Is 5-Hour Energy Bad For You? Is It Worth the Hype?

Are you one of those who rely on energy drinks to get through the day? If yes, then you might have heard of the 5-hour energy drink. This little shot claims to give you energy for up to five hours without the sugar crash that comes with other energy drinks. But what is in it and is it actually safe to consume?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients of 5-hour energy drink, explore the potential health benefits and drawbacks, and examine what medical experts have to say about this popular energy drink. So keep reading to find out whether 5-hour energy drink is bad for you.

What is 5-Hour Energy?

Is 5-Hour Energy Bad For You

5-hour Energy is a brand of energy drink marketed as a dietary supplement for energy and focus. It is designed to provide an energy boost and improve mental alertness without the calories or sugar found in typical energy drinks. 

The drink comes in a small 2-ounce bottle and is often consumed by people who need a quick energy boost to get through their day or a particular task.

Nutrition Facts of 5 Hour Energy 

5 Hour Energy is a dietary supplement that comes in the form of a 2-ounce shot. It contains a blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and caffeine. The nutritional facts of 5 Hour Energy vary depending on the specific product and flavor, but here is an example of the nutritional information for the original flavor:

  • Calories: 4
  • Total carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Niacin (as niacinamide): 30 mg
  • Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride): 40 mg
  • Folic acid: 400 mcg
  • Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin): 500 mcg
  • Sodium: 18 mg
  • Energy blend: 1870 mg, consisting of taurine, glucuronolactone, malic acid, N-acetyl L-tyrosine, L-phenylalanine, caffeine, and citicoline.

Taurine is an amino acid that plays a role in various physiological processes in the body, such as muscle function and antioxidant protection. Glucuronolactone is a naturally occurring compound that is involved in the detoxification of the body.

Malic acid is a naturally occurring organic acid that is involved in energy production. N-acetyl L-tyrosine and L-phenylalanine are amino acids that are precursors to the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

Caffeine is a stimulant that can enhance mental alertness and physical performance. Citicoline is a compound that is involved in cognitive function and brain health.

Pros and Cons



  • High caffeine content can lead to jitters, anxiety, and other negative side effects
  • May cause a crash once the effects wear off
  • Contains artificial sweeteners and other additives that some people may want to avoid

It’s important to note that the pros and cons may vary depending on individual factors such as tolerance to caffeine and other ingredients, overall health, and other lifestyle habits.

Health Benefits of 5 Hour Energy 

5 Hour Energy is a popular energy drink that is marketed as a quick and convenient way to boost energy and improve alertness. 

While it may provide a temporary energy boost, the long-term health effects of consuming 5 Hour Energy are a topic of debate among experts. Here are some potential health benefits of 5 Hour Energy:

  1. Increased energy: The main benefit of 5 Hour Energy is its ability to increase energy levels. This is due to its high caffeine content, which can help improve alertness and focus.
  2. Improved cognitive performance: Some studies have suggested that caffeine may improve cognitive performance, including memory and reaction time.
  3. Boosts physical performance: Caffeine has been shown to improve physical performance, including endurance and strength.

However, it’s important to note that excessive consumption of energy drinks like 5 Hour Energy can have negative health effects, such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and even heart attacks.

What Do Medical Experts Say About 5 Hour Energy?

5 Hour Energy is a highly caffeinated energy shot that claims to provide a quick and powerful energy boost. However, medical experts have expressed concern over the safety and potential health risks associated with consuming such high levels of caffeine and other stimulants.

According to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a board-certified OBGYN and ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent, “energy shots are not recommended for anyone, especially children and teens, and anyone with underlying heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, or insomnia.” 

She also notes that the long-term effects of consuming energy shots are not yet known.

The American Heart Association also warns about the potential risks of consuming high amounts of caffeine and other stimulants, stating that “too much caffeine can cause heart palpitations, rapid heartbeat, nervousness, and insomnia.”

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises that individuals should “use caution when consuming products containing high amounts of caffeine, including energy drinks,” and that these products should not be used as a substitute for sleep or proper nutrition.

Other Scientific Studies on 5 Hour Energy 

  1. A case report published in the Pediatric Emergency Care documented an individual who experienced a seizure after consuming 5 Hour Energy
  2. A review of emergency room visits related to energy drink consumption, published in The Dawn Report, found that 5 Hour Energy was responsible for a significant number of visits. 

Who Should Avoid 5 Hour Energy?

5 Hour Energy is a highly concentrated energy drink that contains high amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. While it may provide a quick burst of energy, it can also have adverse effects on certain individuals.

The following groups of people should avoid or limit their consumption of 5 Hour Energy:

  1. Children and adolescents: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and adolescents avoid energy drinks altogether due to the potential health risks, including heart problems, seizures, and other adverse effects on the developing brain and body.
  2. Pregnant and breastfeeding women: The high caffeine content in 5 Hour Energy can lead to negative health effects for both the mother and the baby, including increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight.
  3. People with heart conditions: The stimulants in 5 Hour Energy can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can be dangerous for people with underlying heart conditions.
  4. People with anxiety or sleep disorders: The high caffeine content in 5 Hour Energy can worsen symptoms of anxiety and disrupt sleep patterns.

