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Is 5-Hour Energy Bad For You? (And More)

When you think of energy drinks, you often think of canned beverages that contains caffeine and a lot of sugar. However, 5-Hour Energy is not your typical energy drink, as it comes in rather discreet bottle, with only 1.93 fl.oz per serving.

At first glance, you might think that a single bottle of 5-Hour Energy is not enough to satisfy your physical activities, but of course, the only way to truly judge an energy drink is through its ingredients and caffeine content.

You might be surprised that this energy shot has 200 mg of caffeine. With that amount of caffeine, you may start to be skeptical about whether 5-Hour Energy is bad for your health.

Supplement Facts of 5-Hour Energy
Supplement Facts of 5-Hour Energy

The short answer is that 5-Hour Energy isn’t bad for you as long as you’re healthy and if you take a 5-Hour Energy “shots” occasionally.

For a more in-depth response, read on to find out just how 5-Energy Works, and how good (or bad) it is for you.

5-Hour Energy Drink Ingredients

Reading the ingredients of any products, especially food and beverage can play a vital role in your daily life. Not only can it help you prevent unhealthy foods, but it also makes you knowledgeable about food and beverage science.

When you drink an energy drink like 5-Hour Energy, do you take the time to read the ingredients listed at the back of the product? If no, then I advise you to reconsider.

So to help you get started, here’s the ingredients list of a single 1.93 fl.oz 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

You can read the full nutrition label of 5-Hour Energy drink as follows, I’ll be doing a more in-depth analysis of 5-Hour Energy nutrition facts in a future article so do watch out for that. In the mean time, I’ll only be breaking down the basics.

5-Hour Energy Pros

To kick things off on a positive note, I’ll discuss why 5-Hour Energy can be your go-to energy drink. I’ll talk about the beverage’s benefits and how it’s better than other popular energy drinks like Red Bull.


Sugar, sugar, sugar. It’s hard to live a sugar-free life since most products contain sugar, even fruits and vegetables. Although you should keep in mind that there are different kinds of sugars and that it also has its roles to play in your nutrition.

You use glucose (blood sugar) to fuel your body, you get it by converting the carbohydrates of foods/beverages. Glucose is the main energy source for your cells and when your body doesn’t need this fuel it doesn’t go to waste.

The excess glucose you have gets stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen.

However, you might be baffled on how 5-Hour Energy made an energy drink that contains no sugar. After all, the two main ingredients of energy drinks are caffeine and sugar.

The reason why 5-Hour Energy has no sugar is that it uses artificial sweeteners which are synthetic sugar substitutes and are sweeter than sugar yet contain no calories.

Low Calorie Content

A single serving of 5-Hour Energy has only 4 calories which are great if you’re trying to reduce weight.

According to Mayo Clinic, lowering your calorie intake is more effective than increasing your exercising, this is because the key to weight loss is actually burning more calories than you consume — but if you can lower your calorie intake and exercise at the same time, then you can maintain a healthy BMI.

Lowering your calorie intake won’t only make you lose weight, it also has other benefits like protecting you from diseases and makes you age slower. However, you shouldn’t try to lower your calories if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or an athlete.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women need calorie to sustain the growth of their babies and as well as themselves, whilst athletes need enough calories to perform well on the sports that they play.

5-Hour Energy Cons

Honestly, 5-Hour Energy is not a perfect energy drink. Just like any energy drinks out in the market, 5-Hour Energy has its fair share of disadvantages.

Too Much Caffeine Per Serving

When talking about energy drinks, caffeine will always be in the conversation. It’s the ingredient that makes energy drinks which acts as an adenosine blocker, which simply means it prevents you from feeling sleepy.

5-Hour Energy has 200mg caffeine which is a lot of caffeine. Drinking half of 5-Hour Energy is enough for you to get energized, but you should never drink more than two shots a day even thought the bottle says its okay, no matter how desperate you are.

The recommended intake of caffeine per day is 400mg, that means you’re already at the tipping point if you drink more than two shots in a single day because doing so can lead to health problems like:

If you’ve read my other articles, you know that children under 18 should stay as far away from caffeine as they can and parents should monitor their children’s energy drink intakes because these products tend to be disguised as kid-friendly when nothing is further from the truth.

Too Many Vitamins

As the saying goes, “Too much of anything is bad.”

Vitamins are great for your body, they’re considered as an essential nutrient due to the fact that it has a lot of roles in your body.

They help heal your wounds, support both your bones and immune system. However, consuming too much of it can lead to overdose of vitamins.

