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Does 5-Hour Energy Actually Work? (Full Details)

An energy drink may sound familiar to you, but have you ever heard of energy shots?

Both products give you energy, but the difference that these two have is that energy shots are often contained in small bottles while energy drinks are like Red Bull and Monster which are usually seen in aluminum cans.

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If you’re unfamiliar with 5-Hour Energy, there’s a chance that you might be skeptical about whether energy work just like energy drinks.

5-Hour Energy definitely works, mainly because of the caffeine. It provides you high amounts of caffeine that certainly can boost your day up and help you with your work and other activities.

Want to know whether you should buy energy shots instead of energy drinks? Keep reading as you decipher which one suits you the most

Why Do People Drink Energy Drinks

The main reason why people drink energy drinks is that they claim that it improves their energy, help with weight loss, increase endurance, and improve concentration.

Every energy drinks out in the market have caffeine in their ingredients since this ingredient is what actually gives you energy and keeps you awake to fulfill your daily activities.

Energy drinks are popular among American teens and young adults, but it’s men who are age 18 to 34 who consume the most energy drinks. Drivers are one of the most common people who drink energy drinks because they find the beverage helpful for keeping them awake/alert which can prevent road accidents from occurring.

Caffeine

This ingredient is the main factor why people consume 5-Hour Energy, caffeine can make you feel more energized and awake. There are more beneficial ingredients that are contained in a single bottle of 5-Hour Energy.

Several studies show that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3–11%. Caffeine can also enhance physical performance, and improve various cognitive functions like mood, alertness, reaction time.

People who drank more than 4 cups of coffee a day were shown to be less likely to die from suicide.

What Does 5-Hour Energy Claim To Do For You?

5-Hour Energy claims two things. First is “Hours of energy now. No Crash Later”. The second one is that if you take one half (1/2) bottle of 5-Hour Energy, you’ll receive moderate energy, whilst drinking the whole bottle will give you maximum energy.

5-Hour Energy also owes its efficacy to its special proprietary energy blend that’s formulated out of a bunch of supplements and vitamins: vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, sodium, taurine, glucuronolactone, malic acid, N-acetyl, L-tyrosine, L-phenylalanine, caffeine, and citicoline.

For more in-depth analysis on these ingredients, refer to my previous article on 5-Hour Energy Caffeine and Ingredients.

5-Hour Energy Proprietary Energy Blend

Since it’s “proprietary” there’s no way for sure to know if there’s enough of each ingredient to make a difference, so for this section, I’ll just explain if those ingredients belong in this so-called energy blend, or if it’s just smokescreen.

Vitamins B12 and B6, and folic acid all serve similar functions in that they support the energy production system of the body, and is mainly involved in converting nutrients into usable energy. They don’t supply energy in and of themselves.

Sodium also doesn’t supply energy, but acts as an electrolyte which maintains your hydration levels and the amount of fluid in your body, so it sort of makes sense for it to be an ingredient in an energy blend since caffeine has been known to cause dehydration.

Malic acid aids in physical performance and just like vitamins B12 and B6, not only supports the body’s energy production, but may accelerate the process as well, allowing you to release more energy than you normally would.

Taurine is another popular energy drink ingredients even though there hasn’t been any conclusive studies done to support its use as an energy booster. Its main function is as an antioxidant, and we get enough of it from our diet.

N-Acetyl replenishes glutathione, maintains with brain health, helps chronic respiratory conditions, and improves fertility. L-tyrosine improves alertness, attention and focus. L-phenylalanine is used to produce proteins. Citicoline prevents memory loss.

So as you can see, some of these ingredients just don’t belong in an “energy blend”, so I don’t know what the justification is for their use in an “energy shot” since it’s not mentioned on the bottle.

How Long Does it Take for 5-Hour Energy to Wear Off?

It takes about 5 hours to get the half-life of 5-Hour Energy’s caffeine. Although you’ll start to feel the peak levels of the effects of the ingredients within 30 to 60 minutes of consumption.

You can really say the great things come in small packages because of 5-Hour Energy. Since energy shots (like 5-Hour Energy) have a lot of caffeine and are contained in small bottles that have a small amount of liquid, the energy shot allows you to feel more energized quickly.

This simply means that if when it comes to energizing you quicker, 5-Hour Energy or any other energy shots are a better option than energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster.

What Does 5-Hour Energy Not Claim?

Please bear in mind that 5-Hour Energy shouldn’t be used nor doesn’t claim to treat any health problems, you can see this by looking at the back of 5-Hour Energy’s bottle.

