Aussie schools ban new Prime drink after wild supermarket scenes

One of the Prime drinks is the equivalent to having '2.5 cups of coffee' and is worryingly appearing in the hands of children.

As children desperately try to get their hands on popular energy drink Prime, some Aussie schools have taken swift action, calling the frenzy a "dangerous new trend".

Launched this year and promoted by social media influencers Logan Paul and KSI, the sale of Prime sports drinks has created chaotic scenes in supermarkets like Woolworths. Children have been racing into the stores to buy the drink — despite it not being recommended for those under 15.

The controversial products are available in a non-caffeinated 'sport' version called Prime Hydration as well as another version called Prime Energy — which contains almost twice the legal amount of caffeine per 10ml allowed in Australia, meaning it can't be sold here.

A photo of boys in a Perth Woolworths store rushing to buy Prime drinks. Another photo of Prime drinks in a bag.
Concerned schools across Australia have started banning Prime drinks after becoming extremely popular with students. Source: TikTok/Facebook

How is Prime Energy still being sold in Australia?

However through the 'legal loophole' of retailers and resellers selling Prime Energy online, schoolchildren have been able to get their hands on it and even sell them at school or elsewhere themselves.

In Perth, where boys were filmed eagerly running to a Woolworths to buy Prime as the supermarket opened, a convenience store owner admitted to selling the illegal Energy caffeinated version — which says on the label it cannot be sold to people under 18. He's said it's "one of the best business decisions he's ever made", but denies selling Prime Energy to children " The West Australian reports.

“I’m selling (non-caffeinated) Prime Hydration for $15 and Prime Energy for $19.95."

Aussies have also been making profit on the products by selling on the likes of Facebook Marketplace, attracting mixed reaction.

"So, you've gone into Woolies, taken photos of the shelves and stock, bought some and are now trying to sell them with the price jacked up? You're joking right?" one person commented on Facebook.

Schools ban Prime drinks over health concerns

The "potentially dangerous new trend" has triggered a ban of the energy drinks from some schools like Maryborough State High School in Queensland, who recently posted about it on their Facebook page.

"There are some new energy or hydration drinks that have recently hit the market, available online or in store, some of which have 4 TIMES the caffeine or stimulant as ‘regular’ energy drinks," they said.

"These can cause significant concerns in students with (potentially unidentified) health issues. All energy drinks are prohibited at Maryborough State High School. Students can expect them to be immediately confiscated and disposed of."

Already seeing the damage done to one student, the school's principal Simon Done described what happened.

"We had a student who had just the sports drink, not the energy drink, and this is a child who's quite shy, retiring and quiet normally, and it was like someone had shaken him up and made him fizzy," he told the ABC.

"He was physiologically different looking — that's coming out anecdotally from one of my staff in the school."

Why are the energy drinks so bad?

Ormeau State School in Queensland also posted a warning to their Facebook page. "Recently, we have noticed some students bringing in drinks called Prime Hydration or Energy drinks. This is a new elite athlete drink that is in high demand," it read.

"It clearly states on the packaging that these drinks are ‘not suitable for children under 15 years of age’."

Senior research officer Justine Howard from Telethon Kids Institute said Prime energy contains "2.5 cups of coffee" per drink, 9 News reports.

Energy drinks are shown to have a number of negative health effects including heart issues, difficulty concentrating and gut disturbance, she previously explained. But it also has equally concerning mental health effects including insomnia, agitation, anxiety, mood disorders, psychosis and hallucinations.

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