Friday, March 9, 2012

The Truth Behind 5-Hour Energy

The popular 5-Hour Energy shots are everywhere. At the counters of gas stations, college students dorm rooms, the teacher's desk or stashed in the car. The makers of 5-Hour Energy claim that you feel "awake and alert for hours" and that it contains as much caffeine as one cup of coffee. Energy drinks have rapidly increased in popularity recently as many people are looking for a "quick fix". They are hoping for an enhancement of daily activities or sports performance. However, is this really the case?

A study published in The Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise researched whether the shot can enhance short and long-term cognitive function. It was found that there was no statistical significant increase in short or long-term cognitive function when compared to the placebo. Interestingly, those that took the shot believed that it was working effectively as compared to the placebo.

Research has not found that 5-Hour Energy's ingredients go above and beyond the effects of caffeine. Even on the 5-Hour Energy website it says that "the key ingredients in 5-Hour Energy are also available in every day foods - like broccoli, avocado's, bananas, and apples - or already in you." However, the ingredient that creates a sense of energy, caffeine, is not in any of these foods. The manufacturer's also claim that there is as much caffeine in on 5-Hour energy as the leading cup of premium coffee. There is actually about 15 percent more caffeine in one shot than just a "short" cup of Starbucks coffee.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
May 2011 - Volume 43 - Issue 5 - p 644
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000401782.26505.a8
D-40 Free Communication/Poster - Supplements II (Caffeine and Energy Drinks): JUNE 2, 2011

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