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5-Hour Energy: Friend or Foe

For many of us, there isn’t enough time in the day. Whether we spend all day at work or at school, there just isn’t always time to have fun. 5-Hour Energy is a quick fix for many college students and people in the work force. They claim to be all-natural, but I’m sure I am not the only one who finds the drink a little shady.

According to their website, “5-Hour Energy shots [are] for long lasting energy without the crash. With zero sugar, zero net carbs.” It sounds too good to be true, right? The 2-ounce drink contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, along with a B-vitamin blend. It appeals to the weight-conscious with its four calories and zero sugar.

Many people are skeptics, but they have reason to be. The human body needs sleep for a reason. A 2-ounce drink shouldn’t be an alternative. The FDA has not approved this drink, nor are they coming close to. 5-Hour Energy is a relatively aged energy drink, introduced in 2004. Devoted consumers may believe they will not experience any negative side effects if they haven’t felt them yet, but they may very well develop some serious long-term problems.

In the FAQ’s on the 5-hour energy site, one question asks whether excessive amounts (8333% B12, 2000% B6) of the vitamins are dangerous. Their response is this: “Not at all. In fact, the levels of B12 and B6 are well within safe limits.” However, overdoses of vitamin B can causes serious side effects, ranging from irregular heart beat to paralysis.

Personally, I think the 5-Hour Energy crew is trying to dupe us. They’re probably assuming that most people won’t take the time to find their website, find the FAQ’s section, and scroll through the questions to see what might happen to them. After reading this information, I’ll be sure to research side effects before I try some new shady drink.

The website also warns of a niacin flush, which results from elevated amounts of vitamin B3, or niacin. It causes a flushed skin tone that “generally goes away in a few minutes.” The risks certainly seem to outweigh the benefits here. I would rather find time to take a nap than face potential paralysis or flushed skin, with no guarantee of when it will dissipate.

Several fruit flavors are offered, but they all seem to have a bitter aftertaste that is a little strange. It may be all-natural, but it doesn’t taste like it. 5-Hour Energy isn’t recommended for pregnant women, children, or people with heart problems. It reminds me of a roller coaster. A risk. Becoming a regular consumer of 5-hour energy is certainly a risk, and I urge those of you on the bench to take heed of these side effects.



by Contrbuting Writer / Lauren Cousin (November 3rd, 2010)
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5-Hour Energy: Friend or Foe

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