A half-liter bottle costs 200 crowns in the Czech Republic, but it is a hit especially among children. However, the Prime energy drink, which is backed by a pair of American influencers and YouTubers Logan Paul and KSI, is also causing a wave of criticism. And that’s mainly because of the composition, which is not suitable for those who are targeted by influencers.
Prime came to the domestic market in two variants – one containing 200 mg of caffeine, the other containing 700 mg of potassium.
“Although it is a question of individuality, my opinion is that this dose is simply unnecessarily high,” says nutritionist Martin Jelínek about the basic, caffeinated version of the drink.
The energy drink Prime is currently a big hit among children, the basic variant of which contains a large amount of caffeine – 200 milligrams. The Hydration variant is also available, which is caffeine-free but contains 700 milligrams of potassium. In general, what impact can both variants have on health?
Here it is quite simple. The first variant with caffeine is an experienced and age-old classic, when energy drink manufacturers basically add caffeine to their products with iron regularity, because it is the most accessible, cheapest and basically the most effective stimulant, without addressing what the side effects are effects of that isolated caffeine.
To put it bluntly: From my point of view, the 200 mg of caffeine, even though the legislative norm allows even higher daily doses for the adult population, caffeine is such an unfortunate ingredient, because many people in the world, and there are not a few of them, show an increased level of sensitivity to caffeine .
In higher doses, caffeine manifests itself in a whole spectrum of side effects – hand tremors, heart palpitations, nervousness, insomnia, and so on. It is determined by how quickly a particular organism processes and breaks down caffeine. A dose of 200 mg is quite high. If you correlate it with coffee, for example, let’s say that a small cup of coffee contains somewhere between 40 and 60, stronger coffee up to 80 milligrams of caffeine. One dose of Prime drink can basically correspond to three or four cups of coffee.
Can you be more specific?
You will have two individuals next to you. One breaks down caffeine faster, the other slower. In sensitive individuals, a dose of 200 mg may also cause tachycardia. Although it is a matter of individuality, my opinion is that this dose is simply unnecessarily high. It’s not something I would recommend to anyone, although I am aware that many people are addicted to caffeine, they are so used to larger doses.
As for the decaffeinated version of Prime, i.e. with potassium content, it is another specific point in nutrition, because potassium is not normally added to dietary supplements or foods. If you go through the range of supplements available on the market, you won’t find many. The standard today is mainly potassium salts as a partial replacement for table salt.
So can it be said that Prime Hydration is unique in its own way?
That depends on how you rate it. Of course, as a professional, I don’t look at it as unique. The manipulation of systemic potassium intake is not exactly the happiest. Manufacturers mostly play on the fact that the Western population, on average, consumes an enormously high proportion of salt (sodium chloride), which contains sodium.
There are recommended standards for the intake of individual minerals, including sodium and potassium, and sodium, because we take too much of it, has side effects – primarily by retaining water in the intercellular spaces, essentially promoting the body’s state of hydration, increasing blood pressure, straining the heart vascular system.
These are chronic known side effects of sodium. In contrast, there’s potassium, which acts as an antagonist, or counter-player, to sodium, and there’s something called the sodium-potassium pump. This means that when we take in a certain amount of sodium through drinking or regular diet, the organism reacts by pumping water into the intercellular spaces. A larger proportion of water in the body is thus retained in the intercellular spaces, which then, in extreme cases, causes the already mentioned dehydration. Conversely, potassium – as part of the sodium-potassium pump – tends to pump water into the cells. This means that when we receive more potassium than, for example, sodium, water is drawn from the intercellular spaces into the cells, which is, of course, within certain limits more beneficial and desirable for health. But as soon as it goes too far, it is of course risky, and not only for the cardiovascular system.
It is of course possible to overdose on potassium. You will never overdose on it with your regular diet, that is technically impossible, but you can do it by substituting table salt for potassium and consuming too much of it. Or you reach for a supplement, see for example the “energy drink” debated here, which contains potassium in a certain dose. And if you drink more of those drinks, there is danger.
Is 700mg of potassium per bottle a high dose?
It isn’t. There, it is calculated that the recommended daily dose of potassium, if I can get it off the top of my head now, is somewhere between 2.5 and 4 grams per day for an adult, where 700 mg in one drink is not a lot. And I would not be afraid to say that it is also beneficial for health, but only in a situation before anyone with relatively low nutritional literacy comes to this and says to himself: “When I’m used to drinking five, six, seven, eight Red Bulls at a party, why Couldn’t I drink the same number of this here?” And then of course we’re running into a certain health risk. So in the end it’s about dosage.