A collection of energy shots bottles sits on the table.

June, 25, 2023

Is 5 Hour Energy Bad for Your Health? Risks & Alternatives

Discover the risks of consuming popular energy drinks like 5 hour energy and explore a healthier alternative with Ethan's Clean Energy Shots.

Energy and sports drinks are among the top beverages in the U.S. They line shelves with promises that appeal to youth and athletes. Despite their reviews, questions have surfaced about 5-Hour Energy Shots. Are these drinks safe? Should we take them at all? You can find out here.

5-Hour Energy is like the Brad Pitt of energy shots. The bright, familiar label exudes intensity. Although the ingredient list is often overlooked, it’s the most important factor in deciding whether or not a drink is good for you. 

In this article, we’ll shed light on non-organic supplements and how drinking them may affect you.

Exposing Hidden Risks

Feeling sluggish? Energy shots sound like the perfect strength and stamina boost. But that extra spark may come with unwholesome effects. 

Additives and artificial sugars are often concealed on labels. Processed sugars are hidden behind titles like sucralose or maltodextrin. Clinical Dietician Alix Slayter told Samaritan Health, “Excess sugar not only leads to… tooth decay but can contribute to other chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, and more,” (1).

  • Ethan’s Tip: Always read ingredient labels. This gives you an opportunity to assess food items and their nutritional value.

Caffeine packs a vitalizing punch to sharpen your focus. However, per Mayo Clinic the untold story about caffeine is how overdrinking can cause headaches, restlessness, and hike blood pressure (2). Could 5-Hour Energy be a bottle of anxiety?

Ethan’s Clean Energy Shots are Healthier

Ethan’s perfected the ideal Clean Energy Shot. Our properly-dosed, plant-based caffeine accompanies a host of B-vitamins with no preservatives or extra carbs. Sustainable, healthy energy is just a few sips away.

Our vegan Drink Mix is made for life on the go. Need endurance for your next workout? We’ve got it. Obsessed with intense athletics? Climb the cliffs. Ready to ace your exams? A splash of Clean Energy will take your breakfast to the next level. 

We promise to deliver a clean, focused lift without jitters or a crash. What’s more? Our supplement is safe to take daily.

Is Drinking 5-Hour Energy Bad for You?

All energy shots aren’t created equal. According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the FDA doesn’t regulate performance drinks or supplements (3). This gives manufacturers freedom to use almost any amount of ingredients in their products. For example, Spike Energy Shot crams 350 mg of caffeine into one “double shot” (4). That’s 87% of the limit your body can safely metabolize. 

How can you tell if a supplement is unhealthy? We’ll tell you what to look for below.

Dietician Says These Ingredients are Red Flags

Crystal our on-staff RDN reviewed 5-Hour Energy ingredients. She listed the elements to watch out for: 

Citicoline – Although useful for brain function, our Dietician cautions against citicoline ingredient for its link to colorectal cancer (5,6).

Folic acid/Folate – Vitamin B9 is generally safe in small doses. That said, our RD highlights the form found in 5-Hour Energy Shots as correlator to higher cancer risk. She says the most effective, active form to take is 5-MTHF (7).

Taurine – This is common in energy drinks, but our Dietician insists there is no solid evidence to prove its alleged benefits.

Hypercaffeinated Concerns

The regular 5-Hour Energy stows 200 mg of caffeine in less than 2 ounces of liquid (8). That’s stronger than your best cup of coffee. The 5-Hour's Extra Strength formula clocks in at 230 milligrams of caffeine per shot. 

Big brands target youth and college students, marketing their drinks as trendy and essential. Nonetheless, they’re not reporting the negative health outcomes of drinking synthetic energy drinks. 

That’s why we’re here.

A 2018 survey of 12-24 year-old Canadians discovered more than 73% out of 2055 participants admitted to trying energy drinks. They experienced symptoms ranging from chest pain to rapid heartbeat and disturbed sleep patterns (9). The most intense reactions were vomiting and seizures.

Advance ER says muscle tremors and nervousness were among the symptoms reported from energy drink-related ER visits (10). Between 2007 and 2011, emergency room visits nearly doubled due to synthetic drink consumption (11).

Health Risks Increase with Preexisting Conditions

In 2016, the Journal of Caffeine Research discovered energy beverages escalated adverse health events for people with heart conditions, sleep disorders, and epilepsy (12). “Impairments in cognitive processes… have also been associated with regular energy drink use in adolescents,” researchers explained.

Regular heart and sleep rhythms are negatively affected by consistently drinking caffeine. Researchers warn consumers with blood pressure and heart problems to be cautious before experimenting with energy drinks (13).

Moderation is Key

5-Hour Energy is considered a supplement, one the FDA opts out of regulating. Their website states, “FDA generally does not approve dietary supplement claims or other labeling…” (14).

With that being said, we encourage everyone to be wise with beverage choices.

  • Ethan’s Tip: Trusted resources like FoodData Central help you look up specific drink ingredients.

We’re here to disrupt the status quo. To solve this problem, we invite you to try our all-organic Clean Energy Shot.

Organic Energy for Amazing Health

Can supplements help you achieve wellness? Definitely

Ethan started out developing a daily ACV shot that grew into a daily detox; and then came the Clean Energy Shot. He noticed the popular options had skeptical ingredients. Teaming up with our Registered Dietician, they developed a vivacious mix of top-class ingredients that invigorate your day, organically.

Designed with your health in mind. With Ethan’s you can skip the research and go straight for the guarantee.

Ethan's Reinvents Energy Shot Standards

When compared to the most popular supplements, Ethan’s takes the nutritional cake. 

5-Hour Energy Shots can cause adverse reactions. Nausea, restlessness, and rapid heart rates come from overstimulation. The artificial ingredients in 5-Hour Energy are linked to chest pains, seizures, and could possibly be cancerous. Studies have shown teens and young adults taking 5-Hour Energy also experience high anxiety.

Ethan’s has no artificial preservatives or pseudo-flavors. All of our ingredients are USDA organic. Our Clean Energy Shot provides bioavailable vitamins B and C. Our Shots only have 25 calories. We also crafted a medicinal Blend of nutritional adaptogens for mental strength.

Get the energy to master your day without a sugar overload.

Don’t Drink Artificial Energy, Get Ethan’s

Drinking 5-Hour Energy Shots could be bad for (mental and physical) health. Peak performance can’t be obtained with added sugars or chemically-processed ingredients.

Organic supplements make a healthier choice. Here at Ethan’s, we want you to be strong and live your best. Our team is dedicated to making supplements that are great for the day and fit for the long run.

Be sure to read ingredient labels and above all, drink responsibly. Take care and be well!


There are 200 mgs of caffeine in the original 5-Hour Energy Drink.

Authored By

Tiffany Nicole

Tiffany is a bi-lingual Nutritionist and Health Writer. She is focused on simplifying Nutrition and natural health for all audiences. During a self-study, she discovered preventable disease are abundant in Westernized populations due to a dire need for Nutrition education. These findings inspired her in life, work and study. Tiffany currently holds a Diploma in Nutrition from the Fabulous Body Academy and is a graduate of Stanford’s Food and Health Certification program. She's continued her education in pursuit of a Level 1 Coaching Certificate from the renowned, Precision Nutrition. Her Nutrition articles have been featured by the publications Health Digest, Cover'd Girlz Magazine, and Emily Alexander’s Nutrition Blog gallery. Tiffany is a professional Copywriter and Marketing Consultant within her boutique Marketing business, Creative Encouragement.

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