The current number one hit among Czech youth? Drink Prime! The Prime Hydration line, available in many stores, has gained great popularity among young athletes thanks to the power of the Internet. It can be seen not only in the cabins of adolescents and students, but also as a product. In addition, the Prime Energy line is rushing to the Czech Republic, which is currently available mainly on the Internet. Coaches and parents are sounding the alarm, warnings are spreading among clubs about the harmfulness of the drink, which arrived in Europe this year from the USA. What is the truth? Is Prime Drink Really Harmful?
At the outset, it is necessary to distinguish between the two lines of Prime drinks. Even in the articles of journalists across domestic media, they are often confused. The older Prime Hydration, which will be discussed above, does not contain caffeine, while the Prime Energy line does. You can tell them apart mainly by their packaging. While Prime Hydration is sold in plastic bottles (500 ml), Prime Energy is in classic cans (355 ml). But visually they look similar.
In sports clubs, they reached out for enlightenment. The kids understand the coaches
“At our club, we talked to parents about the Prime drink because we noticed they were starting to take it to training. We read something about them on the Internet, so it was clear to us that we had to protect them from them. Panic set in among the parents as they realized what an abomination this was for the child’s body. We, the coaches, and the parents explained to the children what it was about, that it was not healthy,” reports FK Duchcov youth coach Martin Thorand.
They have similar experience in the club 1. FC Dubí. “It was not extreme for us, but we also tried to inform children and parents. At the same time, we shared information about the drink on our department Facebook. There was massive sharing, but at the same time some also wrote to us that we were spreading lies and so on,” club coach Lukáš Záhrubský shares his experience.
“The parents and coaches explained to us that it is not healthy. We now prefer to drink water with lemon during training sessions and matches,” says Jiří Beránek, a ten-year-old hockey player of HC Teplice.
Source: Deník/František Bílek
The Prime Energy range is for adults only; in the hands of children and youth under the age of 18, like other energy drinks, it would have no business at all.
What is the difference between Prime Hydration and Prime Energy? There is Prime Hydration drink in bottles, Prime Energy drink in cans.
In the bottles is the Prime Hydration line, in the can is the more dangerous Prime Energy lineSource: Deník/František Bílek
“Energy drinks do not belong in the drinking regime of children! It does not bring any benefits to the young organism, and on the contrary, they only expose it to risks, which are not small. Therefore, it is necessary not to rely on possible legislative changes and to repeatedly point out these risks not only to the children themselves, but also to the parents,” says nutrition specialist Jan Stuparič on the website Institute of Modern Nutrition.
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“The Prime Energy range contains high concentrations of caffeine, even double that of other energy drinks. It is easily interchangeable with the Prime Hydration range as it looks similar. You need to be very careful about it,” informs the renowned portal CZ Test.
Even the caffeine-free range is not suitable for children
And how is it with the Prime Hydration line, which has acquired the stamp of worldliness among the Czech sports youth, just like, for example, branded clothing?
“In general, the composition of the Prime Hydration drink definitely does not meet the current recommendation for rehydration during sports performance. For example, BCAAs, which are amino acids that we normally get for muscle growth from food, and zinc seem completely unnecessary in a rehydration drink, as well as the other substances,” says Marie Skalská, a doctor who specializes in sports medicine and children’s nutrition.
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Therefore, the Prime Hydration line will not increase the performance of a young athlete, nor will it provide him with the necessary rehydration. Experts disagree on the question of whether it can cause harm. The drink has not been clinically tested on children, which is why it is written on its label that it is not suitable for them. It is also telling that experts warn that no one should drink several bottles at once.
What is the problem? There are 700 mg of potassium in one half-liter bottle, which is about as much as you would get from eating two bananas, but… “There is potassium in a banana together with sodium, they reduce together, so the effect of potassium in bananas is minimal. It would take several hundred bananas to kill a person with bananas. In contrast, a minimum of sodium in combination with 700 mg of potassium can knock a person out after drinking five to six drinks. Not quite, but those kind of kidneys will be KO’d soon at this rate. Take 10 of them and you will know what hyperkalemia is,” raises a warning finger from Lenka Veselá, who has a lot of experience with similar cases of hyperkalemia.
Better make an ionic drink at home
Skalská, who advises young athletes for example on the website hokey.cz, also recommends avoiding Prime brand drinks completely. The ideal option is to make an ion drink at home. “A quarter of a teaspoon of table salt is poured into a liter of water, the juice of squeezed grapefruit and one tablespoon of beet sugar are added. But there is no point in drinking excessively. It should be a maximum of 800 ml during an hour, while it is true that it should be drunk in small sips. Our cardiovascular system is able to process a quarter of a liter in 15 minutes without difficulty. Higher volumes of fluids in a short period of time unnecessarily burden the vascular system and the body cannot absorb them, so we urinate the fluid.”
According to Marie Skalská the body should take in as much fluid as it sweats during sports performance. “An ionic drink to replace fluid losses during sports performance must copy the composition of sweat. So it should contain sodium and potassium. It should also contain magnesium, but due to its dampening effects, it is not added to sports drinks in order not to negatively affect sports performance. The magnesium should then be paid for in the drink that we drink after sports performance. In addition, beet sugar (sucrose) or the simple sugar glucose is added to sports drinks to supplement energy. Other components added to a sports drink during exercise – vitamins, trace elements, calcium do not have a significant effect.”
Prime’s “viral” drinks are from the workshop of two world-famous influencers, Logan Paul and KSI. The Prime brand has teamed up with football giants FC Barcelona and Arsenal London, and is also supported by the Manchester City megastar Erling Haaland. That is why it has a huge reputation among the youth. On the Czech market, the Prime Hydration drink was sold for 300 crowns, now it can be found four times cheaper.