5-Hour Energy shots are 2 oz. beverages that are purported to enhance energy and alertness levels for up to five hours. Although these shots can be effective for stimulating increased energy, they are not marketed for weight loss. However, some of the ingredients in 5-Hour Energy drinks may be beneficial for weight loss. Consult a doctor prior to using any dietary supplements.
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5-Hour Energy shots contain no calories, which is beneficial for weight loss. Consuming fewer calories than you expend is vital for losing weight, so low- or no-calorie items can help you lose weight. However, you do need calories to survive, so reducing calorie intake too much can be detrimental. The U.S. Committee on Dietary Allowance recommends that you never consume fewer than 1,500 calories daily if you're a man, while women should not consume fewer than 1,200 calories each day.
Caffeine is one of the primary ingredients in 5-Hour Energy shots, and it is a central nervous stimulant that can increase feelings of alertness and energy. In addition, caffeine may increase your daily energy expenditure, or rate of calorie burning, according to the October 2010 issue of "Nutrition." This may aid in weight loss, but you will still need to consume a calorie deficit to lose weight.
5-Hour Energy shots contain taurine, an amino acid. Taurine is not a stimulant and is not linked to weight loss, but research published in the June 2002 edition of "Amino Acids" suggests that taurine may support muscle performance during exercise. This could lead to longer workouts that would burn more calories, but this research was performed in rats and may not apply to humans.
In addition to caffeine and taurine, 5-Hour Energy shots contain several B vitamins: niacin, or vitamin B3; vitamin B6; folate, or vitamin B9; and vitamin B12. The B vitamins each have different functions, but generally, they help turn food into usable energy. While these vitamins may aid in producing energy, none are purported to produce weight loss.
Using 5-Hour Energy shots for weight loss or for energy enhancement may cause some side effects. One area of concern is the high level of B vitamins; each shot contains at least 100 and up to 8,333 percent of the daily suggested intake of these vitamins. The highest concentration is of vitamin B12, which may cause chest pain, swelling, itching, fever or rash if you consume too much. These shots also contain caffeine, but the exact amount is not disclosed. If you are sensitive to caffeine, this can be problematic. Too much caffeine can cause nausea, nervousness, dizziness and diarrhea.