The back of 5-Hour Energy's Bottle
A Caveat When Drinking 5-Hour Energy

5-Hour Energy Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

You may have seen the news about people getting serious health problems due to energy drinks or energy shots like 5-Hour Energy, but those serious health problems can be avoided if you read the ingredients and nutrition facts of any food or beverage that you’re buying.

Ingredients of 5-Hour Energy

To figure out how energy drinks like 5-Hour Energy work, you need to see the ingredients of the beverage. As promised earlier, here’s a list showing the ingredients of 5-Hour Energy:

  • 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

5 Hour Energy Nutrition Facts

On most packaged foods and beverages, it’s required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for companies to put a nutrition facts label. It gives detailed information on the quantity of what you’re putting inside your body. To show 5-Hour Energy’s nutrition facts label, here’s a table:

Standard Value5 Hour Shots (1.93 fl.oz)
Energy4 calories
Protein0g
Fat (Of which Saturated)0g (0g)
Carbohydrate (Of which Sugars)0g (0g)
Sodium15mg
Potassium15mg
Caffeine200mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)30mg
Vitamin B650mg
Vitamin B12500μg
Choline2mg
Nutrition Facts of 5-Hour Energy

Is 5-Hour Energy Good for You?

All energy drinks aren’t good for your health, but with 5-Hour Energy you can say that it’s less harmful than those popular energy drinks that have a gargantuan amount of sugar.

5-Hour Energy uses artificial sweeteners which are great alternatives to sugar. It’s much sweeter than sugar yet has no calories, which means that artificial sweeteners won’t make you gain weight.

Good isn’t a term that’s suitable for this type of beverage, but it’s okay to drink 5-Hour Energy if you live a healthy lifestyle (doing exercises and eating a balanced diet). However, what’s good is if you discipline yourself to not depend on increasing your energy solely on energy drinks and energy shots.

How Can I Get Energy without Energy Drinks?

I suggest that you consume 5-Hour Energy when you really need it, but if you want to get energized without energy drinks, there are actually a lot of ways. Here’s a list of how you can get energy without energy drinks:

  • Control stress
  • Avoid smoking
  • Limit alcohol
  • Drink Water
  • Get sufficient sunlight

Side Effects of Drinking 5-Hour Energy

The caffeine content of 5-Hour Energy is what you should be worried about. There’s are reasons why 5-Hour Energy advises you to drink less than two bottles of their energy shots and that’s because the recommended caffeine intake for healthy adults is 400mg.

5-Hour Energy has 200mg of caffeine which means that drinking two bottles will make you reach the limit of the recommended caffeine intake. Keep in mind that there are other foods and beverages that contain caffeine, some examples are tea, chocolate, and coffee. Consuming too much of caffeine can lead to side effects like:

  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Higher Blood Pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety
  • Caffeine Withdrawal

Here’s a product review on 5-Hour Energy which talks about the taste, side effects, and ingredients of the beverage:

5 Hour Energy Drink Review

Is 5-Hour Energy Safe?

Drinking energy drinks like 5-Hour Energy is only considered safe if you don’t overconsume them. It also says at the back of the bottle that you shouldn’t exceed two bottles daily and avoid drinking the energy shot if the seal is broken.

Unfortunately, federal officials have received 13 reports of death that involve 5-Hour Energy in the past four years and have also been filed with the FDA which includes serious or life-threatening injuries like heart attacks, convulsions, and in one case, a spontaneous abortion.

Companies who produce energy shots and energy drinks warn their consumers that they shouldn’t drink the beverage if they’re pregnant, nursing, sensitive to caffeine, and also if you’re underaged. It’s been said that the best way to help improve your energy levels if you’re a teenager or a child is through getting enough sleep every day.

Always remember that being informed about what you’re putting inside your body is the foundation of being safe.

Conclusion

5-Hour Energy doesn’t have that many bold claims to its name, so it suffices to say that if anything contains caffeine, it’s going to give you energy, even without all the extra supplements.

While I’ve mentioned before in previous articles that vitamins don’t in fact supply energy, they do support the body’s natural metabolic system and aids in the conversion of food into energy.

However, unless you’re deficient in these vitamins, taking more of them won’t suddenly turn you into a living battery.

Moreover, we don’t really know how much of each ingredient was used in the energy blend for them to make much of a difference in your energy levels.

On the basis of caffeine alone, yes 5-Hour Energy does work, but don’t think that just because a product has a long list of impressive-sounding ingredients that it’s some miracle pill that can fix your sleep schedule or chornic tiredness, only you can actually solve those.

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About Adrian Carter

Adrian writes about energy drinks and their ingredients to shine a light on the facts behind the brand names.

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