have plenty of energy! If your child is lacking in energy take them to see their GP, do not give them an energy drink.

"It encourages them to want sweet drinks, when plain water is the answer and helps them develop a sweet tooth which is not good for the future in terms of a healthy diet and controlling their weight."

There are a number of reasons why young children shouldn't have caffeine, including the fact that it can become addictive. Dr Lee said: "Children are actively growing, and their brain, nervous system and heart function and development are crucial for their future health. Caffeine acts at all these sites and it would be unwise to recommend any substances which could have any deleterious effect."

It can also interfere with sleep, which children need plenty of. She added: "Caffeine results in an increased need to pass urine, so will not help at school with more trips to the toilet and could contribute to bed wetting."

On the FAQ section of the brand's website, it states: "PRIME Energy contains 200mg of caffeine, per 12 oz. can. 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."

However, the "PRIME Hydration and PRIME Hydration+ Sticks are caffeine-free."

Although it's not easy to find all the ingredients online, Dr Lee also notes that there are other things to consider when deciding whether to buy your children a Prime drink.

She said: "Dipotassium phosphate is an artificial flavour enhancer and preservative which is said to be safe for consumption but can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches and constipation."

Prime is marketed as zero sugar and low calorie, but it's got sucralose, which is an "artificial sweetener which has been shown to alter the gut microbiome and increase levels of systemic inflammation".

Dr Lee also notes that there is added zinc, and said: "Most children do not need zinc supplements – it is readily obtained from the diet. This can cause symptoms too, such as vomiting, diarrhoea and headaches."

The doctor added that Prime is made from coconut water, which is "full of electrolytes (sodium and potassium)" but "again, children obtain plenty of these from their diet. They do not need any extra from an energy drink. What they need during the day is plenty of good old-fashioned, water."

Body Fuel, a Liverpool-based competitor to Prime which has been endorsed by Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett, went on sale last week.

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