23/05/2024

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Prime Hydration: Is it Safe for Kids?

Prime Hydration: Is it Safe for Kids?

Is Prime Hydration safe for kids to drink? As a dietitian mom, I share what you need to know about this popular sports drink.

close up of Prime hydration drink bottles

Prime Hydration drinks hit the shelves in the US in 2022, and have since exploded in popularity. The Prime brand is founded by social media influencers KSI and Logan Paul, contributing to the drink’s viral popularity, especially among adolescents. As a dietitian mom, I have seen firsthand the excitement surrounding Prime Hydration (can someone say “mom of a pre-teen boy”?), but is it cause for concern? I have pulled together everything you need to know about Prime drinks including what’s in them, their safety for kids, and the best way to help your kids stay hydrated!

What is PRIME drink?

Alongside Prime Hydration, the brand has also launched Prime Energy drinks. The big difference between these two drinks is the high caffeine content in Prime Energy drinks with a whopping 140mg (in Canada)-200mg (In the US) per can. You would get the same amount of caffeine from drinking about 5 cans of Coke! Learn more about energy drinks and their safety for kids.

Prime energy drink bottles

For adults, the level of caffeine in one can is safe, while two cans would be pushing upper limits recommended by Health Canada. For kids and adolescents under the age of 18, this level of caffeine is too high. Too much caffeine leads to negative side effects including feelings of anxiety and jitteriness, reduced concentration, headaches, tummy aches, and poor sleep quality. Excessive amounts of caffeine will also dehydrate the body. These are a just few reasons why it is important not to confuse energy drinks with hydration drinks!

Prime Hydration on the other hand, does not contain any caffeine. It is made up of mainly water and coconut water, with added electrolytes, B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E and artificial sweeteners. So why raise red flags around Prime Hydration? The potential problems only arise if your kids are drinking Prime Hydration often, above and beyond one bottle a day.

close up of a hand holding Prime Hydration bottle

Is Prime Hydration safe for kids?

As mentioned, Prime Energy is NOT recommended for kids simply based on its high caffeine content, alongside other stimulants. Do not confuse Prime Energy drink with Prime Hydration.

Prime Hydration is similar to Gatorade and other sport rehydration drinks on the market. However, Prime Hydration contributes next to no carbohydrates (energy), and should not be considered a source of fuel for kids before, during or after sports or activities.

The artificial sweeteners (sucralose) added to Prime Hydration give the drink a palatable taste, without providing a source of energy. In fact, one bottle is only 25 calories. The issue here? If kids consume too many artificially sweetened products, they risk displacing more nutrient and energy-dense foods that they need for proper growth and development.  In addition, there are unfortunately little to no studies available on the long-term effects of artificial sweeteners in the pediatric population.

top down view of a variety of vitamin pills on a white surface

What about all the added vitamins? Aren’t those healthy?

While there is nothing wrong with drinking some vitamin water here and there, the truth is, we want kids to be getting most of their nutrients from the foods they eat. In fact, the risk of vitamin A toxicity (consuming more than your body needs) increases after drinking more than one bottle of Prime Hydration. Two bottles of Prime Hydration surpass the tolerable upper intake limit of vitamin A for kids between the ages of 9-13 years. Just one bottle exceeds their daily requirements of vitamin E. Both of these vitamins are fat soluble, meaning that they can build up in the body, increasing the risk of vitamin toxicity when regularly overconsumed. 

Why is PRIME so popular?

Prime Hydration drinks were launched by rapper and boxer KSI and social media influencer Logan Paul—who have used their large followings on social media platforms to promote these drinks. Thanks, TikTok. Note: these people are not health professionals. These drinks also come with a hefty price tag, costing close to double the price of Gatorade drinks. Something to consider!

close up of a water bottle with water and lemon slices

What is the best hydration drink for kids?

Water is the most accessible, cost-effective and risk-free beverage you can offer your child for hydration. Sports hydration drinks are not necessary for kids during regular day-to-day play and activity or for kids in recreational sports. Kids who participate in elite-level sports that involve vigorous prolonged training will likely require sports drinks (for electrolytes and hydration) to support optimal performance.

If your child is a young athlete that needs this type of sport nutrition intervention, it’s a good idea to connect with a dietitian who is well-versed in sport nutrition. They will benefit more from a rehydration beverage that contains electrolytes AND carbohydrate to support their high energy needs and help replenish glycogen (energy) stores in their muscles and liver. Prime Hydration does not provide a source of energy and consequently is not the ideal choice for this group.

DIY hydration drink

You can also make your own hydration beverage using water, 100% fruit juice and a dash of salt. Try this recipe (adapted from sports dietitian Lalitha Taylor) by mixing together 1 cup of water, 1 cup of 100% juice, 1 cup of coconut water, and 1/8 tsp. of salt.

A convenient option is to purchase sports drinks that contain carbohydrate and electrolytes (such as Gatorade or Powerade) and offer them alongside a water bottle during activity.

top down view of homemade raspberry popsicles for kids

Other ways to keep your kids hydrated

  • Keep a water bottle on the go and at school/daycare
  • Serve hydrating and refreshing snacks like watermelon, grapes, cucumber, tomatoes, popsicles, freezies, fruit smoothies etc.
  • Serve milk, and 100% fruit juice at meals
  • Dress appropriately for hot weather and outdoor activities, and always remember to bring a water bottle

Check out my top 3 tips for keeping your kids hydrated this summer for more tips!

Bottom Line:

Don’t buy into the influencer hype. For older kids, Prime Hydration can be safe once in a while, however it does pose a risk of vitamin toxicity if consumed in excess.

Prime Energy drink is much too high in caffeine and should be avoided by children under the age of 18 years old.

Water is best to offer kids throughout the day for hydration, alongside 100% fruit juice and milk at meal times!

References:

  1. Caffeine in Foods – Canada.ca
  2. PRIME By Logan Paul x KSI. (drinkprime.com)
  3. Dietary Reference Intakes – Canada.ca
Is Prime Hydration safe for kids to drink? As a dietitian mom, I share what you need to know about this popular sports drink.