I’m a nutritionist – here’s my verdict on the Prime drink and why you shouldn’t give it to your child
FANS of YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul are thrilled with their Prime hydration drinks.
The colorful drinks were hard to come by as teenagers and fans alike struggled to get their hands on the products.
They cost around £1.99 per bottle and are coconut water based.
Prime says it’s designed to “fill the void” where “great taste meets function.”
“With bold, thirst-quenching flavors to help you feel refreshed, replenished and refueled, PRIME is the perfect boost for any endeavor,” explains the website.
It’s marketed as a drink, but nutritionists have questioned how effective it might be.
Filtered water and coconut water from concentrate form the basis of the drink, and it also contains electrolytes.
We asked the experts to take a look at the ingredients in the popular drink and give their verdict…
Studies have shown that electrolytes can aid in muscle recovery and keep you hydrated.
Many people, especially athletes and those who exercise regularly, take electrolytes to help them rehydrate and recover.
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The drink contains electrolyte acesulfame potassium, but experts have cast doubt on its hydrating promises.
Speaking to The Sun, Duane Mellor, registered dietitian and senior teaching fellow at Aston Medical School in Birmingham, said people should be spending their money on something else.
Duane said based on the drinks’ formulation, they might not be effective.
“It’s potassium based so wouldn’t help with hydration so unlikely to improve performance,” he explained.
Additionally, Duane said electrolytes are not recommended for children unless they are unwell or at risk of dehydration with something like diarrhea.
“In this case sodium is recommended along with glucose as this helps our body absorb water, potassium can in some cases make this worse.
“There is no obvious reason why this sports drink should be recommended to children,” he added.
BCAAs are proteins that are commonly found in foods and are sometimes considered muscle foods.
Prime drinks contain these in the form of L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and Valine.
Studies have shown that consuming too many of these can lead to problems like fatigue, nausea, and headaches.
Georgina Robertson, nutritionist at Innermost, added that BCCAs are amino acids useful for muscle repair after strength training or intense exercise, which isn’t necessary for kids because they don’t exercise like adults.
“Children’s electrolyte balance is also more sensitive than adults’, so it could easily impact hydration negatively,” she said.
Duane added that while BCAA levels are probably not high enough to be a cause for concern, “Supplementation in children without a clear medical reason is not recommended.”
The drinks also contain sweeteners in the form of sucralose.
This is a zero calorie sweetener and is identified in the ingredients by the E number E955.
Signe Svanfeldt, a nutritionist at Lifesum, said drinking sweetened beverages can be harmful to dental health.
She added that as a child’s body grows it needs quality nutrients.
“In general, unsweetened beverages, including water or milk, are the best options for keeping kids hydrated,” she advised.
“To avoid giving children excessive amounts of sugar, sweetened beverages such as energy drinks and carbonated drinks should be avoided or given in moderation.
“As children become accustomed to other types of sweet drinks, they may choose them over water, which can be a problem for both their dental health and their general well-being.”
In general, as a parent, you should encourage your child to choose water as their primary hydration option, Signe added.
Drinks currently available in the UK are caffeine-free, but products set to launch in the US will get the extra boost.
“Avoid giving caffeinated beverages to your children as it can be harmful to their health,” Signe added.
Nutritionist Georgina added that children under the age of 18 should not consume these drinks at all.
“Although these drinks contain less sugar than other energy drinks on the market, I don’t think children should be consuming these drinks as part of their diet.”
The drinks also contain vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
According to the NHS, vitamin B-12 is involved in supporting the body.
It can contribute to the formation of red blood cells and helps keep the nervous system healthy.
Guidelines state that a deficiency in this particular vitamin can lead to B12 deficiency, also known as anemia.
But this can be found in foods that we should include in our diets such as meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and some fortified breakfast cereals.
Vitamin B6 is also in the drink, but the NHS says you should be able to get enough from your diet.
A HEALTHY OPTION?
Despite warnings from some experts, a nutritionist said the drinks could offer a “healthier” sugar-free option for children.
Registered nutritionist Dr. Paul McArdle said, “They’re sugar-free and use sugar-free sweeteners, so they’re very low in calories.
“This is great for some teenagers as they are the UK’s highest free sugar intake group, so offering an option that reduces their free sugar intake is a bonus.”
He added that BCAAs like leucine are often found naturally in the foods we eat.
“They are the building blocks of proteins. There is some evidence of their usefulness in sports supplements, but if you eat a healthy, varied diet, with enough protein at each meal, you’ll get the BCAAs you need through your diet and you’ll win. t need supplements.
“The amounts that are added to these products are fairly small and so are unlikely to have any significant impact and certainly will not cause any harm,” he said.
Duane added that most things fit into a balanced diet, but given the cost, there are other foods he would recommend.
“A drink isn’t going to improve a diet, and if it’s expensive in a budget-constrained era, it could limit spending on vegetables, fruits and other healthier foods,” Duane added.
The Sun has reached out to Prime Drinks and beverage maker Congo Brands for comment.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7246990/nutritionist-verdict-prime-drink-why-child/ I’m a nutritionist – here’s my verdict on the Prime drink and why you shouldn’t give it to your child