5-hour Energy

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5-hour Energy
5-Hour Energy.png
Type Energy shot
Manufacturer Living Essentials
Country of origin United States
Introduced 2009
Website 5hourenergy.com

5-hour Energy (stylized as 5-hour ENERGY) is an American made "energy shot" manufactured by Living Essentials LLC. The company was founded by CEO Manoj Bhargava and launched in 2003.


The official website lists the active ingredients of 5-hour Energy as: vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, sodium, taurine, glucuronolactone, malic acid and N-Acetyl L-tyrosine, L-phenylalanine, caffeine, and citicoline.[1] The product is not U.S Food and Drug Administration approved and contains no sugar or herbal stimulants.[2] According to an article in Consumer Reports, 5-hour Energy should be avoided by children 12 and under as well as nursing or pregnant women.[3]


In 2003 Manoj Bhargava's company, Living Essentials LLC, launched a product called "5-Hour Energy".[4][5][6] By 2012, retail sales had grown to an estimated $1 billion.[4]

A March 2011 article in Consumer Reports reported that, according to a lab test, the caffeine content of 5-Hour Energy was 207mg.[3] (It is not clear whether the "Original" or "Extra Strength" product was tested.) The maker claims the product "contains caffeine comparable to a cup of the leading premium coffee". The directions on the 5-Hour bottle recommend taking half of the contents (103 mg of caffeine) for regular use, and the whole bottle for extra energy. A regular cup of coffee has less than 100 mg/250 ml cup.[7]

In 2012, Forbes magazine commissioned an independent lab to analyze the contents within full bottles of 5-Hour Energy. The findings showed that the regular strength 5-Hour Energy contained 157mg of caffeine, whereas the Extra Strength version had a caffeine content of 206mg.[8]

In December 2012, Consumer Reports published an article on 27 energy drinks including 5-hour Energy, which compared the caffeine content of the 27 drinks. Caffeine levels in 5-hour Energy are: Decaf (6 mg), Original (215 mg), and Extra Strength (242 mg).[9] The publication also reviewed a double blind study and reported that "5-Hour Energy will probably chase away grogginess at least as well as a cup of coffee" and that "little if any research" indicated that amino acids and B vitamins would result in a difference in energy level.[3]


A lawsuit against Living Essentials, the manufacturer of 5-hour Energy, was filed in 2010, alleging health hazards and deceptive labeling.[10] The case was voluntarily dismissed in December 2011.[11]

In 2012, the media reported that the FDA was investigating allegations that Bhargava's 5-Hour Energy product was "potentially linked" to the deaths of 20 of its consumers.[12][13][14][15]

A 2014 article in the New York Times article reported that 5-hour Energy was lobbying state attorney generals in 30 states after being investigated for deceptive advertising.[16] A 2015 report by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) said that the attorney general offices in five US states had filed cases against Bhargava’s 5-Hour Energy company for "deceptive marketing practices" and that additional class-action lawsuits were pending in seven states.[17]


  1. ^ "How to Use 5-hour energy shots". 5hourenergy.com. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions About 5-Hour Energy". 5hourenergy.com. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Can 5-Hour Energy kick your afternoon slump?". Consumer Reports. March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Manoj Bhargava, richest Indian in US commits 90% earnings to charity". The Economic Times. 10 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "How 5-Hour Energy Got Started". Fundable. 
  6. ^ O'Connor, Clare. "The Mystery Monk Making Billions With 5-Hour Energy". Forbes. Retrieved Feb 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ Bunker. "600 mg a day can lead to nervousness, restlessness, irregular heartbeats and insomnia.". 
  8. ^ O'Connor, Clare (February 8, 2012). "What's In A Bottle Of 5-Hour Energy?". Forbes. 
  9. ^ "The buzz on energy-drink caffeine: Caffeine levels per serving for the 27 products we checked ranged from 6 milligrams to 242 milligrams per serving". Consumer Reports. December 2012. 
  10. ^ Koleva, Gergana (3 August 2010). "Hearts Attack victims spouse sues 5-hour energy maker for wrongful death". dailyfinance.com. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Hassell v. Innovation Ventures, U.S. Dist. Ct. W.Tenn., Case No. 2:10-cv-02557-JPM-cgc" (PDF). lawyersusaonline.com. 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Duggan, Daniel (19 February 2012). "Wizard of odds". Crains Detroit. 
  13. ^ Lydia Zuraw, Three States Sue 5-Hour Energy Makers For ‘Deceptive’ Advertising, July 22, 2014, Food Safety News
  14. ^ "First-Onset Seizure After Use of an Energy Drink". ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  15. ^ Meier, Barry (14 November 2012). "Energy Drink Cited in Death Reports". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  16. ^ Eric Lipton (October 28, 2014). "Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys General". New York Times. 
  17. ^ Ben Wieder (March 26, 2015). "The political kingmaker nobody knows". Center for Public Integrity. 

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