Prime drinks have been extensively advertised in Australia, leading to an explosion of selling in supermarkets and school bans.
Prime has two drinks, which are marketed as a “hydration” drink; the other is an “energy” drink. The latter is accompanied by the warning that it’s not recommended for those younger than 18, as well as lactating or pregnant women. The product is not available legally in stores across Australia.
Both drinks can cause danger to children and women who are lactating or pregnant.
What’s in Prime Energy?
Prime Energy contains 200 milligrams of caffeine in each can, equal to approximately two to 3 instant cups of coffee. The caffeine content is about twice the amount legally permitted for products sold in Australia.
Despite the name of this drink, Prime Energy drink contains around 40 kilojoules of carbohydrates, one of the primary fuel sources. Its “energy” in Prime Energy is caffeine, which causes you to appear more awake and decreases the effort required with any task you undertake.
Caffeine can provide advantages to performance for athletes over 18 years old. However, given the vast levels in the drinks, there could be more effective ways to consume the right amount of caffeine.
Caffeine is a concern during pregnancy.
Health guidelines suggest the restriction of consumption of caffeine during pregnancy and breastfeeding to less than 200 mg a day.
Theoretically, this drink, which contains 200 mg of caffeine in a can, is sufficient. However, in reality, diets have numerous alternatives to caffeine, like tea, coffee, chocolate, and Coca-Cola drinks. Consuming these drinks and energy drinks could increase the amount pregnant women consume over this limit.
Why is caffeine such an issue for babies and fetuses?
The placenta can be crossed by caffeine into the fetus’s bloodstream. Fetuses can’t break down caffeine, so it stays in their bloodstream.
As the pregnancy progresses, the mother becomes less efficient at removing caffeine from her system. The fetus could be exposed to more caffeine over some time.
Studies have demonstrated that excessive caffeine intake can cause a reduction in growth, reduced birth weight, preterm birth, stillbirth, and preterm birth. Some experts believe there is no safe limit on caffeine consumed when pregnant.
When nursing, caffeine passes into the milk of the baby. It stays in the infant’s bloodstream because they can’t process it. Evidence suggests that caffeine can cause babies to be more irritable and less likely to fall asleep.
What do you think about children?
Also, children have a lesser capacity to break down caffeine. A caffeinated beverage can be more effective in conjunction with their smaller body mass.
This way, safe caffeine levels are determined on a weight-based basis: 3mg per kg of body weight per day. For instance, children aged 9 to 13 who weigh less than 40kg should consume not more than 120mg of caffeine daily. Children aged between 14 and 17 years of age who are less than the weight of 60 kilograms ought not to exceed 180 mg per day.
Research has shown that higher intakes can increase the likelihood of having heart problems, including chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and fainting. This could indicate an underlying issue with the heart which, in a few cases, resulted in adolescents and children being admitted to emergency departments.
What about Prime Hydrate, which doesn’t contain caffeine?
The drink comprises amino acids of the branch chain, also known as BCAA, which the supplement industry promotes as aiding in gaining muscular bulk. The three BCAAs are BCAA that are leucine, valine and isoleucine.
But there isn’t any evidence that they are beneficial. Therefore they are not recommended for athletes. Australian Institute of Sport has concluded that they are not a good supplement for athletes.
Supplements are not recommended for pregnant women or children since they have not been tested in these populations.
It is also a concern over the effect on the body of BCAA and how these might affect the development of the fetus. A scientific study on animals has revealed altered growth patterns in embryonic mice.
Human studies have been conducted to study BCAA or fetal growth; therefore, research must be completed before any suggestions can be offered to pregnant women. These ingredients should be avoided when there is no evidence.
In the same way, there was any testing of these supplements with children who still need to be 18 years of age, so there’s no guarantee as to their security.
Performance-enhancing sports supplements are not recommended for children and adolescents, as they are still developing physically and refining and improving their sporting skills.