5-Hour Energy Drink Flavors, Ingredients, Benefits & Potential Side Effects

In a Nutshell:

  • 5-Hour Energy is a 2 oz energy shot containing caffeine, vitamins, and amino acids.
  • Available in regular and extra strength with 0g sugar and just 4 calories per bottle.
  • Purported benefits include energy boost, concentration, workout enhancement, no sugar crash.
  • Best for healthy adults seeking energy, not recommended for kids, pregnant women, those with medical conditions.
  • Potential side effects include anxiety, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, headaches from excess caffeine.
  • Comes in over 20 flavors like berry, grape, orange, watermelon, sour apple in regular and extra strength.
  • Sold widely in the U.S. at convenience stores, groceries, pharmacies and globally in Canada, UK, Mexico, and Germany.
  • The drink is sugar-free and considered vegan-friendly.

What is 5-Hour Energy drink?

5-Hour Energy is an American-made “energy shot” manufactured by Living Essentials LLC. It is a dietary supplement designed to help users feel energized and alert for hours.

The product contains a blend of essential B vitamins, amino acids, nutrients, and caffeine, all with zero sugar and four calories.

It is available in regular strength, which contains about as much caffeine as 8 ounces of the leading premium coffee, and extra strength, which contains about as much caffeine as 12 ounces of the leading premium coffee.

What are the benefits of drinking 5-Hour Energy?

There are several purported benefits to drinking 5-Hour Energy shots:

  • Energy boost – The caffeine and amino acids in 5-Hour Energy can provide a burst of energy and help fight fatigue. The shots are designed to provide alertness without an energy “crash” later.
  • Concentration – Ingredients like tyrosine are thought to help with focus and concentration by supporting neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Workout enhancement – Some studies have found caffeine can reduce perceived pain and exertion during exercise[1]. 5-Hour Energy is sometimes used as a pre-workout supplement.
  • No sugar crash – With zero sugar, 5-Hour Energy avoids the spike and crash some get from high sugar energy drinks.
  • Convenience – The small bottle is portable and doesn’t require refrigeration, making it convenient for on-the-go use.

However, the effects can vary greatly between individuals. Some may experience greater benefits than others.

Who should drink 5-Hour Energy?

The shots may be suitable for:

  • Adults who are tired or need sustained energy for work, studying, driving, etc.
  • Athletes or fitness enthusiasts who want an extra kick pre-workout.
  • People avoiding sugar who want an energy boost without the “crash”

However, some people should exercise caution or avoid 5-Hour Energy:

  • Children under 18
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing
  • People sensitive to caffeine or with heart conditions
  • Those taking medication that may interact with ingredients
  • People with phenylketonuria (PKU) due to the phenylalanine

Anyone with health concerns should consult their doctor before trying 5-Hour Energy. Moderation is key, even among healthy adults.

List of 5-Hour Energy Drink Flavors

Over the years, 5-Hour Energy has released dozens of different flavors in both regular strength and extra strength varieties. Keep reading for a complete rundown of every 5-Hour Energy flavor created so far.

Regular Strength 5-Hour Energy Flavors

Berry – The original 5-Hour Energy flavor released in 2004. It has a sweet berry taste.

Grape – Features a concord grape flavor. One of the most popular regular strength options.

Orange – Has a refreshing orange citrus flavor. A little tart but not overly sweet.

Pomegranate – Made with pomegranate juice for a slightly tart, not-too-sweet berry taste.

Strawberry Lemonade – A newer flavor with a sweet strawberry taste and hint of lemon.

Watermelon – Captures the flavor of fresh watermelon. Light and refreshing.

Extra Strength 5-Hour Energy Flavors

Berry – Same sweet berry flavor as the original but with extra caffeine and B vitamins.

Blue Raspberry – An extra strength shot with a candy-like blue raspberry taste.

Cherry – Features a sweet cherry flavor reminiscent of cherry pie filling.

Grape – The popular grape flavor also available in extra strength.

Hawaiian Breeze – A tropical flavor with notes of pineapple, coconut, and citrus.

Orange – Has an extra strength dose of the same orange flavor as the regular strength.

Peach Mango – A newer flavor combining juicy peach and tropical mango tastes.

Sour Apple – Offers a tart granny smith apple flavor.

Strawberry Banana – Tastes like a sweet strawberry banana smoothie.

Strawberry Watermelon – A blend of strawberry and watermelon flavors.

Tidal Twist – A tropical punch flavor with citrus and berry notes.

Tropical Burst – Features a blend of tropical fruit flavors like pineapple and mango.

Watermelon – The popular watermelon flavor also available in extra strength.

Seasonal and Limited Edition 5-Hour Energy Drink Flavors

In addition to their huge variety of regular flavors, 5-Hour Energy has released a number of seasonal, limited edition, and exclusive flavors over the years. These special edition flavors are only available for a short time, making them must-try items for 5-Hour Energy fans and collectors.

Fall & Winter Holiday Flavors

Pumpkin Spice – Released in the fall, this flavor captures all the flavors of pumpkin pie – cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.

Candy Cane – Available for the Christmas season, this flavor tastes like minty candy canes with a cooling peppermint finish.

Chocolate Cherry – A decadent chocolate cherry flavor perfect for Valentine’s Day. It tastes like cherry cordials in energy shot form.

