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Is 5-Hour Energy Dangerous? Ingredients, Caffeine Content & Tips

5-Hour ENERGY Shots Regular Strength Berry Flavor

Whether you are attempting to keep up with work, an active social life, a big family, or even a house full of pets, finding the energy to keep yourself going throughout the day can be difficult. Many of us turn to coffee or coffee drinks when we need a pick-me-up. Others find energy shots as their go-to. When it comes to the energy shot market, there is one brand that is the clear leader of the pack, 5-Hour Energy. These tiny 1.93 fluid-ounce bottles are found in most markets, convenience stores, and even local gas stations on the corner. This is because 5-Hour Energy is the world’s top-selling energy shot.1

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Potential for Danger

Using an energy shot to boost your energy levels may be second nature to some people, but the real question is, are they dangerous? For many, the potential dangers of 5-Hour Energy drinks are outweighed by the need for extra caffeine to stay active throughout the day but for the most part, they aren’t dangerous. That is unless you drink several in a day.  We’ll take a look at these potential dangers and help you learn the truth about these energy shots and whether they’re safe for you.

5-Hour ENERGY Shots Extra Strength Grape Flavor

What’s In 5-Hour Energy?

Before you can decide if 5-Hour Energy is safe for you, it’s important to understand what’s inside that tiny bottle. Often marketed as a dietary supplement, 5-Hour Energy contains amino acids, nutrients, a blend of B vitamins, and of course, caffeine.

These shots use a blend of B vitamins to help promote energy and turn carbs, fats, and proteins into energy. You’ll find that 5-Hour Energy is low in calories and sugar-free. To give these shots a sweet taste to help people enjoy it when they toss it back, sucralose is used to provide that sweet taste without the calories and unwanted sugars. Here’s a look at the full list of ingredients found in 5-Hour Energy.

  • Purified Water
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Sucralose
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • Taurine
  • EDTA
  • Malic Acid
  • Glucuronic Acid
  • L-Phenylalanine
  • N-Actyel L-Tyrosine
  • Caffeine
  • Citicoline
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Choline
  • Sodium
  • Potassium

5-Hour Energy’s Caffeine Content

If you’re curious about the potential dangers of 5-Energy, then you must take a look at the caffeine content in each little bottle. Caffeine is what gives these energy shots their punch. What is caffeine? Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in over 60 plants. Caffeine is known for energizing the body, increasing your heart rate, and even enhancing your mood. Here’s a look at how much caffeine is in each 5-Hour Energy shot and drink.

  • Original 5-Hour Energy Shot: 200 milligrams of caffeine
  • 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength: 230 milligrams of caffeine
  • 5-Hour Energy Decaf: 6 milligrams of caffeine
  • 5-Hour Tea Shots: 200 milligrams of caffeine
  • 5-Hour Energy Drinks (16 oz can): 200 milligrams of caffeine
  • 5-Hour Energy Drinks Extra Strength (16 oz can): 230 milligrams of caffeine

The Dangers of 5-Hour Energy

While 5-Hour Energy is relatively safe, it can become dangerous. Especially if you drink more than 2 energy shots per day which would take you over the recommended daily caffeine intake of 400 milligrams per day. When ingesting too much caffeine a person can suffer from issues including headaches, insomnia, increased heart rate, anxiety, and even dehydration. With it being common for people to ingest caffeine from other sources, it’s important to limit the number of energy shots and energy drinks you consume daily. The above side effects of caffeine can be very dangerous.

Another danger of 5-Hour Energy is the high level of vitamins. While vitamins are great for your body, too much can be an issue. When it comes to these energy shots, the vitamin content found inside far exceeds normal doses. Unfortunately, if you take in more vitamins than what is recommended often, you can suffer from vitamin overdose. Here’s a look at the daily value of vitamins found in one 5-Hour Energy shot.

  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 188% Daily Value
  • Vitamin B6: 2,000% Daily Value
  • Vitamin B12: 8,333%
energy drink health
Image credit: Gabriel Matula, Unsplash

Who Can Drink 5-Hour Energy?

As with most caffeine-packed drinks, kids under 18 should avoid 5-Hour Energy. It is also recommended for people who suffer from caffeine sensitivity or pre-existing conditions to avoid any drink or energy shot with a high concentration of caffeine. This is due to the quick punch of caffeine energy shots give the body. When hitting in fast, concentrated doses caffeine can cause your blood pressure to increase rapidly. Unfortunately, this can lead to heart palpitations or even heart attacks.

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Final Thoughts

As you can see from the information above, 5-Hour Energy is relatively safe, if used correctly. If you aren’t consuming tons of caffeine throughout the day and need a kickstart, these little bottles pack the punch you may need. If you wake up to coffee and enjoy chocolate or sodas as your day continues, it may be best to avoid energy shots and drinks altogether. As with most things in this world, the key to enjoying 5-Hour Energy is moderation. If you’re an adult who isn’t suffering from pre-existing conditions or caffeine sensitivities, enjoying one of these drinks here and there shouldn’t be an issue.


Melissa Gunter

Melissa has been a fan of coffee since the first sip she stole from her Granny's cup when she was just a girl. Now, she spends each morning writing with a hot cup of coffee at her side. With a love of sweet and creamy bliss, Melissa and her daughter, Amber, stop by and try out every local coffee shop they see. Neither are afraid to try something new and have a long list of favorite coffee beverages they simply can't do without. When she's not freelance writing about her 2 passions, coffee, and pets, Melissa spends her time with her husband, 2 kids, and 5 fur babies. She also loves diving into the fiction world under her pen name, Rena Marin. If she isn't at the laptop or with the family, Melissa is out enjoying the mountains of East Tennessee she calls home.

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