What’s in 5-hour ENERGY and is it Safe?
5-hour ENERGY® claims that their key ingredients are “also available in every day foods – like broccoli, avocados, bananas and apples – or already in you.” If this is true, why is 5-hour ENERGY better than “every day foods” and how does the liquid in this diminutive bottle provide energy — for five hours?
The ingredients page on the 5-hour ENERGY website states that the “energy blend” (in the Original formula) includes caffeine “comparable to a cup of the leading premium coffee.” However, according to an independent tester, the two fluid ounce bottle contains 207 mg of caffeine; 15% higher than what you would get from an eight-ounce premium coffee at Starbucks (Starbucks claims 180 mg of caffeine in this size, which everyone knows is called a “Short”). Since no one I know, ever orders a Short at Starbucks, 5-hour ENERGY gets a point for accuracy (for their caffeine content).
Now, the broccoli claim. A cup of broccoli contains 94 mcg of folic acid, a B-vitamin (Vitamin B9). According to 5-hour ENERGY “Folic acid, or folate, helps produce and maintain new cells in our bodies.” This is true! However, folic acid is unstable in heat, air, water and pretty much in basic environments — including most 7-Elevens and gas stations counters, which is where you’re likely to find 5-hour ENERGY. So, if not properly manufactured, shipped or stored, folic acid can break down. The independent lab used for this story, determined that “5-Hour Energy (Berry) contained only 75.5% of its claimed folic acid.” Perhaps from said reason. But hey, you’re not chugging the 1.93 oz (two servings) bottle for folic acid, now are you?
The Energy in 5-hour ENERGY
5-hour ENERGY did in fact contain the claimed amounts of Vitamin B; B-6, B-12 and niacin. However the lab found that the content was “many times higher than the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for these ingredients.” So? More energy, sooner, right? “As intakes increase above the UL (Upper Intake Level), the risk of adverse effects may increase,” the pesky lab stated in their report. In fact, scientific evidence failed to support the energy claim. Here’s more from our friends at the independent lab “the real boost would appear to come from the often unspecified amounts of caffeine added to many of these products.” And, FYI: products are not required to provide information indicating whether their ingredients may exceed ULs.
Now, 5-hour ENERGY clearly states on their site that all suggested servings are for a 1/2 bottle. A half bottle. Since the vitamins already exceed the RDA in a serving and the caffeine is technically more than a cup of coffee and most people drink the entire bottle.
My recommendation is that if you are going to drink a 5-hour ENERGY, don’t consume coffee (they say so, anyway) and have a Vitamin B deficiency. I mean, I don’t know how else to put it. With all that’s in there, you can easily exceed — perhaps even overdose on Vitamin B. But then again, if you’re lacking energy, chances are you’re lacking other vitamins, not just B. You’re probably also lacking sleep and in need of a total nutrient redux.
If 5-hour ENERGY is your go-to for daily energy and vitamins, I suggest you see a doctor, and get a physical. Also, consider joining a gym and hiring a nutritionist. Your future body will thank you.
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