I purely drank Prime on a night out to see if it would get me wavy
Tropical punch flavour nearly tipped me over the edge x
When KSI and Logan Paul released Prime Hydration this month after almost two years of teasing, the low-calorie drink set in motion our first collective meltdown of 2023. And, after grown adults spent thousands on full bottles in Wakefield and a Prime Tracker appeared on the UK app store to help desperate shoppers secure a hit, I started to wonder whether the need for Prime could replace the need for alcohol— if a viral soft drink could be enough to have a good time at a cramped party or grimy club.
Dry January is, fundamentally, boring and shit. But replacing booze with a viral hydration drink cooked up by two YouTubers with no former nutrition expertise of note could make a night out more interesting than if you’re glugging water. Plus, with its alcopop-esque packaging and natural energy hit, it seemed like there was a chance of a booze placebo.
So, I hopped on the Prime trend by purchasing four bottles (Ice Pop, Blue Raspberry, Lemon Lime, and Tropical Punch) for £25 from eBay and set about plans to organise the largest, sweatiest house party I could manage with the intention to binge drink all four bottles of Prime within a matter of hours.
Brace for impact. Things get weird.
The pre drinks
8-9PM – Getting ready
On first taste, Ice Pop Prime tastes like radioactive Smirnoff Ice with none of the perks of intoxication. Despite being a “naturally flavoured beverage with 10 per cent coconut water, BCAAs, and Antioxidants + Electrolytes” it’s so sweet it’s making me wince.
But, as I sip from the bulbous plastic bottle while doing my makeup – the time I’d normally have my first vodka lem – I do start to feel almost manically energetic. Am I actually getting pissed by placebo? Or have I finally lost my tiny mind?
“There is something called the ‘placebo effect’ that can lead to people drinking alcohol free drinks,” confirms Dr Hana Patel, the GP I’ve roped into this slightly deranged experiment.
“If you expect or drink a drink that looks, tastes and offers a similar experience to drinking an alcoholic drink, then you may experience feeling intoxicated even if there is no alcohol in the drink at all,” she claims, fuelling my delusion as I merrily careen around my room to the sounds of FredAgain feeling more pumped than I have from booze in months.
A long hour after my first sip, I’m finally through the first bottle and ready for the evening ahead.
9-10.20PM – Initial arrivals
I’m feeling chipper. And dangerously full of liquid. Abba is on in the background and as our friends fill the lounge, I’m noticeably less party anxious than I would be on a normal substances-filled night. I can kiss people on the cheek without fear of falling over.
People drinking around me are starting to lose their inhibitions and the recklessness is sort of contagious. Just going through the motions of sipping something is soothing even if there’s no alcohol. I’m feeling free but not out of control. Happy but not hectic.
Much like when your taste buds acclimatise to a particularly poisonous bottle of wine, Prime Blue Raspberry tastes semi neutral in comparison to Ice Pop. But my housemate has a sip and says the sweetness is sending her into orbit. I’m feeling some minor heart palps and also the urge to have some more— like a toddler with access to unlimited additives at a birthday party. Help.
But each bottle of Prime only contains 2g of sugar and adults are allowed 30g per day. So, why are our tastebuds rattled? Well, the concoction also has the sweetener Ace-K (Acesulfame potassium) on its ingredient list. And Dr Patel says there are side effects:
“Commonly mentioned include bloating, and bowel related side effects such as flatuence and diarrhoea,” she explains. Great. How sociable. “Some people also report a slight aftertaste and a delayed sensation of sweetness,” she adds.
As soon as Blue Raspberry’s finished, I’m on to the next.
10.20-11pm – Small talk
If you want to pull at a house party, I strongly recommend taking a bottle of Prime with you. Does it scream pick me girl energy? Course. Will it make nearly every man in the room come over and beg for a sip? Also yes. I am the most powerful woman here.
Essentially, Prime is giving me the confidence (and potentially the arrogant charm) of a 14-year-old boy. I’m bolstered in the security that I can do whatever I want and, as the odds remain, no one around me will remember a sodding thing. I tell one of my close friends his girlfriend is boring. I ask my housemate why she never does any washing up. I’m free. And sober. And salty.
But, regretfully Prime Lime Cordial is the hardest to stomach. It’s a blessing to be giving it away. I haven’t left my lounge but the taste is transporting me to a grotty club at 2AM, clutching a luke warm lime soda with no light behind my eyes.
Suddenly, Prime’s syrupy Calpol texture is repulsing my insides and I can’t concentrate on a single conversation. My throat feels sticky and my skin is cold. For fear of vomiting, I take a break.
11-12.20AM – Peak party energy
Ok, we’re back on the Prime waggon and speed swigging. I’m not sure I’ve ever been this hydrated or full of vitamins in my entire life. The dull aching feeling behind my eyes appears to have gone. My eternal tension headache has semi-evaporated.
Without the clumsiness that inevitably comes from necking half a bottle of vodka, the night is bubbling along without broken glasses or bad vibes. I’m free of the alcohol-induced irrationality that makes me pick fights. People are dancing. Woooooooo.
“Coconut water [one of Prime’s key ingredients] contains electrolytes, amino acids and Vitamin B,” explains Dr Patel. “It has many health benefits, including helping with our electrolytes, digestion, and reduce headaches and joint pains, to name a few.”
What I’m hearing is I’m Gwyneth Paltrow with a side of sweeteners. Already feel menacingly smug that everyone else around me will be cripplingly hungover in approximately nine hours. Pilates and Prime. This is my new identity. Live, laugh, love.
12.20-1.12AM – Early hour delirium
I am fundamentally sick to my stomach. Tropical Punch tastes, literally, like the colour red. Strong. Vile. Like melted down marzipan. This might be a health drink but it still feels like I’m swallowing straight glucose. Yet, I still keep going back for more. I’m in a Prime chokehold that I can’t escape until, suddenly, I’ve drunk the supply dry.
The bottle is done but the party is not. And, you know what? It’s not hard to keep on going because I feel good. Like someone that just got a 2AM delivery. Conversational cannon fodder is sorted. Everyone wants to know how I feel after four bottles of Prime. Great. Bit bored. Kind of jealous of your dilated pupils. Thanks for asking.
The end of the night
By 2.30AM everyone is, thank god, sloping off home. Prime (and good company) gave me enough of a boost to keep going till the early hours but health drinks simply are not fuel for 6AM sessions. With my rational mind still somehow in tact, I start scooping up beer bottles and empty vapes to make tidying up easier in the morning. Fear I’ve officially become my mother.
The morning after
Although there’s special place in hell for KSI and Logal Paul for concocting Ice Pop Prime, I wake up feeling well enough to tackle big Asda on a Saturday. No sweating palms, no instants regret, no churning stomach that stops me eating my Maccies.
Would I recommend necking two litres of Prime instead of having a G&T? I’d sooner suggest a weekend away in Andrew Tate’s Romanian jail. But from eBay hunt to the placebo booze buzz, Prime certainly spiced up the most depressing month of the year.
Does the Prime high feel like being pissed? Of course it doesn’t. But I danced, yelled, and nearly chunned, alongside everyone else in attendance and, honestly, what more is there to a night out than that?
Related stories recommended by this writer:
• From Essex to Edinburgh: The longest journeys made to get some Prime from Wakey Wines
• Ranked: The UK towns and cities with the biggest addiction to Prime
• TikTok blew up Wakey Wines in Wakefield because they’re selling Prime