The 5-Hour Energy drink is an extremely popular type of caffeinated energy shot. Rather than being a full-sized energy drink, 5-Hour Energy products are tiny — each serving is less than 2 ounces. Two 5-Hour Energy shots in a day are the maximum amount of energy drink recommended by the manufacturer. Taking the maximum amount of a product high in caffeine can result in potentially dangerous side effects.
Read More: 8 Non-Caffeine Ways to Boost Your Energy
5-Hour Energy Shots
5-Hour Energy is a caffeinated beverage like Red Bull or Monster. This product is particularly popular among young people and athletes. Just like other popular energy drinks, 5-Hour Energy products are available in a variety of types. You can choose from flavors like berry, citrus, grape, orange, pink lemonade and pomegranate.
Unlike other energy drinks, 5-Hour Energy is an energy shot. This means that, even though the size is a lot smaller, it still packs the same amount of caffeine (or more) into a standard serving. According to Living Essentials Marketing, the manufacturers of 5-Hour Energy shots, there are 200 milligrams of caffeine in each 1.93-ounce bottle. The caffeine content is apparently comparable to that in a high-quality cup of coffee.
Just because the serving is small doesn't mean you need to drink the entire bottle in one go. You can choose to drink half for moderate energy, or a whole bottle for maximum energy. In 24 hours, energy products like 5-Hour Energy should be consumed with caution. Living Essentials Marketing recommends a maximum of two shots per day.
Energy Shots vs. Energy Drinks
Energy shots and energy drinks are similar, but tend to have different amounts of the same ingredients. Monster Energy drink products, for example, contain between 70 to 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving. Since they're so big, this equals a total of 140 to 187 milligrams for most of their products. Half a serving of 5-Hour Energy has 100 milligrams of caffeine, and a full serving has 200 milligrams. If you're concerned about the side effects of caffeine, you may want to stay away from high-caffeine products like 5-Hour Energy and opt for a product with less caffeine.
The United States Department of Agriculture Branded Food Products Database states that products like Monster Energy drinks are primarily made of carbonated water, natural flavoring or concentrated juices, taurine, ginseng extract and caffeine. Monster Energy drink products typically contain vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
5-Hour Energy shots also contain ingredients like taurine and vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) and vitamin B12. These products contain few vitamins, but each drink has 100 percent or more of your daily recommended amount. In fact, it has 2,000 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin B6 and over 8,000 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin B12.
Read More: Top 10 Beverages to Avoid
Energy Drink Side Effects
Energy drinks can cause side effects occurring in response to amount used and frequency of use. For example, while two 5-Hour Energy shots within 24 hours is safe, two consumed at the same time could be dangerous. Side effects can include energy crashes, headaches and heart palpitations. If you're taking several 5-Hour Energy shots a day, you're likely to have problems.
Some side effects are long-term or serious. Products like 5-Hour Energy, overused, can destroy tooth enamel. More severe side effects, like seizures and kidney injury, can also occur. People can even die from high caffeine consumption. The fatal amount of caffeine for an adult is 150 to 200 milligrams for each kilogram of body weight, although life-threatening side effects occur at much lower amounts. You wouldn't get this from two 5-Hour Energy drinks, but from products like caffeine pills, 5-Hour Energy shots and other caffeine-rich products together.
In general, energy shots and drinks are safe to consume in moderation. Consuming them regularly, however, or drinking too much at one time can cause problems. Children, pregnant women, and other risk groups may want to avoid these products entirely.
- 5-Hour Energy International: How to Use 5-Hour Energy Shots
- The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: Fatal Caffeine Overdose: A Case Report and Review of Literature
- The American Journal of Cardiology: Review of Published Cases of Adverse Cardiovascular Events After Ingestion of Energy Drinks
- General Dentistry: A Comparison of Sports and Energy Drinks: Physiochemical Properties and Enamel Dissolution
- Preventive Medicine: An Emerging Adolescent Health Risk: Caffeinated Energy Drink Consumption Patterns Among High School Students
- Journal of Community Health: The Use of Energy Drinks, Dietary Supplements, and Prescription Medications by United States College Students to Enhance Athletic Performance
- Annals of Pharmacotherapy: Energy Drink–Induced Acute Kidney Injury
- Pediatric Emergency Care: First-Onset Seizure After Use of 5-hour ENERGY
- USDA: Branded Food Products Database: Monster Energy Drink
- Monster Energy: Monster Energy Drink