How old do you have to be to drink Prime Energy?

Bruno Cooke January 13, 2023
How old do you have to be to drink Prime Energy?
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

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Prime (stylised as PRIME) Energy has hit the shelves in British and American markets – given the popularity of the drink’s Hydration version with young people, it’s natural to wonder if how old you have to be to buy this newer, caffeinated offering from YouTubers Logan Paul and KSI.

Prime Energy trails Prime Hydration by about a year. 

They come in mostly the same set of flavours: Hydration is available in Blue Raspberry, Grape, Ice Pop, Lemon Lime, Meta Moon, Orange, Strawberry Watermelon and Tropical Punch; the Energy version comes in Blue Raspberry, Lemon Lime, Orange Mango, Strawberry Watermelon, and Tropical Punch.

The Energy version also has at least one key ingredient that the Prime Hydration doesn’t, making questions about how old you have to be to buy it all the more relevant. Here’s what we know.

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How old do you have to be to drink Prime Energy?

According to the Drink Prime website, a single bottle of Prime Energy contains 200mg (0.2g) of caffeine, meaning it is not suitable for children under the age of 18.

Nor is it recommended for anyone who is pregnant, nursing, or particularly sensitive to caffeine.

It “provides the boost you need for any endeavor,” the website claims. And it does so with electrolytes and zero sugar. But its caffeine content makes it inadvisable for children, according to the FDA and CDC.

“We’re confident you’ll love it as much as we do,” the website says.

Why isn’t Prime Energy suitable for children under the age of 18?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises consumers not to take in any more than 400mg of caffeine per day.

That means anyone drinking two bottles of Prime Energy will have already reached their recommended limit of caffeine intake. And that’s for adults.

When energy drinks boomed in popularity in the 2000s, CTM Labeling Systems writes, parents questioned whether such high caffeine content beverages should be legal for children to drink.

Energy drink manufacturers now follow the Council of Beverage Associations’ Global Policy on Marketing to Children. This means they can’t advertise energy drinks to children under the age of 12; manufacturers also don’t sell or promote such products in K-12 schools. 

Is Prime Energy a sports drink or an energy drink?

As its name suggests, Prime Energy is an energy drink. What sets it apart from Prime Hydration, in terms of which category it falls into, is its caffeine content.

An energy drink is a beverage that “typically” contains large quantities of caffeine, added sugars, and stimulants such as guarana, taurine, and L-carnitine, according to the CDC’s definition.

The stimulants energy drinks contain can be harmful to the nervous system, the CDC adds. In 2011, for example, nearly 1,500 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 went to the emergency room for an energy drink-related emergency.

Dangers include dehydration, heart complications, anxiety and insomnia. It’s on this basis that the CDC cites the American Academy of Paediatrics as saying that “caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents.”

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

How old do you have to be to drink Prime Hydration?

Prime Hydration, on the other hand, is a sports drink, like Gatorade or Powerade. The characteristic of sports drinks that sets them apart from other beverages is that they contain electrolytes.

They come in three categories: isotonic sports drinks contain similar concentration levels of salt and sugar to the human body; hypertonic sports drinks contain higher concentrations; and hypotonic sports drinks contain lower concentration levels.

Healthline’s bottom line is that both energy drinks and sports drinks are “inappropriate hydration sources for children.” Why? Because they can interfere with sleep, “spike blood pressure, and possibly even contribute to substance abuse and mental health problems like increased anxiety.”

But Prime Hydration is certainly more suitable for children than Prime Energy. It is free of sugar, gluten and caffeine, meaning it is less likely to have an adverse effect on a child’s nervous system. And legally speaking, there are no restrictions on how old you have to be to buy Prime Hydration.

However, Dejittr cites one doctor as recommending, as an alternative, electrolyte drinks that are specifically made for children, like Pedialyte.

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.