As a general rule of thumb, vitamins shouldn’t exceed 100%. Here’s a table that shows the vitamins of 5-Hour Energy and how much it contains:

Vitamins% Daily Value
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)188%
Vitamin B6 2000%
Vitamin B128333%
B Vitamins Are Water-Soluble.

Water-soluble vitamins are readily excreted from the body, while fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in tissues. Fat-soluble vitamins are more likely to cause toxicity, although water-soluble vitamins can do so as well.


Is 5-Hour Energy Safe ?

Much like Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy has had its fair share of bad press, and for good reason. I mentioned earlier that the caffeine content may pose a potential risk to your well-being, but there’s more to it than that.

Several deaths and hospitalizations have been linked to 5-Hour Energy, with the common symptoms being dizziness, anxiety, and nausea all the way to seizures, brain hemorrhages, and heart attacks.

While the FDA is still investigating these claims, it’s important to note that a lot of these cases are a result of reckless consumer behavior. Most people don’t read nutrition labels, so they don’t really know the side effects until it’s too late.

Side Effects of 5-Hour Energy

One of the many possible reasons why 5-Hour Energy may cause some problems in certain people, especially those who are underage or who have pre-existing conditions, is the concentration of caffeine per serving.

Energy shots are different from regular energy drinks which are consumed in miniscule amounts throughout a certain period of time, not in one fell swoop. Energy shots are much, much more concentrated than your average energy drink, which means you’re consuming way more caffeine with each mouthful.

Instead of slow, sustained waves of energy, shots tend to overload your body with caffeine within seconds, raising your blood pressure quickly, which may be the reason why some people have been known to experience palpitations and heart attacks.

This article, however, states the problem might not only be the caffeine, but the compound phenylalanine, which can cause seizures and brain damage in people with a genetic disease which makes them unable to metabolize the substance.

What Makes an Energy Drink Healthy?

An energy drink is rarely healthy, but to determine whether an energy drink is detrimental to your health you should always read the ingredients and nutrition facts — if you want to read nutrition facts effectively, you can read it here.

You should always bear in mind that energy drinks that have a lot of sugar are considered red flags. Sugar doesn’t add nutritional value to your body, it just makes the beverage taste better.

I suggest that you opt with beverages that have artificial sweeteners because they have no calories and are even sweeter than added sugar.

No matter how less harmful an energy drink is to your health, it will still lead to adverse effects if you drink a lot of it on a daily basis. Drinking energy drinks is fine if you do it occasionally and only consume a maximum of two cans of any energy drinks.

But for you to do this without destroying your body, you have to take into consideration that you should exercise daily and eat a balanced diet.

A bottle of 5-Hour Energy
5-Hour Energy, Good or Bad?

Is 5-Hour Energy Healthy?

It’s certainly not as bad as most energy drinks, although you still shouldn’t drink more than one can a day only because of the inordinate amounts of vitamins B6 and B12.

Also, it doesn’t supply any of the other essential macro and micronutrients your body needs like protein and calcium, which you should be getting from a balanced diet.

No matter how vitamin-packed energy drinks are, they should never be used as supplements, or worse, meal replacements.

If you want to know the opinion of a health professional about 5-Hour Energy, here’s a video:

Is “5-Hour Energy” Drink Bad For You? – Dr.Berg’s Review

Conclusion: Is 5-Hour Energy Bad for You?

Before buying 5-Hour Energy, or any energy drinks for that matter, you should always remember to read the nutrition facts and ingredients of the beverage. This is to protect your health and to help you choose wisely when it comes to what you put in your body.

There are advantages when it comes to drinking 5-Hour Energy. One of which is that the beverage doesn’t have any sugar, on the grounds that it uses artificial sweeteners which are sweeter than added sugar. 5-Hour Energy also has very few calories, so it may be a viable option for you if you’re trying to lose weight.

With regard to caffeine, although it may be a high amount, the recommended caffeine intake per day is 400 mg. That means you should consume no more than two bottles of 5-Hour Energy to prevent a caffeine overdose.

The only drawback of drinking 5-Hour Energy is it has too many vitamins, especially vitamin B6 and B12. Generally, vitamins shouldn’t exceed 100% in daily value. However, 5-Hour Energy only has B Vitamins which means that excess vitamins can be excreted through your urine.

All in all, 5-Hour Energy is fine for you to drink — but that doesn’t mean you should consume it every day. You should always try to drink 5-Hour Energy occasionally and only drink a maximum of two cans, also practice having healthy habits daily like exercising and having a balanced diet.

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