If you have pre-teens or teenagers in your household, chances are they’ve been begging for Prime. But before you run out to get them some, it’s worth knowing exactly what they’re asking for. Prime is a low-calorie, high-caffeine energy drink that’s been promoted by YouTubers KSI (real name JJ Olatunji) and Logan Paul. It’s been so popular that retailers have struggled to keep it in stock.
Prime is a drink from a company called Prime Hydration, and it comes in several flavors. The hydrator version has zero sugar and contains up to 10% coconut water, plus electrolytes, B vitamins and branch-chain amino acids. The energy drink, on the other hand, has 200 milligrams of caffeine per can – double what’s legally allowed in Canada.
Both drinks have a small warning on the back saying they are not recommended for children or people sensitive to caffeine, but that’s in very small print. A spokesman for the company told CBC News that there is also a Canadian version of the drink with 140 milligrams of caffeine, which would meet Health Canada’s requirements.
When the drinks first went on sale at Asda and Aldi in December, shops saw long queues and shoppers grappling each other over bottles. One Wakefield shop owner even posted videos of people offering him PS100 for a single can. Marketing expert Eddie Hammerman tells Newsbeat he thinks KSI and Paul “honestly didn’t expect such a reaction”. He says keeping the product in short supply has helped create the hype. But he warns that too much caffeine can cause problems in children, including elevated heart rate and body temperature, and jitters and headaches.