|Country of origin||United States|
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. The product is not U.S Food and Drug Administration approved. It contains no sugar, instead providing the stimulant caffeine and the psychoactive dopamine precursor amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine. According to an article in Consumer Reports, 5-hour Energy should be avoided by children under the age of 12 and as well as nursing or pregnant women.
A March 2011 article in Consumer Reports reported that, according to a lab test, the caffeine content of 5-Hour Energy was 207 mg. (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.
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 157 mg of caffeine, whereas the Extra Strength version had a caffeine content of 206 mg.
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). 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.
Living Essentials was found guilty of violating the Consumer Protection Act in Washington State in 2017 and ordered to pay $4.3 million. The violations included stating that doctors recommended the product, that the product was superior to coffee, and that the decaffeinated product provided long lasting energy and alertness.
A 2014 article in the New York Times article reported that 5-hour Energy was lobbying state attorneys general in 30 states after being investigated for deceptive advertising. A 2015 report by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) said that the attorney general offices in five US states had filed cases against Living Essentials for "deceptive marketing practices" and that additional class-action lawsuits were pending in seven states.
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- "Manoj Bhargava, richest Indian in US commits 90% earnings to charity". The Economic Times. 10 April 2012.
- "How 5-Hour Energy Got Started". Fundable.
- O'Connor, Clare. "The Mystery Monk Making Billions With 5-Hour Energy". Forbes. Retrieved Feb 8, 2012.
- Bunker. "600 mg a day can lead to nervousness, restlessness, irregular heartbeats and insomnia.".
- O'Connor, Clare (February 8, 2012). "What's In A Bottle Of 5-Hour Energy?". Forbes.
- "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.
- Eric Lipton (October 28, 2014). "Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys General". New York Times.
- Ben Wieder (March 26, 2015). "The political kingmaker nobody knows". Center for Public Integrity.
- Duggan, Daniel (19 February 2012). "Wizard of odds". Crains Detroit.
- Lydia Zuraw, Three States Sue 5-Hour Energy Makers For ‘Deceptive’ Advertising, July 22, 2014, Food Safety News
- Babu, KM; Zuckerman, MD; Cherkes, JK; Hack, JB. "First-Onset Seizure After Use of an Energy Drink". Pediatr Emerg Care. 27: 539–40. PMID 21642791. doi:10.1097/PEC.0b013e31821dc72b.
- Meier, Barry (14 November 2012). "Energy Drink Cited in Death Reports". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- Koleva, Gergana (3 August 2010). "Hearts Attack victims spouse sues 5-hour energy maker for wrongful death". dailyfinance.com. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- "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.