Half a liter of Prime energy drink, which is now a hit with children, contains 280 milligrams of caffeine according to its composition label. This is comparable to about four cups of strong espresso. Parents and experts are therefore on their guard.
Experts agree that Prime drink is not suitable for children. illustrative photo
| Photo: Shutterstock
Nine-year-old Dušan from Central Bohemia came home from school with a Prime drink. He bought it for 180 crowns in a small shop in Rakovník. “He said he was very good. They saw him with the boys on internet“, his father Miroslav mentioned.
His son entrusted him with the purchase after he was surprised that on Monday afternoon he had nothing left of the 200 kroner pocket money he has for school transport. “I looked, tasted and gave a clear example of where it belongs. Pour out and throw away,” said the father. Together with his wife, they also enlightened their son composition of the drink.
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It worked. Dušan doesn’t buy it anymore, even though some children mock him for being a cakewalker. According to dad, on the contrary, he is his own. But he lamented that many children still drink the British drink. Some young influencers because they make a widely shared advertisement for him. And when it appeared in one of the chains for less than ninety crowns, it was not available during the day.
A lot of caffeine and a sweet taste
According to Martin Adam, a chemist from the Faculty of Chemical and Technological University of Pardubice, Prime is an unbalanced chemical cocktail. “When I compare the drink with others, in terms of caffeine, it’s two Red Bulls or four cups espressowhich is strong coffee,” he stated.
The recommended daily dose of caffeine for children is three milligrams per kilogram of their body weight. So if a child weighs 40 kilograms, he should not exceed 120 milligrams per day caffeine. “And one can is almost twice as much,” added the chemist. He was not left cold even by looking at the dose of potassium, which is 140 milligrams in the drink, and the non-existent counterbalance in the form of sodium.
University professor and specialist in the field food industry Jana Dostálová believes that even adults should approach caffeine in moderation. “Let alone children. A large amount of potassium is not good either. The problem is also the sweet taste, which children should not get used to. Even if there is no sugar in the drink, no sweetener is suitable either. Plus it’s a big pint pack. “The children drink a lot and easily clean it all up,” she stated.
Jakub Přibyl, nutrition specialist and product developer at Trim, sees it similarly. “It is an ordinary overpriced energy drink, which does not make sense for the consumer with its composition. Energy drinks (with a caffeinated version) work by stimulating the central nervous system and giving a false sensation energywhich is short-term and ultimately leads to exhaustion of the organism,” he pointed out.
The voice of a teacher and a doctor
For example, children from elementary and kindergarten in Chbany in Chomutovsk have experience with the new drink. “For a few children appeared about a week ago. Already at that time, we registered that it was not the right thing for them,” reminded the director of the school, where the children attend grades one to four, Jiřina Kříčková.
When she asked the students how they liked the drink, they said not much because it was quite sour. She, too, sees a problem with caffeine. “Such drinks do not belong in small children’s briefcases,” she emphasized. She therefore pointed out the pitfalls to her parents, and her words seem to have landed on fertile ground. Since then, the drink has not appeared among children at school.
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According to Ilona Hülléová, president of the Association of General Practitioners for Children and Adolescents of the Czech Republic, none are suitable for children energy drinks. “During preventive examinations, we also discuss their diet with children who are overweight or obese. We often come across that they drink both cola and energy drinks,” she outlined.
They say they are attractive because they are in fashion. In addition, children feel that it will help them with sleep disorders that occur even after they are on computers, tablets or mobile phones late into the night. “However, it will not solve the root cause of the malfunctions in this way at all,” she emphasized.
What the children ride on
Ministry officials are also aware of the problem. According to the State Health Institute, one in ten young Czechs is prone to the risky consumption of energy drinks. “We have been drawing attention to the issue, especially for children and teenagers, for a long time,” said the spokesperson Ministry of Health Ondrej Jakob. According to him, consumers should not exceed the maximum dose of caffeine, i.e. the aforementioned three milligrams per kilogram of their weight.
They were a similar hit to Prime among children not long ago nicotine sachets, which, thanks to regulation, they will no longer officially get their hands on from this July. Many children have also been “using” kratom, which is the dried leaves of a tropical tree with psychoactive effects.
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They shouldn’t even be able to access it, together with other addictive substances, from next year. The parliamentary proposal for an amendment to the Act on Addictive Substances takes this into account. For now, it is freely available, although according to the national coordinator for anti-drug policy, Jindřich Vobořil, sellers must adhere to ethics and not sell it to children.
Prime drink – Nutritional information per 100 ml:
Caffeine content: 56 mg
Energy value: 12 kJ / 3 kcal
Fats: 0 g, of which saturated fatty acids 0 g
Carbohydrates: 0.8 g, of which sugars 0 g
Protein: 0 g
Salt: 0.04 g
Vitamin B6 (42%)
Vitamin B12 (42%)