5- Hour Energy, Long Term Problem?

Posted On Tuesday, 28 May 2013
5- Hour Energy, Long Term Problem?
In its Adverse Event Reports, the FDA identifies a number of health-related adverse events in connection with 5 Hour Energy drinks.

Living Essentials, the manufacturer of 5-hour energy says it contains "about as much caffeine as a cup of the leading premium coffee." However, a recent test by Consumer Reports found that 5-Hour Energy contains 215 milligrams of caffeine per serving. In comparison, an average  8-ounce cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine, although that varies according to how the coffee is brewed.  Consumer Reports also finds that 8 ounces of Starbucks coffee is on the high side with 165 milligrams of caffeine.

So, it appears that 5-hour energy has up to double the amount of caffeine as a standard cup of coffee.

According to Consumer Reports, safe limits of caffeine are up to 400 milligrams per day for healthy adults, 200 milligrams a day for pregnant women, and up to 45 or 85 milligrams per day for children, depending on weight.

As a physician, none of this surprises me.

Potentially misleading advertising, of something that looks to good to be true, is again causing medical problems.

The challenge here is that 5-hour Energy, and products like them (Monster has been linked to deaths by the FDA as well), work. They “lend you” energy. Notice I said, “lend” not give. Caffeine to the body is sort of a borrowed energy as it is not naturally produced, but rather is artificially stimulated. I do think that occasional black tea, green tea, and organic coffee is safe for many people, but a high dose of concentrated caffeine, in my opinion, simply is not.

A couple of things to help your own energy production are as follows:

  1. Do not trade caffeine for sleep (a good idea for doctors as well.)
  2. Start trading your simple carbohydrate foods, such as grains and sugar, for more protein based foods and complex carbs such as fruits and vegetables.
  3. Exercise whenever possible.
  4. Consider supporting the adrenal gland.
  5. Have your thyroid checked with a holistic practitioner such as a Naturopathic Doctor.



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