- Logan Paul and KSI’s sports drink PRIME is riling up local school governing bodies, which allege that the drink changes the behaviour of students.
- Matakanyane Matakanyane, General Secretary of the NASGB says that the drink needs to be vetted by the government to ensure it is safe for children to consume it.
- Despite this, dieticians say that the drink contains no caffeine, very little sugar and is safe in moderation.
A week after the local launch of Logan Paul and KSI’s PRIME Hydration, it has taken South Africa by storm in a way that no other sports drink has since perhaps Vitamin Water in the early 2000s.
Retailer Checkers faced PRIME orders of such magnitude that it began causing technical issues for its Sixty60 delivery platform.
Young people, who are the primary drivers in sales of the drink due to being the target audience for YouTubers and social media personalities Logan Paul and Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, KSI for short, have been flocking to Checkers to get their fix.
While Checkers has yet to reveal the figures of how many bottles of PRIME it has sold in South Africa, just visiting one of the retailer’s outlets is enough to visibly see the zeal that the youth have for the R40 beverage.
So popular in fact, that now the National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) has called for the ban of the American drink across the country’s educational institutions.
This is according to Matakanyane Matakanyane, General Secretary of the NASGB, who told Eye Witness News that the drink was “not workable in terms of schooling” and that the association didn’t know if it made the students “half mad” or not.
“We received reports from parents and schools that this drink was changing the behaviour of students. I don’t want to say that it makes them hyperactive but it does change the behaviour,” Matakanyane told Hypertext.
He continued that while they did not receive many reports, it was enough to cause concern and that schools across the country should ban these and other “energy drinks.”
“When we say we are calling for a ban we mean that government must vet this drink to make sure it is safe,” he added. “We do not want to gamble with the future of our children. Teaching will also be disrupted.”
In South Africa, the safety of food and drink items is regulated by the Department of Health, more specifically the Department’s Food Control directorate. There is no currently available information if PRIME has been vetted and tested by the directorate, but the United States Food and Drug Association (USFDA) has deemed the product as “generally recognised as safe.”
Further, South African dietician Reon van Aardt told Independent Media that PRIME drinks do not contain any caffeine and are safe for children to drink, in moderation. PRIME also have very little sugar, and while artificial sweeteners can be dangerous in vast quantities, small amounts here and there won’t cause any problems.
Like other sports drinks like Energade and Powerade, PRIME contains electrolytes like sodium and potassium, required for better hydration. The drink also contains zero percent fat, zero percent dietary fibre and several vitamins from A, to B6, B12, and E.
South African schools won’t be alone if bans begin occurring. PRIME Energy has been banned at schools around the world, including in the US, which are apparently concerned about the high-caffeine content of the beverage and its marketing tactics.
While we know PRIME Hydration doesn’t have any caffeine – unlike PRIME Energy which does – we can’t say that the marketing of the drink excessively targeting young people is the greatest. We have written before about why advertising products to children can be dangerous, but as long as your child isn’t drinking five PRIMEs a day, they should be fine.
This may be another Simba chip tazos situation, where schools grow concerned over the enormous and rapid popularity of a product, especially if teachers are hearing kids fight over said products, or similar situations.