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5 Hour Energy Caffeine and Ingredients (In-Depth)

When it comes to energy-boosting beverages, 5 Hour Energy might ring a bell. It’s a different energy drink compared to popular energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster.

Simply because 5 Hour Energy is not made in a form of a 16 fl.oz can, but rather in a little container that you can call as shots.

They say that great things come in small packages, and 5 Hour Energy is the epitome of that statement.

A bottle of 5 Hour Energy
A detailed look at the caffeine and ingredients of 5 Hour Energy

In this article I will be doing an analysis on the ingredients of 5 Hour Energy: what exactly is in this energy “shot” and what they do for your body.

5 Hour Energy has 200mg of caffeine per 1.93 fl.oz serving, which is an immense amount of caffeine. It also has vitamins, nutrients, and is sugar-free. However, you should take it in moderation because too much of it can lead to potential side effects.

If you’re energized to know more about 5 Hour Energy drink, then read on below.

5 Hour Energy Ingredients

Before we start, here’s a quick list of all the ingredients that go into your regular 5 Hour Energy Shot, just so you know what exactly you’re putting into your body:

  • Purified Water
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Sucralose
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • EDTA
  • Taurine
  • Glucuronic Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • N-Actyel L-Tyrosine
  • L-Phenylalanine
  • Caffeine
  • Citicoline

Caffeine in 5 Hour Energy Drink

A regular 1.93 fl.oz shot of 5 Hour Energy has 200mg of caffeine.

Caffeine is the most vital ingredient in any energy drink. After all, caffeine is the main reason why energy drinks give you a boost throughout the day.

According to Web MD, energy shot makers aren’t required to disclose their products’ caffeine content. However, the Drug Administration (FDA) have been urged to require energy shots have their ingredients displayed on the product.

As for, 5 Hour Energy, it is stated that regular shots the same amount of caffeine when compared to coffees like an 8-ounce cup at Starbucks. Simply put, the caffeine content of 5 Hour Energy amounts to an astounding 200mg per serving.

Honestly, it’s a lot of caffeine, especially if you look at it from a per fl.oz ratio.

You’ll feel this energy after 15 minutes of drinking the energy drink, and expect the rush to be faster than your typical energy drink since 5 Hour Energy due to how quickly you can down it.

Side Effects of Caffeine

The recommended intake of caffeine for healthy adults is 400mg, which is equivalent to four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola, or two “energy shot” drinks.

This means that the maximum amount of 5 Hour Energy that you should drink is only two bottles, but keep in mind that if you ever decide to take two shots of 5 Hour Energy, make sure that you only do it occasionally and not on a daily basis.

Exceeding the recommended amount of caffeine can lead to side effects like:

Artificial Sweeteners in 5 Hour Energy Drink

Artificial sweeteners and added sugar both make a food or beverage taste good, but they’re different. Artificial sweeteners have no calories, whilst added sugar have empty calories.

Added sugar is bad for you. It tastes good, no doubt, but it certainly is bad for your body due to the caloric content.

The disadvantages that added sugar can bring to your health are higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease which are all associated with making you lead to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.


The type of artificial sweetener that 5 Hour Energy has in its beverage is sucralose. It’s the most used artificial sweetener and is 400 – 700 times sweeter than sugar yet doesn’t have any bitter aftertaste which is a problem with other popular sweeteners like saccharin and cyclamate.

Also, sucralose and other artificial sweeteners are often marketed as good for weight loss.

However, according to Healthline, observational studies haven’t found any correlation with regard to consumption of artificial sweeteners and body weight/fat mass – although some reports say that it may actually cause a small increase in Body Mass Index (BMI).

Nonetheless, sucralose and other artificial sweeteners don’t seem to have any major effects on body weight.

How Bad Is Sucralose for You?

There has been a conundrum on sucralose safety, some say it’s harmless while some suggest it might affect your metabolism.

Some people think it may raise your blood sugar and insulin levels, they also think that it may damage the bacterial environment in your gut, but further studies in humans are needed for such claims like this.

The safety of sucralose has also been question when the sweetener is at high temperatures, so to prevent risks avoid cooking or baking with sucralose due to the fact that it might release harmful compounds.

Simply put, the long-term health effects are still unclear. Nonetheless, health authorities like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still considers it to be safe.

