A new energy drink created by social media personality Logan Paul has been slammed by health experts for being jam packed with an excessive amount of caffeine.
Last week the public figure travelled to Sydney with his business partner Olajide William Olatunji, more commonly known as KSI, to promote their newest energy drink Prime Hydration and amassed large crowds of eager fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the pair. They have a combined Instagram following of 37 million and are massively influential among young Australians.
Prime Hydration is notably caffeine-free, however, their flagship drink contains 200 mg of caffeine in one can, nearing double the allowable quantity of caffeine for a drink of its size in Australia.
While this specific version of the drink is not sold in the country, it is available for resale on various websites accessible to Australians. The recent visit by the brand's co-founders could further ignite interest in the caffeinated drink, which has been commercially successful in other countries. With the pair's huge popularity in Australia, there are fears children will be doing what they can to get their hands on the drink. Yahoo Finance reported on Thursday cans of the drink are being sold for up to $200.
Comparison of other well-known caffeinated drinks
The maximum amount of caffeine allowed in a drink in Australia is 32 mg per 100 ml, however, Prime Energy exceeds this at 56 mg per 100 ml under a loophole that the drink is a "dietary supplement", enabling it to exceed the legal limit.
Other popular energy drink brands, such as Red Bull and V Energy, have 32 mg and 31.2 mg of caffeine per 100 ml respectively, just hitting the limit benchmark. A coke can has 10m g per 100 ml and diet coke has slightly more with 13 mg.
One can of Prime Energy is equivalent to drinking roughly two and a half cups of instant coffee.
Prime Energy raises alarm bells for health experts
With caffeine widely consumed by Australians, it is easy to forget the psychoactive substance can have serious health impacts by altering mood and physiology.
The effect of caffeine varies person by person and depends on an individuals age, body size and general health, but can induce an array of negative side effects, from milder symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety to inducing psychosis and strokes if high doses are consumed.
Adolescents are particularly at risk when consuming caffeine of any quantity, never mind "excessive" amounts, says Justine Howard, Senior Research Officer at Telethon Kids Institute.
"Childhood and adolescence are periods of rapid growth and brain development - a time when adequate sleep and good nutrition are especially important," she told Yahoo news.
The ingredients within energy drinks pose a serious health risk to children and teenagers and energy drink labels are required to state "not recommended for children" due to this, and although Prime Energy abides by this rule, it could be argued their marketing campaign could easily entice a younger audience with its promise to improve energy, performance and concentration.
Ms Howard explained the best alternative to energy drinks for adolescents is to get back to basics, championing adequate sleep, nutrition and exercise to increase energy levels.
"There is no established ‘safe level’ of caffeine intake for children or adolescents," she said.
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