YouTube personalities Logan Paul and KSI are under fire in Canada over an energy drink the two promote heavily on their social media channels, which health experts say is overloaded with caffeine.
Paul and KSI are the founders of Prime, a brand that sells an energy drink (Prime Energy) and it's caught the attention of Health Canada for the amount of caffeine it has in each can.
On its website, Prime says its drinks contain 200 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounce can.
That amount exceeds the regulations in Canada and on Wednesday the beverages were recalled by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Several other energy drinks were also part of the recall, including 3D Alphaland energy drink, Celsius dietary supplement, 5-hour Energy, Sting (which includes Vietnamese characters), and GFuel energy drink.
In its recall, the CFIA said the products were being recalled due to "various non-compliances related to caffeine content and labelling requirements."
The affected products were sold nationally and online.
In an emailed statement to Narcity, Health Canada says Prime Energy is "considered to be a supplemented food and is subject to the regulations of supplemented foods."
Under these regulations, the health authority says energy drinks must not contain more than 180 milligrams of caffeine in a single-serving container. The drinks also "require cautionary statements to protect sensitive subpopulations, including children."
"Prime Energy (which differs from Prime Hydration) exceeds the acceptable caffeine limit. As a result, it should not be sold in Canada," Health Canada continued in the statement.
According to CBC News, cans of Prime Energy have been spotted on store shelves in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.
From what Prime energy drinks are, to how they compare to other caffeinated beverages, here's what you should know.
What is Prime Energy?
Prime is a company co-founded by American internet personalities Logan Paul and Olajide Olayinka Williams "JJ" Olatunji (known professionally as KSI).
The company launched its first product, Prime Hydration, in 2022. The drink is caffeine-free and is not included in the Canadian recall.
Then in January 2023 they launched Prime Energy, the energy drink that has been recalled in Canada because it contains 200 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounce can. The regulations in Canada allow up to a maximum of 180 milligrams per a single serving container.
Paul and KSI often promote the drink on their social media pages and highlight that it has zero sugar, only 10 calories, 300 milligrams of electrolytes and 200 milligrams of caffeine.
What are the side effects of consuming high levels of caffeine?
As part of its recall, the CFIA has listed what can happen if some people consume high levels of caffeine.
"High levels of caffeine may have adverse health effects for children, pregnant individuals, breastfeeding individuals, and those sensitive to caffeine," the recall reads.
"Exercising while consuming caffeine may lead to adverse health effects. Some of the side effects of consuming excess caffeine may include insomnia, irritability, headaches, and nervousness."
The CFIA says anyone who spots these drinks being sold at stores in Canada can report it to them.
The agency also notes in its recall that there have been "no reported reactions associated with the consumption of these products."
The CFIA adds that it is also conducting a food safety investigation, which it highlights could lead to the recall of other products.
It's also working to verify that "industry is removing recalled products from the marketplace."
How much caffeine does Health Canada recommend we consume per day?
Health Canada's daily caffeine intake recommendations vary depending on a person's age.
For adults who are 18 years or older, the health authority recommends a maximum daily intake of 400 milligrams.
For children and adolescents who are under the age of 18, Health Canada advises 2.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
Has Prime addressed the recall in Canada?
Prime has not released a statement addressing the recall in Canada.
Narcity did reach out to the company for a comment, but we did not hear back by the time the story was published.
In a statement to CBC News, the company said it was "following the regulations set out by the countries it sells in."
It also told the news outlet that the Canadian version of its product should have "140 milligrams of caffeine."
How were Prime Energy drinks sold in Canada when they exceed caffeine content?
A question that is circling around right now is how the Prime Energy drinks with caffeine content that exceeds Canada's regulations were sold in Canadian stores.
In an interview with CBC News, Glenford Jameson, a lawyer and partner at G.S. Jameson & Co. in Toronto, says that could be due to a number of reasons.
One of those reasons is that the products may have been exported by foreign manufacturers and they were not aware of the rules. In that case it would be up to the distributor to "restrict access," Jameson says.
Another way is through a third country and a distributor or merchant exports it to Canada without informing the manufacturer.
Jameson added that sometimes things get missed at the border.
How does the amount of caffeine in Prime Energy compare to other energy drinks?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an 8-ounce (237 mL) cup of coffee can have between 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine, and a soft drink like a can of coke can have between 30 to 40 milligrams of caffeine.
As for energy drinks, the administration says for an 8-ounce can, the caffeine can range between 40 to 250 milligrams.
Red Bull says its 250 mL can contains 80 milligrams of caffeine, about the same as a cup of coffee.
As for Monster Energy drinks, a 500 mL can contains 160 milligrams of caffeine.
Have Prime Energy drinks been recalled in other countries?
The issue of the caffeine content in Prime Energy drinks is also being discussed in the U.S.
On July 9, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, took to Twitter to speak out about the energy drinks.
In a tweet, he called on federal regulators to investigate Prime for how it markets its products.
"PRIME Energy Drink has so much caffeine that it could endanger kids’ health," Schumer wrote in a tweet.
"But it's being marketed to kids! Parents and pediatricians are worried. The FDA must investigate PRIME for its absurd caffeine content and its marketing targeting kids on social media."
According to a report by Global News, the Prime energy beverages first launched in the U.K. and have since been banned by some schools over health concerns.