MR. TITO: Be Careful When Consuming WWE Superstar Logan Paul’s PRIME Energy Drinks

First and foremost, I admire Logan Paul and how much wealth that man has accumulated on his own. He’s a master of presentation and he’s great at getting eyeballs on whatever he does. Though his YouTube content was never my cup of tea, again, it’s about the presentation and feeding your audience what they apparently want. When it comes to professional wrestling, I think he’s highly talented and “gets it” in terms of what makes a successful WWE superstar both in terms of promos and in-ring performance. Furthermore, I like that he doesn’t wrestle often and thus doesn’t over-expose himself as a performer.

However, he pushes PRIME drinks that I think the public and wrestling fans need to be aware of, particularly the PRIME Energy version. Since Wrestlemania 40, the WWE has made Paul’s PRIME Hydration drinks as a major sponsor of WWE events. For the biggest Wrestlemania in history, the PRIME logo was in the middle of the ring and there was also a PRIME Hydration drinking station outside of the ring.

For 2023, PRIME drinks generated $1.2 BILLION in sales, which is much larger than the $250 million in revenue generated during 2022. If you go to any supermarket or convenient store, it’s there. PRIME has different brands, such as PRIME Energy which has no sugar but caffeine while PRIME Hydration is the equivalent of a sports drink such as Gatorade, Powerade, or Vitamin Water. For most of this column, I want to focus on the PRIME Energy drink.

What is PRIME Energy, exactly? It’s marketed as an energy drink, which is pretty much a caffeinated version of Gatorade ZERO. There are many different flavors and Paul’s wise marketing sells certain rare flavors to really drive up demand. This technique was parodied in the South Park Paramount+ episode where a “CRED” drink had exclusive flavors and the convenience stores had riots induced because the kids wanted to show off having a particular flavor at school. Well, this kind of happens in real life… It’s hip to drinking PRIME at school, especially are rare flavor, just like it having an expensive pair of sneakers, jeans, or other top brand names or expensive versions of smart phones.

What’s in PRIME Energy (using for labels)?
• Zero sugar, which is good. They have some artificial sweeteners to help with taste.
• About 55mg of Sodium, which aligns it with Gatorade and Powerade. That’s the “electrolytes” that they talk about, as an intake of sodium helps tries to reduce sweating as much.
• Calcium, Potassium, B6, B12, and Magnesium

That sounds great, right? Like I said, it’s like Gatorade Zero but with more than the standard flavors.

Oh yeah, there’s one other major ingredient: CAFFEINE

And that’s not in Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water, etc.

According to the Washington Post, there exists 200mg of caffeine per 12-ounces of PRIME Energy can, which is “6 times the amount of caffeine in a comparable can of Coca-Cola”.

By comparison for other 12-ounce cans (University of Utah’s research):
• Mountain Dew: 55mg of caffeine
• Pepsi: 37.5mg of caffeine
• Sunkist: 19mg of caffeine
• Coca-Cola: 34mg of caffeine (Washington Post’s math roughly works out)
• Dr. Pepper: 41mg of caffeine
• Surge: 51mg of caffeine
• Mellow Yellow: 52.8mg of caffeine
• Jolt Cola: 71.2mg of caffeine

Going even further… How about rival energy drinks per 12-ounces (Source: USDA)?
• Monster: 122mg of caffeine
• Red Bull: 102mg of caffeine
• Rock Star: 120mg of caffeine (dividing their 24 ounce drink in half)
• Celsius: 200mg of caffeine, but their “Heat” product has 300mg!
• Bang: 225mg of caffeine (offers 16 ounce cans for 300mg, did ratio analysis for 12 oz)

Aside from a few outlier energy drinks (Bang and Celsius, holy cow!), PRIME has more caffeine in it than Sodas and most Energy drinks. While it does not contain the heavy amounts of sugar that the above drinks have, as again, PRIME Energy contains significantly more caffeine than sodas and more than most energy drinks, if not being equal to the highest end caffeinated drink.

Many people enjoy caffeinated products, particularly coffee. Mayo Clinic suggests that an average cup of coffee has about 96mg of caffeine per 8 ounce cup, which if you used ratio analysis, would translate into 144mg of caffeine!!!

By comparison, Vivarin and No Doz pills have 200mg of caffeine per pill (!!!). Jolt Gum has about 45mg per piece of gum! Probably want to stay away from those… Getting pure caffeine powder is highly dangerous, as many overdoses have occurred nationwide by people failing to properly measure out in milligrams how much proper caffeine should be in a drink or ingested.

So how does caffeine work, exactly? According to WebMD, caffeine acts as a stimulant and since it is mostly consumed in liquid form, it transfers itself in the body’s water system. When it reaches the brain, it blocks chemicals released in your brain that make you feel sleepy. For example, at the end of the day, you start yawning, eyes getting watery, and start nodding off. Consuming caffeine can reduce those symptoms of your body wanting to sleep. While studies don’t specially associate caffeine with heart problems, your heart needs its rest… Not sleeping can cause a multitude of health problems, including heart problems. If you’re awake more than the typical 8 hours needed daily for sleeping, then all of your organs are working hard to keep up and not resting themselves.

WebMD suggests that humans can handle up to 400mg of caffeine per day, or in other words, 2 PRIME Energy drinks that are 200mg each. The issue becomes when you begin consuming MORE than that 400mg number… Say you drink 3 PRIME Energy drinks per day, maybe 4? And you’re doing so to stay awake and barely getting any sleep. THAT is where problems arise.

