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Is 5 Hour Energy Bad For You? (Detailed)

Is 5 Hour Energy Bad For You? (Detailed)

Ever wished to have an entire energy drink in an instant? 5 Hour Energy Shots are the answer, giving you an immediate boost in a small package.

While 5 Hour Energy may work in providing you a boost of energy, you might be wondering; is 5 Hour Energy bad for you?

The short answer is, as long as you’re healthy and aren’t downing shot after shot, 5 Hour Energy is definitely not bad for you, especially if consumed in moderation.

To learn more about 5 Hour Energy and come to a decision on whether it’s actually bad for you or not, stick around…

5 Hour Energy Nutrition Facts

Here’s what you’ll find in a standard serving of 5 Hour Energy, in an easy-to-read table:

Standard Value5 Hour Energy (1.93 fl.oz)
Energy4 calories
(Of which Saturated)
(Of which Sugars)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)30mg
Vitamin B650mg
Vitamin B12500μg
The nutritional value of 5 Hour Energy.
The back of 5 Hour Energy showing the supplement facts.
The supplement facts at the back of a 5 Hour Energy.

How Many Calories Are in 5 Hour Energy?

Each shot of 5 Hour Energy has only 4 calories, which is a pretty small footprint on your diet.

Compared to regular energy drinks, 5 Hour Energy does seem less calorie-heavy, having only a fraction of the calories of a 12 fl.oz Red Bull (160 calories) and a 16 fl.oz Monster (240 calories).

For reference, the daily calorific limit recommended for healthy young adults ranges from 2000 to 2400 calories for women and 2400 to 3000 calories for men.

So the 4 calories of 5 Hour Energy really won’t add much to your overall diet, and you definitely don’t have to throw your entire meal plan out the window just because you have one.

If you think 4 calories is still a bit too much, take a look at the best zero-calorie energy drinks article I’ve written, which you’ll definitely find helpful.

5 Hour Energy Ingredients

Here are the ingredients of 5 Hour Energy, with a more detailed discussion below:

  • Purified Water
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Sucralose
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • EDTA
  • Taurine
  • Glucuronic Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • N-Actyel L-Tyrosine
  • L-Phenylalanine
  • Caffeine
  • Citicoline
A close look at the ingredient list of 5 Hour Energy.
Take a look at the ingredients of 5 Hour Energy.

How Much Caffeine is in 5 Hour Energy?

Every 1.93 fl.oz shot of 5 Hour Energy has 200mg of caffeine, which, when considering the drink’s tiny volume, is quite a lot.

Personally, I prefer somewhere between 50 to 100mg of caffeine per serving for my caffeinated drinks, so 5 Hour Energy’s high caffeine content isn’t something I particularly like about it.

Adding to that, 5 Hour Energy’s small volume means you’re going to be downing it fairly quickly, and that’s definitely a lot more caffeine in a shorter amount of time than you’re probably used to.

If you happen to be caffeine-sensitive, it’s probably best to stick with regular energy drinks with a lower caffeine concentration.

Of course, if your caffeine metabolism is up for it, downing a shot of 5 Hour Energy is definitely quicker and more convenient than having a regular energy drink.

That said, even if you have a high caffeine metabolism, the FDA recommends that you only have a maximum of 400mg of caffeine in an entire day. Any more than that can lead to notable side effects, namely:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiousness
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Digestive Issues
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

Given the 200mg caffeine content per shot, you really shouldn’t have more than 2 shots of 5 Hour Energy in a day, even if you think you need it.

Does 5 Hour Energy Have Sugar?

If you’re a health enthusiast, you will be pleased to know that 5 Hour Energy Shots are entirely sugar-free, which is a huge plus compared to most energy drinks.

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to the usual sugary energy drinks, 5 Hour Energy may be a pretty good fit due to its sugar-free nature.

You also won’t get a sugar crash after having 5 Hour Energy, which is great if you’re planning on working for longer hours after the energy drink wears off.

Sure, you won’t get that immediate dopamine hit and rush you usually get from a sugary energy drink, but the longer energy boost on top of not having to deal with a sugar crash is a pretty decent trade-off in my opinion.

Are There Artificial Sweeteners in 5 Hour Energy?

While sugar-free, 5 Hour Energy Shots does have an artificial sweetener, which is sucralose.

Sucralose is a zero-calorie sweetener, so it doesn’t affect the total calories of 5 Hour Energy, giving you that sweet taste without having to worry about the side-effects.

Artificial sweeteners are often a pretty controversial topic, but the FDA has approved them for use, which means they’re safe, especially when consumed in small quantities.

Therefore, as long as you’re not having artificial sweeteners in every meal, the artificial sweetener in 5 Hour Energy Shots shouldn’t really affect your health.

If you’re not keen on doing away with sugar entirely, take a look at the article I’ve written on the best energy drinks with less sugar, which provides some good options.