Alternatives to 5 Hour Energy 

  1. Green Tea: Green tea is a great alternative to 5 Hour Energy. It contains caffeine, which can help boost energy and mental alertness, but it also contains other compounds such as L-theanine that can help promote relaxation and reduce stress.
  2. Water: Dehydration can cause fatigue, so drinking plenty of water can help you feel more energized. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
  3. Exercise: Exercise is a great way to boost energy levels and improve mood. Even a short walk or light stretching can help increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles, making you feel more alert and awake.


How much caffeine is in 5 Hour Energy?

Each 2-ounce shot of 5 Hour Energy contains about 200mg of caffeine, which is about the same amount as a large cup of coffee.

Is 5 Hour Energy safe to drink?

5 Hour Energy is generally considered safe for healthy adults when consumed in moderation. However, it is not recommended for children, pregnant women, or people with certain medical conditions.

Can 5 Hour Energy cause side effects?

Some people may experience side effects from consuming 5 Hour Energy, such as jitteriness, anxiety, palpitations, nervousness, increased heart rate, and insomnia. It may also interact with certain medications or supplements.

How often can I drink 5 Hour Energy?

It is recommended that you limit your consumption of 5 Hour Energy to one or two shots per day, and no more than three shots per week. Drinking it too frequently can lead to negative side effects and potentially harmful health effects.

Does 5-Hour Energy really work?

5 Hour Energy contains caffeine, which can provide a short-term energy boost and improve mental focus. However, the effectiveness may vary from person to person, and it should not be relied on as a long-term solution for fatigue or lack of focus.

Can 5-Hour Energy be used as a pre-workout supplement?

Some people may use 5-Hour Energy as a pre-workout supplement to boost energy and focus during exercise. However, it is important to note that it is not specifically designed for this purpose and may not be as effective as other pre-workout supplements.

It is always best to consult with a healthcare provider before using any supplements for exercise purposes.

Conclusion: Is 5-Hour Energy bad for you?

5-Hour Energy is a popular energy drink that contains high levels of caffeine and other stimulants. While some studies have shown potential benefits for increasing focus and energy, there are also concerns about the safety and potential side effects of consuming such high levels of caffeine and other ingredients. 

Health experts caution that individuals with certain health conditions or sensitivities to caffeine should avoid or limit their consumption of 5 Hour Energy. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to weigh the potential risks and benefits and make an informed decision about whether or not to consume 5-Hour Energy.


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  2. Thirupathi, A., Pinho, R. A., Baker, J. S., István, B., & Gu, Y. (2020, October 26). Taurine reverses oxidative damages and restores the muscle function in overuse of exercised muscle. Frontiers in physiology. Retrieved April 21, 2023, from 
  3. Qiang, F. (2015, October 19). Effect of malate-oligosaccharide solution on antioxidant capacity of endurance athletes. The open biomedical engineering journal. Retrieved April 21, 2023, from 
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  7. Aacap. (n.d.). Caffeine and children. Retrieved April 21, 2023, from 
  8. From the *Division of Medical Toxicology. (n.d.). First-onset seizure after use of 5-Hour energy : Pediatric emergency care. LWW. Retrieved April 21, 2023, from 
  9. SAMHSA, C. for B. H. S. and Q. (n.d.). Update on emergency department visits involving Energy Drinks: A continuing public health concern. The DAWN Report: Update on Emergency Department Visits Involving Energy Drinks: A Continuing Public Health Concern. Retrieved April 21, 2023, from
  10. The impacts of caffeine on miscarriage. University of Utah Health | University of Utah Health. (2022, October 4). Retrieved April 21, 2023, from 
  11. Chaudhary, N. S., Grandner, M. A., Jackson, N. J., & Chakravorty, S. (2016). Caffeine consumption, insomnia, and sleep duration: Results from a nationally representative sample. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.). Retrieved April 21, 2023, from 
  12. Hidese, S., Ogawa, S., Ota, M., Ishida, I., Yasukawa, Z., Ozeki, M., & Kunugi, H. (2019, October 3). Effects of L-theanine administration on stress-related symptoms and cognitive functions in healthy adults: A randomized controlled trial. Nutrients. Retrieved April 21, 2023, from 
  13. PI;, C. D. S. H. G. R. J. (n.d.). Increased anxiogenic effects of caffeine in panic disorders. Archives of general psychiatry. Retrieved April 21, 2023, from 

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  • Marixie Manarang, MT, undergrad MD

    Marixie Manarang is licensed Medical Laboratory Scientist and an undergraduate of Doctor of Medicine (MD). For one year, she completed her internship training in a government hospital, primarily catering to retired veterans and their dependents. Through her preceptorships in medical school, she gained exposure to patients from various medical departments. Marixie’s passion for writing stems from her excellent medical background, being a mother, and a strong desire to assist the elderly and others in need. Education: Our Lady of Fatima University Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Medicine (2012-2015), Angeles University Foundation Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Medicine (2009-2011), Angeles University Foundation Bachelors, Medical Technology (2004-2009)






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