The symptoms of too much caffeine will cost you, especially with age:
• Being jittery or anxious
• Headaches (inducing migraines in my case)
• Harmful to anyone with pre-existing heart conditions
• Heartburn and other digestive issues

Let me explain my experiences with caffeine…

I studied hard in college, as I was in a challenging business major and I went on to graduate school. The exams and courses that I took for my major were difficult, but the additional side course requirements that I had to take (lots of Math and Science) wore me out. To study, I was slamming soda by the 12-packs per day or at least 2 liter bottles per day. Totally unhealthy, but I’d usually drink those instead of having lunch.

Graduated school and started working for various corporations… Those weren’t bad, but then you start a family. Those late night feedings will put you in zombie mode for a while, but caffeine becomes your friend.

Then, work starts to ramp up in the financial industry the more skilled and experienced you become. I was involved in many product/service projects, mergers, and different application installations that required lots of time. Getting new certifications with a particular agency that are standards for being able to sell certain products, services, or security/insurance type also requires LOTS OF TIME to study. I was in a pattern where I’d work like 7-6, spend time with the family for the next 4 hours, and then be online, late at night, either doing more work or studying for certification exams.

Makes you appreciate, even more, how consistent I’ve been as a wrestling columnist for producing columns. Needless to say, my columns during the 2010s and early 2020s were basically my vehicles to vent. Want to know why I’m so pissed off about the WWE back then? Because I was seriously operating on 2-3 hours of sleep daily.

It took a death of a key family member for heart related issues for me to finally take a breath from my caffeine consuming habits. The quantity that I was consuming to keep up was dangerous and sometimes, I’d feel my heart skipping beats… I also aged a bit quicker than I probably should… Started seeing gray hairs in my mid 20s and my whole head is gray now if I didn’t dye it. Seriously, lack of sleep ages you quickly. Remember seeing Nancy’s hair going gray on Nightmare on Elm Street? They didn’t just make that up, as that’s a real sign of sleep deprivation.

It’s one thing to consume caffeine lightly, as everyone has rough evenings or has fun on occasion before the next day’s work… It’s another to chug high quantities of caffeinated beverages. Those will harm you long-term because your body builds tolerance and thus you’re forced to consume more drinks to stay awake. THAT is when it become dangerous and you have a problem.

PRIME Energy drinks have 200mg of caffeine per drink. That’s just too much for 1 drink and you should begin to question yourself, “why am I not getting 8 hours of sleep per day?” Why do I have to be awake for every hour? And why am I consuming something with 200mg of caffeine and not just soda to stay awake?

To Logan’s credit, and I want to mention this, he does offer a PRIME Hydration brand which is caffeine free and is just Gatorade. I’ll give him credit there, as if you like the taste of his products, you can do it reasonably safely with the Hydration products.

To WWE’s credit, they have the Hydration product shown on the ring and the PRIME mascot had “Hydration” on it. WWE’s legal department has many smart individuals. By marketing the Hydration product, they can escape any liability of their wrestling fans consuming the PRIME Energy drinks. “Why, we only used the Hydration product as our sponsor”. There’s a reason why Vince McMahon avoided jailtime and won many lawsuits. WWE’s legal minds are sharp.

But I would be careful about slamming large quantities of his PRIME Energy drinks. 200mg of caffeine per 12-ounce can when WebMD suggests that 400mg is what the body could handle daily. Just drinking 24 ounces of PRIME Energy gets you there instantly.

If I would have consumed the same quantities of PRIME Energy than I did soda back in the day, I would be DEAD right now. Seriously.

Fine, if you like Logan Paul’s PRIME Energy drink, just drink 1 per day… 2 is pushing it to the maximum. If you really like the taste of his drinks, then do the Hydration version instead.

But BE CAREFUL consuming multiple of these energy drinks per day. Too much is always a bad thing for anything, but too much caffeine will crush you and your body crashing back down to reality isn’t healthy either.

Be smart…

But start to question WHY you need to be awake for more than 16 hours per day. THAT is the real issue. You have to get your life and career organized or that will feed you into the caffeinated world.

During the late 2010s, I had to look myself in the mirror and ask if I could keep up this poorly sleeping pace during my 40s… Or if I could survive the 40s without any serious heart or health problems. On my end, I’ve been seeing a heart doctor several times a year, I’m finding more time for exercise, but most of all, I found a job that appreciated my talents and didn’t want me working through the freakin’ night.

In this economy, that last part always the easiest thing to break away from… But no job should challenge you to sacrifice sleep, ever. And if you’re in a situation where you’re forced to work 2 or more jobs to survive, I really feel for you. I don’t have any answers for you, other than reducing expenses on your end as much as possible and seek out programs to assist with housing, food, school, and child care. Also, seek out other employers… Right now, there is a shortage of people who are willing to just grind and work hard. You’d be surprised at how much people are willing to pay for a workaholic. If you’re going to push yourself to the limits, find someone who is willing to pay for a hard worker. They exist more than you know, as many places are struggling to retain employees.

You have to find ways to sleep… It’s a RESET button for your body. Slamming caffeinated drinks, especially the ones with higher contents of caffeine in them, won’t let your body receive much needed rest. If you have any pre-existing heart conditions, then completely back-off these drinks and learn to sleep better.

So there you go, a PSA from old man Tito. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

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