I-TEAM: The new kid craze in energy drinks and the dangers it brings

DAYTON — More and more kids are buying sports drinks and energy drinks, but News Center 7′s I-Team has learned some of those drinks have so much caffeine in them, doctors are calling them dangerous.

Prime, which is one of dozens of energy drinks around the world is the fastest-growing sports drink in history.

Its popularity grew in the United States after the Super Bowl.

Prime was created by YouTuber Logan Paul and social media star and boxing rival K-S-I.

Kids want it and store owners make a lot of money from it. However, doctors are worried about it.

Dr. Joseph Allen with Premier Health said, “I’ve had some kids go to the hospital emergency rooms for feeling not quite right.”

And here’s why – in the 80s and 90s, Mountain Dew was the popular go-to drink for a caffeine boost. But it’s been replaced by more powerful drinks.

That’s because it takes about four cans of Mountain Dew to get the same amount of caffeine in just one can or bottle of an energy drink.

There are two versions of Prime. One version of Prime is a bottle and has no caffeine. However, a 12-ounce can of Prime has 200 milligrams of caffeine. That is a little more than what you’d find in two cups of coffee.

“Anything over 100 milligrams – don’t do,” Allen said.

Allen said 100 milligrams of caffeine, or two sodas a day is the maximum intake recommended for children under 12. He also said extreme caffeine can be addictive, and cause insomnia, depression, irregular heartbeats, and high blood pressure.

News Center 7′s Gabrielle Enright asked, “What is the takeaway here? Are these drinks dangerous?” Allen responded, “Moderation, they can be fine. But yes, they can be dangerous.”

“My son is in love with it. He loves it, “said Abby Moore.

Her 11-year-old son started drinking Prime and other energy drinks after seeing them advertised on YouTube. She sees how it affects him.

“He would crash in the middle of the evening instead of at night when he should. He’d be up all night,” Moore said.

Some schools in the United Kingdom have banned Prime Energy because of health concerns. Some students were also selling it on school grounds.

News Center 7′s I-Team checked but that is not happening in our area at the middle school level.

Mike Collins of Stan’s One Stop in Xenia said he’s heard of back-door deals being made at the college level.

“You can pay $2 and sell it for $5. That’s a pretty good margin,” Collins said.

He continued, “They’re buying bulk, like 12 packs in the grocery store and reselling it for their own profit.”

That might be because it’s hard to find. Prime Energy is sold out on its website. And it wasn’t in stock at Stan’s One Stop or Walmart in Xenia.

News Center 7 couldn’t find Prime Energy until our third stop and was on the shelf at Kroger.

Prime Energy isn’t the only high-caffeinated drink on the market.

A 16-ounce can of Ghost Energy has 200 milligrams of caffeine. A 12-ounce Gatorade Twitch also has 200 milligrams, while a 16-ounce can of Monster has 160 milligrams of caffeine. Meanwhile, a 12-ounce can of Red Bull has 114 milligrams of caffeine.

Enright asked Allen, “Would you let your kids have these? Allen responded, “I’d find other things. I’m pretty picky about what my kids drink.”

Moore has now put a cap on the number of energy drinks she allows her son to have.

“We had to limit from having more than one a day,” Moore said.

News Center 7′s I-Team emailed Prime but has not heard back yet.

However, on its website, it does say Prime Energy is not recommended for anyone under 18, women who are pregnant, and individuals who are sensitive to caffeine.

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