Supplement Facts of 5 Hour Energy

Supplements in 5 Hour Energy Drinks

There are a lot of vitamins and each of them has its own unique functions/benefits. If you’re curious to know about that, here’s a video explaining how vitamins work:

How do vitamins work? – Ginnie Trinh Nguyen

To further explain the supplements of 5 Hour Energy, here’s a table:

SupplementsFunctionsBenefitsRecommended Intake
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)It helps convert food into energy by aiding enzymes, and as a supplement, it may help lower cholesterol, ease arthritis, and boost brain function.Lowers LDL cholesterol, increases HDL cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, and may help prevent heart disease.Varies according to age
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)Helps your body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food.May improve your mood, reduce symptoms of depression, promote brain health, and reduce Alzheimer’s disease.1.3–1.7mg for adults over 19
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)It supports the normal function of your nerve cells. Also, it’s needed for red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis.Can boost your energy, improve your memory , and help prevent heart disease.2.4 mcg. (However, the recommended intake is higher for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.) 
Folic acidHelps make the body make healthy new red blood cells.Can help prevent birth defects of your baby’s brain and spinal cordDepends on your age
TaurineSupports nerve growth and might prevent heart failure from becoming worse.Promoting healthy metabolism, improves exercise performance, protecting the eyes, heart, muscles, and as well as preventing brain aging.500–2,000mg per day
Glucuronolactone (as Glucoronic Acid)Usually used in energy drinks to increase energy levels, improve alertness, and can even be used to reduce brain fog.Delays fatigue and improves the quality of resistance exercise.n/a
N-acetyl L-TyrosineA non-essential amino acid that the body makes from another amino acid called phenylalanine which is used in place of as a tyrosine precursor.May improve mental performance in situations that are stressful and might help people with phenylketonuria, .Recommended dosing depends if you’re an adult or a child, you can see read about it here.
L-phenylalanineUsually used for a skin disorder which then causes white patches to develop on the skin (vitiligo).Can help you with depression, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),  alcohol withdrawal, and chronic pain. Depends whether you’re a child or an adult and if take it by mouth or apply it directly to your skin.
CiticolineA brain protector and enhancerHelps people with Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, bipolar disorder, and lazy eye.250 to 2,000mg
Supplements of 5 Hour Energy and Their Functions

Preservatives in 5 Hour Energy Drink

Preservatives are used to help slow or prevent bacterial growth in a variety of products like food, beverages, medicine, and personal care products.

Just like emulsifying and stabilizing agents, preservatives can also help maintain the freshness of appearance and consistency of products.

Potassium Sorbate

This is a chemical additive that is often used as a preservative. It’s odorless and has a tasteless salt that’s synthetically produced from sorbic acid and potassium hydroxide.

According to Healthline, potassium sorbate lengthens the shelf life of products by preventing the growth of molds, yeast, and fungi. With regard to safety, you don’t have to worry because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that potassium sorbate is generally safe when used appropriately.

However, you should bear in mind that some people might be allergic to foods that contain potassium sorbate, albeit this allergies are not common. Cosmetics and personal products are common to allergies associated with potassium sorbate which can lead to skin or scalp irritation, but this skin irritant is a low risk (validated by the Environmental Working Group).

Sodium Benzoate

More often than not, sodium benzonate is used in foods that have an acidic pH like fruit pies, jams, beverages, salads, relishes, and sauerkraut.

The safety of this preservative is also validated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when consumed in moderation.

According to the FDA, it would take approximately 180 times the amount of sodium benzoate present in a typical diet before any problems might occur. Even if all the foods you eat contain the largest amounts of sodium benzoate currently in use, it would still take 90 times the amount of sodium benzoate found in that diet to cause problems.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The quote stated above might be too complex, but let’s just generally say that too much of anything is a bad thing.


5 Hour Energy is not your typical energy drink, it comes in a form of shots which is contained in a smaller bottle yet have a higher amount of caffeine. 5 Hour Energy has 200mg of caffeine which doesn’t exceed the recommended intake of caffeine – 400mg.

Taking two shots of 5 Hour Energy is the maximum, but taking two shots on a daily basis is not good for your health. Too much caffeine can lead to various side effects that can eventually lead to serious health problems.

This energy booster doesn’t contain any sugar which means that it uses sweeteners. Sucralose is a type of sweetener (in 5 Hour Energy) that’s sweeter than sugar yet contains no calories.

With regard to sweetener safety, it has been said that sucralose can release harmful compounds when you use it in cooking or baking. But for now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers sucralose a safe sweetener.

Preservatives-wise, 5 Hour Energy uses both potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. Both of these preservatives are safe when used in moderation, but they may cause allergic reactions in certain individuals, so do be aware of that.

Other Articles

  • 5 Hour Energy Nutrition Facts
  • Is 5 Hour Energy Bad For You?
  • Does 5 Hour Energy Work?
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