For a more in-depth view as to whether sugar or artificial sweeteners are better for you, have a look at the video below:

How Long Does It Take For 5 Hour Energy Drinks To Kick In?

It usually takes anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes until you start to feel the effects of 5 Hour Energy, with the effects lasting around 2-5 hours, depending on your caffeine metabolism.

Unlike regular energy drinks where the caffeine is introduced into your system little by little (well, unless you’re downing a 16 fl.oz can like there’s no tomorrow), you get the whole 200mg of caffeine in 5 Hour Energy in mere seconds.

So it’s pretty reasonable that 5 Hour Energy provides more of an energy spike that gradually decays over time, instead of the more mellow nature of regular energy drinks.

While you’re probably not going to have a full 5 hours’ worth of energy from 5 Hour Energy, you won’t exactly feel tired either, due to all the caffeine present in your system.

5 Hour Energy Drink Side Effects

5 Hour Energy Caution Label
Read caution labels, they’re there for a reason.

The most worrisome potential side-effects from 5 Hour Energy comes from its caffeine content, which can lead to side effects, such as mild headaches to dizziness, to a rapid heart rate.

If you’ve ever had too many cups of coffee, that’s probably a similar experience you might get if you don’t take well to 5 Hour Energy, especially if you’re caffeine-sensitive.

While you may be used to 200mg of caffeine, those usually come in much larger cans, so the caffeine isn’t as concentrated as it is in 5 Hour Energy.

So, even if you’re an energy drink regular, 5 Hour Energy Shots might not be the best idea, simply because you may not used to having that much caffeine in such a short amount of time.

The best way to limit the side-effects of 5 Hour Energy is to have it only when you really need it, and not overdo it by having it more than absolutely necessary.

You might also want to avoid other caffeinated products after having a 5 Hour Energy shot, as you would be nearing the daily caffeine limit as recommended by the FDA by having a cup of coffee or a soda after having a shot of 5 Hour Energy.

As always, if you’re not too sure about adding any caffeinated product or energy drink into your diet, the best thing to do is to consult your doctor and get a professional opinion.

Is Coffee Or 5 Hour Energy Better?

Cup of coffee
A shot of 5 Hour Energy or a cup of joe?

The question of whether coffee or 5 Hour Energy is better entirely depends on your caffeine metabolism, taste, and what you’re using it for.

A lot of debate around energy drinks and coffee usually comes down to personal preference and what you’re looking for in your caffeinated beverage, with each having its own pros and cons.

A regular cup of coffee has around 95mg of caffeine on average, although depending on the coffee bean variety and how it’s brewed, coffee can range anywhere from 0 to 500mg of caffeine per cup.

The upside of 5 Hour Energy is you know exactly what you’re getting from a single shot, so it’s easier to keep track of how much caffeine you actually have in your system.

Coffee, however, does contain various other benefits 5 Hour Energy lacks, namely antioxidants, which are pretty beneficial to your health.

You also get to savor a cup of coffee for longer than a 5 Hour Energy shot, especially if you’ve already acquired a taste for coffee.

In any case, it’s up to you as to which caffeinated beverage you prefer. If you need a quick boost, go for a 5 Hour Energy, but if you want something nice and enjoyable, you can’t go wrong with a cup of coffee.

Are 5 Hour Energy Shots Bad For You?

As long as you’re relatively healthy and don’t have any pre-existing health conditions, a shot of 5 Hour Energy is perfectly fine and won’t cause any problems for you.

As with any caffeinated product, moderation is definitely key. Just like how you shouldn’t be downing multiple espressos over the course of a day, having too much 5 Hour Energy is probably bad for you too.

The key there is “too much”. Don’t exceed the FDA’s recommended maximum caffeine intake and you should be just fine.

As long as you don’t go overboard and only have it when you need it, 5 Hour Energy is definitely an interesting addition to your caffeine collection, giving you an immediate boost as quickly as possible.

For more info on if energy drinks, in general, are bad for you, take a look at the video below:

5 Hour Energy Alternatives

While 5 Hour Energy Shots definitely work, they’re not the most refreshing of energy drinks, so here are some options if you need something to quench your thirst:

Powdered energy drinks are also great, where you can adjust the servings to what best suits your taste:

REIZE (10 out of 10)

REIZE powder poured into a glass.
Convenient and delicious.

A shot of 5 Hour Energy might wake you up in a pinch, but how about a milder energy drink that won’t give you the jitters?

REIZE is a great powdered energy drink that comes in lightweight 4g sachets. With a sensible 50mg of caffeine, it’s completely sugar-free and has just 11 calories per serving.

REIZE also contains a smart blend of taurine, ginseng, and B-group vitamins, which work together to give you the perfect energy boost without the sugar crash afterward.

Best of all, you can get REIZE shipped right to your door for only about $1 per drink.

That’s exceptional value for money.

So try REIZE today, and I’m sure you’ll also find it to be a smarter choice than 5 Hour Energy.

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