top of page

Does PRIME Live up to the Hype?

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Launched by mega-famous YouTubers-turned-boxers, Logan Paul and KSI, PRIME has taken the sports drink world by storm. But is it any use and is it safe to consume?


Introduction

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard about PRIME. The brand, launched in 2022 by Logan Paul and KSI, sells a hydration drink, hydration sticks, and an energy drink. They have been wildly successful: in the first three months of this year (2023) they have captured almost 6% of the dollar share of sports drinks. To put this into perspective, Powerade—who have been around since 1987captured about 7.5%. In their own words, PRIME products are designed to ...refresh, replenish, and refuel. So, let’s go through their claims and see if they stand up to scrutiny.


Do PRIME Products ‘Refresh’, ‘Replenish’, and ‘Refuel’?

Because ‘refresh’ is such a nebulous (or vague) term, it’s really difficult to suggest that a product can or can’t ‘refresh’ someone. Again, ‘replenish’ is a bit of a vague term. Taking the Merriam-Webster definition of ‘replenish’, it’s ‘to fill or build up again’. I would agree that PRIME drinks can fill you up, but so can petrol (or any liquid for that matter), so what does this say about whether we should drink PRIME or not? Okay, ‘refuel’ is a term that we can work with, as it’s often used in the realm of sports nutrition. If I read between the lines, I believe that PRIME are claiming that their products can do the following two things:

  1. Replace fluids lost during activities like exercise (i.e., hydrate)

  2. Replace energy used during activities like exercise (i.e., refuel)


Logan Paul and KSI with PRIME Energy.

Co-founders of PRIME, Logan Paul and KSI, with a can of PRIME Energy. Source: The Food People.


Do PRIME Products Hydrate?

Because the main ingredient in PRIME drinks is water, and hydration refers to the process of replacing the lost fluid (mainly water) in something, PRIME drinks can technically hydrate. However, when we sweat, we lose more than water—we also lose electrolytes. Any drink that’s marketed for athletes should ideally replace lost electrolytes as well as water. This is where PRIME runs into issues.


It's well established that the most important electrolyte lost in sweat is sodium (or salt). In fact, because sodium is lost in sweat at a level ~10 times greater than potassium (1), it’s the only electrolyte recommended for inclusion in sports drinks that aim to rehydrate (2). If we take a look at the PRIME Hydration ingredients (below), you’ll notice that the sodium content is low, but the potassium content is very high. This is suboptimal for rehydration purposes.


PRIME Hydration 'Ice Pop' drink.

PRIME Hydration ‘Ice Pop’ ingredients. With only 10 milligrams (mg) of sodium and 700 mg of potassium per serving, this drink is suboptimal for hydration. The lack of carbohydrates also renders it suboptimal for refuelling. Source: CTV News.


PRIME is suboptimal for hydration—and could potentially be dangerous—because it could place you at risk of developing hyponatraemia if you choose to rehydrate with it after heavy exercise. Hyponatraemia is when our blood contains an abnormally low amount of sodium, and can occur when athletes fail to eat or drink after exercising, or if they drink low-sodium beverages (like PRIME) after very heavy sweating. So, if you have exercised very heavily and produced a lot of sweat, don't drink PRIME. You could choose a sports drink like Lucozade Sport instead, which has a sodium-to-water ratio that is designed for optimal rehydration. Otherwise, drink plain water and eat something with a pinch of salt.


Note: for most activities, just drinking water and eating a post-exercise meal will be sufficient for rehydration. However, after extreme exercise or exercise done in very hot conditions, it’s important to rehydrate with either water and a salty snack (or meal), or with a higher sodium sports drink like Lucozade Sport or Powerade.


Jim Walmsley ultra-runner Western States.

Legendary ultra-endurance runner, Jim Walmsley. The risk of hyponatraemia is greater for athletes performing long distance sport, as more fluid and electrolytes are lost through sweat. Therefore, it’s crucial that these athletes replace lost fluids and sodium (salt) through drinks and foods. Source: Carreras Por Montaña.


Do PRIME Products Help You to Refuel?

As we have discussed before, it is vital to replace the fuel used during exercise as quickly as possible to recover optimally. Because carbohydrates are the best fuel for supporting moderate- to high-intensity exercise, they should be the focus of your post-exercise nutrition. PRIME drinks are essentially carbohydrate-free, so they will not help you to refuel.


Should You Drink PRIME?

If you are an athlete looking for a quality sports drink to help you rehydrate and refuel after a hard session, don't drink PRIME. Drink Lucozade Sport, Powerade, or Gatorade instead, as these drinks have more sodium and carbohydrates to help you recover. Or, drink water and have a snack or meal with a pinch of salt instead. If you just want to drink the PRIME Hydration drinks leisurely, sure, go for it.


Potential Dangers of PRIME Energy Drinks

PRIME Energy drinks contain 2.5 times the caffeine of Red Bull (i.e., 200 milligrams (mg)), so drinking just two cans would meet the safe limit for caffeine consumption (i.e., 400 mg per day) for adults set by the European Food Safety Authority (3). This is particularly important to consider for children, who may have a lower threshold for caffeine tolerance (3). My advice: drink these sparingly.


Summary

So, does PRIME live up to the hype? The answer to that question is a resounding NO, at least from a sports nutrition perspective.


This article marks the one-year anniversary of this blog! Thank you to all who check in regularly, we really appreciate it. Keep an eye out for a surprise on the Training121 Instagram later this month to celebrate this milestone...


If you’re interested in becoming a better footballer, or if your child is, book in to our supplemental football coaching services by reaching out to our team of expert coaches at [email protected].


Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend!


Patrick Elliott, BSc, MPH

Health and Nutrition Science Communication Officer at Training121


Health Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice. For health advice, speak to a physician or other qualified health-care professional, and for nutrition advice, speak to a qualified nutrition professional (e.g., registered dietitian). The use of information on this site is solely at your own risk.


References

(1) Shirreffs SM, Armstrong LE, Cheuvront SN. Fluid and electrolyte needs for preparation and recovery from training and competition. J Sports Sci. 2004;22(1):57–63. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14971433/


(2) Shirreffs SM. Hydration in sport and exercise: water, sports drinks and other drinks. Nutr Bull. 2009;34(4):374–9. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2009.01790.x


(3) EFSA NDA Panel (EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies), 2015. Scientific Opinion on the safety of caffeine. EFSA Journal. 2015;13(5):4102. Available at: https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4102


Technical Terms

Hydration: The process of replacing the lost fluid, particularly water, in something.


Electrolytes: Minerals that carry an electrical charge when dissolved in water, e.g., sodium, potassium, etc. When we sweat, we lose electrolytes (mainly sodium). Therefore, we must replace them via fluids or food. Electrolyte losses are not of huge concern in lower intensity exercise, but become more important the longer and more intense the exercise, and especially in hot conditions.


Hyponatraemia: This condition occurs when excess water, relative to sodium, accumulates in the blood, and is defined by an abnormally low concentration of plasma sodium (<135 millimoles per litre (mmol/L)).

Recent Posts

See All

Kommentare

Mit 0 von 5 Sternen bewertet.
Noch keine Ratings

Rating hinzufügen
bottom of page