PRIME, the hottest energy drink of 2023 according to many online, is under scrutiny by lawmaker Chuck Schumer, and he is demanding that the FDA investigate. His concerns are valid, with each drink containing 200mg of caffeine, what you’ll find in 6 cans of cola. While it may not sound like much, receiving a high dose of caffeine quickly can be deadly.
How popular is it?
With the brand selling over $250 million worth of the energy drink in the first year through a successful ad campaign with Logan Paul and KSI, kids and teens are scrambling to get a taste. Should parents and consumers be concerned? Definitely!
What’s the big deal?
Caffeine is a drug, a stimulant to be exact. While it has some medical uses and can give a user a pick-me-up in small doses, it can be lethal, causing:
- Heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
- High blood pressure
- Insomnia (inability to sleep)
Kids and teens are particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine, often experiencing the side effects more so than adults.
Will the FDA pull it from shelves?
Can we expect to see an investigation and recall? Possibly. On the one hand, several similar products are available on the market today, some with even higher concentrations of caffeine. Fast Twitch by Gatorade and Celcius both contain the same 200mg of caffeine as PRIME. Bang Energy tops the field at 300mg of caffeine per can. If a recall is ordered on one, it would likely need to be ordered on them all.
There is a possibility that they’ll go forward with the investigation. With Chuck Schumer, a well-known politician, making it his mission to have these drinks investigated, likely garnering support from parents and healthcare professionals alike, the FDA will need to respond in some way. In 2018, a similar fad hit the market in the form of concentrated caffeine powders and liquids that could be used to caffeinate just about anything. The FDA investigated and warned companies to remove products from the shelves or face serious consequences.
It’s also possible that the FDA will forego the investigation, opting to issue a statement warning parents and children about the dangers of caffeine.
What happens in the meantime?
Regardless of their decisions, parents and children must know that energy drinks are not intended for individuals under 18. They are also designed to be sing-dose, meaning consumers should avoid caffeine for 24 hours after drinking one.
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Tammy McKinney, RN, creator of HelpfulHospiceNurse, is a healthcare writer and seasoned registered nurse. With experience in acute care, long-term care, rehabilitation, drug & alcohol, and hospice & palliative care, she combines her medical understanding with her love for writing to educate and inform the public on various health-related topics. You can view a snippet of her portfolio here or contact her directly on LinkedIn!
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