Risk & Facts About the 5-Hour Energy Shots

Energy drinks are a $3.5 billion dollar industry, in the United States of America
Energy drinks are a $3.5 billion dollar industry, in the United States of America (Image: colorful drinks image by forca from Fotolia.com)

School, work, responsibilities at home and everything in between has led to an epidemic of stress for Americans of all ages. Their perceived need for an energy booster, to propel them through the next few hours, has nurtured a $3.5 billion dollar energy drink industry in the United States. One of those drinks is 5-Hour Energy, a two-ounce drink that advertises it'll keep you alert, energetic and creative for hours.


5-Hour Energy proclaims to be a better source of energy than its competition. It claims to give the energy you sometimes lack in the morning, an afternoon energy pickup and energy to exercise. 5-Hour Energy contains no net carbohydrates and only four calories.

To have energy allows you more awareness of what's around you.
To have energy allows you more awareness of what's around you. (Image: Pick Up image by Sydney van Rensburg from Fotolia.com)


5-Hour Energy lists its ingredients, beginning with vitamins from the B complex: B6, folic acid, B12, niacin, sodium plus a blend of amino acids for energy. Noted under the heading of other ingredients is purified water, natural and artificial flavors, sucralose, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and edta, which assures freshness.

Regulatory Control

5-Hour Energy, along with most other energy drinks, is classified under the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. To be compliant, it must disclose the use of natural ingredients, including herbs and vitamins. However, the dosage of the ingredients listed as “other ingredients” is not required. The manufacturer is responsible for the product's safety.

Government regulation is necessary for what we consume.
Government regulation is necessary for what we consume. (Image: ordner image by Angelika Bentin from Fotolia.com)

Product Positives

Drinking 5-Hour Energy likely won't give you a rush, rather you'll enjoy a gradual build up of energy. The product later gradually brings your energy level down, without fatigue and exhaustion. These benefits are possible because 5-Hour Energy contains no sugar; caffeine content is equal to a single cup of coffee, and it includes no guarana. Guarana is a shrub found in South America, whose seed contains more caffeine than a coffee bean, and used by some energy drinks.

Although not conclusively proven, amino acids are purported to increase cognitive abilities, which allow you to be more alert and creative.

Product Negatives

Although, the caffeine level of 5-Hour Energy equals just one cup of coffee, that’s a big dose of caffeine for a two ounce drink.

Niacin, an ingredient in 5-hour Energy can cause your face to flush. Although not harmful, it can be uncomfortable. Some people report 5-Hour Energy has a chemical taste to it.

A concern with all energy drinks is that the Food and Drug Administration has no direct control over the industry.


According to the article, “Remedy or Ripoff 5-Hour Energy”, it’s easier to adjust your diet, sleep and exercise habits to get the extra energy you need, than to try and decide which energy drink is best.

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