Many items that are considered safe for the average adult to consume are not safe for consumption while you are pregnant. The 5-hour Energy drink is one of those items. Not only does the product contain high levels of vitamins and an unregulated energy blend, it contains an unspecified high amount of caffeine. Although it is no reason to panic if you have already consumed one of these beverages during pregnancy, refrain from using the product for the remainder of your pregnancy.
The 5-hour Energy drink contains a variety of B vitamins, including vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, niacin and folic acid. The recommended daily allowance of these vitamins during pregnancy include 1.4 mg of thiamine, 18 mg of niacin, 1.9 mg of vitamin B-6, 600 mcg of folate and 2.6 mcg of vitamin B-12. The amounts of these vitamins are well over the recommended daily allowance for use during pregnancy, with the exception of folate, which is slightly under. These amounts are still under the tolerable upper intake levels for pregnancy, which is the amount you can safely take without experiencing any harmful side effects. However, your consumption of fortified foods and prenatal vitamins would likely put you past these upper intake amounts if you were to drink this beverage. While the adverse reactions of getting too much of the water-soluble B vitamins are not serious or permanent, follow the guidelines and stay under the upper tolerable intake level whenever possible.
The ingredients of 5-hour Energy’s blend consist of glucuronic acid, n-acetyl, l-tyrosine, malic acid, l-phenylalanine, citicoline, taurine and caffeine. With the exception of caffeine, there is little research done on the safety of these ingredients during pregnancy. Since the 5-hour Energy drink is considered a dietary supplement, the use of these ingredients is also not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is best to avoid dietary supplements during pregnancy unless you have explicit permission to take them from your doctor.
Since 5-hour Energy is considered a dietary supplement and not a food product, the company is allowed to keep the amount of caffeine in the product a secret. While the label states the amount is about the equivalent to a cup of coffee, the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary greatly, so this does not give you enough information. Pregnant women should limit their overall caffeine consumption during pregnancy, since getting too much may cause adverse effects to the pregnancy or the unborn babies. Since it would be impossible to accurately keep track of your caffeine intake when drinking this beverage, and because of the other safety concerns, pregnant women should avoid this product.
You should also avoid consuming 5-hour Energy drinks after pregnancy if you are breastfeeding. The high amount of vitamins, unregulated energy blend ingredients and unknown caffeine levels may adversely affect a nursing baby. If you have any specific questions about drinking a 5-Hour Energy drink after pregnancy, consult a doctor.
- 5-hour Energy Drink: Product Directions
- 5-hour Energy Drink: Frequently Asked Questions About 5-Hour Energy
- Institute of Medicine of the National Academies: Dietary Reference Intakes: Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Vitamins
- Institute of Medicine of the National Academies: Dietary Reference Intakes: Tolerable Upper Intake Levels, Vitamins
- March of Dimes: Caffeine