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Is 5-Hour Energy Bad For You?

Published 6/10/13

What is 5 Hour Energy?

The main selling points for 5-Hour Energy are that it immediately provides five hours of energy with no sugar crash after, that it has no sugar, and that it has zero net carbs. The most important selling point that all 5 Hour-Energy ads seem to include is that there is no energy crash that typically occurs after the effects of an energy drink wears off.

Why No Crash?

The reason 5-Hour Energy does not come with a crash later is simply because it does not have any sugar in it. Research shows that consuming 20+mg of sugar per serving results in increased blood glucose levels. When this happens, insulin kicks into action, which is in charge of regulating blood glucose levels and can result in the sugar crash effect.

Where Does the Energy Come From?

Just like all the other energy drinks, 5-Hour Energy contains caffeine. Caffeine’s main benefits are increasing alertness and reducing the feeling of fatigue. 5 Hour Energy contains around 200mg of caffeine, which is about a third of the maximum amount of caffeine that health experts suggest consuming on a daily basis. 5-Hour Energy also contains high levels of B6 and B12 Vitamins, which can also provide energy.

Does It Actually Last for 5 Hours?

This is where it gets confusing. To have the energy that the beverage provides last for a long period of time, the drink must have carbs. But 5-Hour Energy doesn’t have a single carb in it. Are the 200mg worth of caffeine and B Vitamins in 5-Hour Energy enough to last for five hours? For the average human, 200mg of caffeine by itself is not enough. It will produce an energy boost but not for an extended period of time.

It is recommended to drink a 5-Hour Energy right before eating a meal. The caffeine and B Vitamins help to convert proteins, carbs, starches, and fats from the meal into energy which is why the added food element can help produce a better energy boost and extend its effectiveness.

Is 2000% DV of B6 and 8333% DV of B12 Healthy?

From a surface level, everything about 5-Hour Energy seems good and legitimate. All the ingredients in 5-Hour Energy are in doses that are under the maximum recommended amount, except for the B Vitamins. The B6 Vitamins totals 2,000% of your daily recommend amount and the B12 totals 8,333% of your daily recommend amount. Now 5-Hour Energy does state that B Vitamins are water-soluble and whatever portion your body does not consume will flush out in urine. What they forget to state is that you must consume a mega-dose amount of water to fully allow your body to get rid of the excess B Vitamins. Contrary to popular belief, it is humanly possible to overdose on B Vitamins. The symptoms from overdosing on B Vitamins include headaches, dizziness, fainting, and temporary nerve/brain damage.

Conclusion

If taken by itself, 5-Hour Energy provides minimal benefits and can result in overdosing on B Vitamins. But when consumed right before or after a meal and while drinking lots of water 5-Hour Energy can be extremely beneficial. The only true downfall from 5-Hour Energy comes as a result of being dehydrated. Just make sure to drink lots of water and you should be perfectly fine as you get that extra pep in your step. 

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