Available at most register counters in convenience and grocery stores for approximately $2, 5-Hour Energy Shots have become a popular choice for people of all ages, whether at work or school, in providing a little extra pep in their step during the day. The commercials, airing regularly across dozens of networks, boast that the shots are no more harmful than a cup of coffee, and the advertisements even suggest that the shots provide no ill effects when they wear off. Ultimately, they sound too good to be true, but people continue to buy them because caffeinated drinks remain popular alternatives to healthier foods and exercise as sources of energy.
However, the energy drink industry isn’t without its controversy these days. In recent weeks, it has been reported that the nation’s leading energy drink, Monster, has been associated with at least five deaths and is now the centerpiece of an effort by U.S. senators to expose energy drinks that have mislabeled nutrition information. Now, the increasingly popular 5-Hour Energy Shots are also at the center of an investigation, this time by the Food and Drug Administration due to reports of 13 deaths that may be associated with product, distributed nationally by Living Essentials.
Naturally, Living Essentials officials have denied any association between 5-Hour Energy and these deaths, but the FDA has received approximately 90 reports of health complications since 2009 from consumers who have used these shots. Alarmingly, 30 of those reports involved serious health problems, including heart attacks and even one “spontaneous abortion”, according to the New York Times. While these reports in no way conclude that the energy shots were actually responsible, they do provide the FDA further grounds for investigation.
5-Hour Energy Shots are unique from most energy drinks, as they are taken in one gulp, whereas a Monster Energy Drink is larger and takes more time to consume. Additionally, while the FDA investigates the amount of caffeine and sugar in these drinks and compares the findings to the information provided on the nutritional label, 5-Hour Energy Shots do not list how much caffeine is in each drink.