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Caffeine in 5-Hour Energy vs Coffee: Which Has More? 2024 Breakdown

5-Hour Energy Vs Coffee

In 2004, Living Essentials LLC launched 5-Hour Energy Drinks and the market for these beverages pretty much took off from the beginning. Classified as a vitamin-rich “energy shot”, it differs from many of the different caffeinated beverages in the marketplace.

Not only is this drink just a portion of the size of most drinks, but it boasts an amazing amount of caffeine given its small size. So, exactly how much “energy” does the small shot contain? And how does it compare overall to America’s favorite caffeinated beverage, coffee? Let’s discuss.

The short answer is that 5-Hour Energy contains 230 mg in each 2-ounce bottle, while coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine in each 8-ounce cup. Therefore, 5-Hour Energy has quite a bit more caffeine than coffee.

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A Quick Look at Caffeine Content: 5-Hour Energy vs Coffee

5-Hour Energy Coffee
230 mg per 2 oz 95 mg per 8 oz

How Much Caffeine in 5-Hour Energy?

The 5-Hour Energy Shot is only 2 fluid ounces but contains a whopping 230 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per bottle. They also have a 5-Hour Tea Shot which boasts an impressive 200 mg of caffeine. And if you want more to drink and you can opt for their full-sized 16-ounce energy drink which has 200 mg of caffeine per can.

So, if you’re looking for a quick way to get a boost of caffeine come out without it filling up your belly, a 5-hour Energy drink should do the trick. However, if you’re not used to consuming caffeine on the regular or are new to energy drinks, you may want to have at least a small snack at first. Doing so will help you avoid having stomach nausea and other common symptoms associated with quick caffeine absorption.

How Much Caffeine in Coffee?

So how does it compare to coffee? Well, your average 8 oz cup of joe has about 95 mg of caffeine. An espresso, which is one fluid ounce of coffee, has about 64 mg of coffee. And if you prefer a milder coffee drink, such as a latte, you can expect it to have anywhere from 80 to 100 mg of caffeine.

woman opening a can of energy drink
Image Credit: Fotos593, Shutterstock

Benefits Of Coffee vs Energy Drinks

It’s hard to separate dedicated coffee lovers from their prize-winning drinks. And there are many benefits of drinking coffee for your caffeine needs instead of energy drinks such as the 5-Hour shot. Here are some of the best benefits to consider.

Coffee Doesn’t Have Sketchy Ingredients

One of the biggest complaints that many consumers have about energy drinks is their list of potentially harmful ingredients. Though the 5-hour Energy shot does have certain B vitamins that are beneficial from a health standpoint, it’s also full of questionable ingredients that aren’t exactly good for you.

These ingredients include sucralose, sodium benzoate, and phenylalanine. The physical effects of these ingredients have been shown to be questionable, which is why many health experts generally advise against energy drinks completely.

Coffee Is Cheaper

Depending on where it’s purchased, the 5-hour Energy Shot will cost anywhere from $2.50 to $4 per bottle. You can also opt for the 12-can case which usually costs around $35-$40. This is still more than a regular “Tall” cup of coffee from the fancy Starbucks chain, which is about $1.85.

And compared to homemade coffee options, it’s definitely more on the expensive side, as you can purchase a 16-ounce container of instant coffee from the grocery store for about $8-$10 (which can make anywhere from 20-30 cups).

pouring brewed coffee into a mug
Image Credit: Natalia Belay, Shutterstock

Coffee Doesn’t Contain Calories

One of the most impressive things about the 5-Hour Energy Shot is that it only contains 4 calories. If you’re someone who’s watching your weight, this is definitely a benefit worth considering.

However, coffee also doesn’t have any calories either–so no winner here, but it’s worth noting. But the addition of milk, sweetener, and other flavorings to your coffee may boost its caloric content.

Some 5-Hour Variations Have Significant Sugar Content

While 5-Hour Energy shots are sugar-free, most energy drinks aren’t. On average, your typical 8 or 12-ounce energy drink (such as Monster and Red Bull) will contain anywhere from 27-54 grams of sugar. Of course, you can always opt for the sugar-free option that many of these drinks provide. But, the drinks are usually flavored with artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, neotame, saccharin, and aspartame–which may not be the healthiest options.

Consuming too much sugar, especially within a short period of time, can immediately cause your blood sugar to spike. And if you have diabetes or general difficulty controlling your blood sugar, this can pose certain health risks.

Blood sugar elevations have been shown in several studies to be linked with increased levels of inflammation, oxidative stress, and many chronic diseases. So in short, it’s important to consume energy drinks, including the 5-Hour Energy Shot with extreme caution.

5-hour ENERGY® Shot

How Long Does Caffeine Stay in the Body?

The way in which caffeine affects your body will depend on several factors including your age, gender, size, and overall health. However, caffeine can be felt in as little as 10 to 15 minutes after it’s been consumed.

It generally peaks at about one hour after consumption and it can stay in your system for up to 10 hours or more before it’s removed from your bloodstream.

Can I Drink A 5-Hour Energy Drink While Taking Medications?

It depends on the medication that you’re taking. There are many over-the-counter headache medications and prescriptions that contain caffeine. Caffeine can change the way that the energy drink affects your nervous system, which may pose health risks if you’re not careful.

The best thing to do is to consult your doctor if you’re considering consuming energy drinks while on medication. It’s also a good idea to read the product label and information sheet on any prescribed medications to determine if the medicine actually contains caffeine and if it’s recommended to be avoided while on the description.

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Wrapping Things Up

The 5-Hour Energy Shot can be an effective energy booster if you are looking for a way to get through today, especially if you are not a coffee drinker. Generally, you will find coffee to be a cheaper and potentially healthier option than this energy beverage.

However, note that the amount of caffeine in one bottle has about twice the amount of caffeine in a single cup of coffee. So, if you’re not used to consuming caffeine regularly, you may want to start slow and only consume a third or half of the bottle to see how it affects you.



Featured Image Credit: (R) StockSnap, Pixabay


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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