A U.S. Senator is calling for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the caffeine content of a popular energy drink.
Prime Energy is one of two drink offerings under the Prime Brand, which was founded by YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has asked the FDA to investigate Prime’s health claims, marketing, and caffeine content.
What is Prime Energy?
With a combined YouTube following of almost 48 million subscribers, Logan Paul and KSI teamed up last year to launch Prime.
Their first product, Prime Hydration, is a 500mL bottled drink marketed as a “healthier alternative” to rival sports drinks. It’s available in several countries across the world.
When Paul and KSI launched Prime Hydration in Australia this year, thousands of fans gathered to see them in Sydney.
According to Paul, Prime generated close to $AU375 million in retail sales in its first year, and made $67 million in January alone.
Paul and KSI’s brand promotion has been a key driver behind its success. They’ve also signed sponsorship deals with high-profile sporting organisations like FC Barcelona, Arsenal, and the UFC.
The demand has created safety concerns at many supermarkets. Bottles of the drink have been re-sold on websites like eBay, for example, for thousands of dollars.
Following the early success of Prime Hydration, Prime launched its flavoured energy drink range this year.
According to its website, Prime Energy “provides the boost you need for any endeavour”. It comes in a 355mL can, is sugar-free, and contains 200mg of caffeine. In Australia, energy drinks cannot contain more than 32mg of caffeine per 100ml, meaning Prime Energy can’t legally be sold here.
Prime doesn’t recommend its energy drink to pregnant people, under 18s, or people sensitive to caffeine.
The caffeine content of Prime Energy:
Prime Energy contains significantly more caffeine than its competitors. For example, a can of Red Bull contains 80mg. A can of Coca-Cola contains 34mg of caffeine.
Caffeine can lead to dehydration, anxiety, and an increased heart rate.
Schumer has asked the FDA to investigate the safety of what he described as a “cauldron of caffeine” being marketed towards children.
So, why is Prime Energy being investigated?
Schumer claimed that because the caffeine-free Prime Hydration drink looks “near-identical” to Prime Energy, children were likely to consume “eye-popping” levels of caffeine without their parents’ knowledge.
He asked the FDA to investigate health claims made about Prime in advertising, and if sufficient warnings about the product are listed on the cans and website.
A Prime representative told media that Prime Energy contains a “comparable amount of caffeine” to similar products, and that their “top priority” was consumer safety.