Gingerbread Cookie – Captures the classic flavors of gingerbread cookies – molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Spring & Summer Seasonal Flavors

Watermelon Limeade – A refreshing blend of sweet watermelon and tart lime released each summer.

Coconut Lime – Features zesty lime with creamy coconut for tropical flavor.

Cucumber Melon – Cool cucumber and sweet honeydew melon flavors reminiscent of summer.

Mango Passionfruit – Blends tropical mango and tangy passionfruit.

Store Exclusive Flavors

5-Hour Energy has partnered with retailers like 7-Eleven, Walmart, and Amazon to create exclusive flavors only available at certain stores. Some examples include:

Raspberry Tea – Walmart exclusive made with black tea and raspberry.

Blueberry Pomegranate – Available only at 7-Eleven.

Tidal Twist – Tropical punch exclusive to 7-Eleven and Speedway.

Strawberry Dragonfruit – Amazon exclusive combining strawberry and dragonfruit flavors.

Mango Lemonade – Found only at Walgreens.

Where Can You Find 5-Hour Energy Drinks Worldwide?

While the U.S. remains 5-Hour Energy’s stronghold, the popular energy shot brand has a growing worldwide presence across North America, Europe, and Asia. The shots are sold through partnerships with major retailers in each local market.

Here is an overview of where you can find 5-Hour Energy drinks worldwide:

United States

The 5-Hour Energy brand originated in the United States and it remains the dominant market. 5-Hour Energy shots are sold at convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, and big box retailers across the country.

Canada

5-Hour Energy entered the Canadian market in 2009 and has rapidly expanded availability. The shots are sold at many of the same major retail chains as in the U.S. including 7-Eleven, Circle K, Couche-Tard, and Loblaw stores.

United Kingdom

The UK is 5-Hour Energy’s largest market in Europe. The shots first launched there in 2010 and are now sold at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, Boots, and other major retailers.

Ireland

Ireland is another major European market for 5-Hour Energy. The shots are available at large retailers like Tesco Ireland, SuperValu, Centra, and select Applegreen service stations.

Germany

5-Hour Energy entered Germany in 2019 through a partnership with dm-drogerie markt, one of the country’s largest drugstore chains. Over 2,000 dm locations now sell the shots nationwide.

Mexico

5-Hour Energy launched in Mexico in 2008 through an exclusive partnership with OXXO convenience stores. It is now available at other major chains like 7-Eleven and Extra as well.

Singapore

The shots entered Singapore in 2019 and are available at major retailers like 7-Eleven, Cheers, FairPrice, and Sheng Siong supermarkets. 5-Hour Energy is actively expanding distribution in Singapore.

Additional Markets

Some other markets where 5-Hour Energy is sold include Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, and scattered European and South American countries.

What are the key ingredients in 5-Hour Energy drink?

5-Hour Energy contains a blend of vitamins, amino acids, and other ingredients marketed to provide energy. The key active ingredients per 2 oz serving are:

  • Caffeine – 200 mg (regular strength), 230 mg (extra strength)
  • Vitamin B6 – 40 mg
  • Vitamin B12 – 500 mcg
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) – 30 mg
  • Tyrosine – 1870 mg
  • Phenylalanine – 1870 mg
  • Taurine – 483 mg
  • Glucuronolactone – 611 mg
  • Malic acid – 550 mg
  • Citicoline – 100 mg

It also contains artificial sweeteners (sucralose), flavors, and preservatives.

How do these ingredients work together to provide energy and focus?

The primary energy source in 5-Hour Energy is caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, reducing fatigue and enhancing alertness.

The amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine are precursors for neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. They may help support energy, mood, and concentration.

Taurine, glucuronolactone, and malic acid interact with caffeine to extend its effects. Studies show this combination can reduce fatigue and sleepiness.

Niacin (B3) aids energy production from food[4], while B6 and B12 support red blood cell formation and energy metabolism.

Are there any potential side effects of these ingredients?

Some potential side effects may include:

  • Anxiety, jitteriness from excess caffeine.
  • Skin flushing from niacin.
  • Insomnia if taken late in the day.
  • Headaches or crashes as caffeine wears off.
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach.
  • Dangerous interactions with medications or health conditions.

Consuming more than the recommended serving may increase risks. Those sensitive to caffeine or with medical conditions like heart disease should exercise caution with energy drinks like 5-Hour Energy.

How many calories, sugar, and caffeine does 5-Hour Energy drink contain?

5-Hour Energy is an energy shot that packs a powerful punch in a tiny 2 oz bottle. Here are the key nutrition facts per bottle:

  • Calories: 4
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Caffeine:
  • Regular strength: 200mg
  • Extra strength: 230mg

So 5-Hour Energy contains zero sugar and minimal calories, with the energy coming from caffeine and other ingredients like vitamins and amino acids.

The 200mg caffeine in a regular strength 5-Hour Energy is equivalent to about one 8oz cup of premium coffee. The extra strength version contains 230mg caffeine, comparable to a 12oz premium coffee.

Is 5-Hour Energy sugar-free?

Yes, 5-Hour Energy is sugar-free. It contains zero grams of sugar per bottle.

Instead of sugar, 5-Hour Energy is sweetened with the artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda). This gives it a sweet taste without adding calories or spiking blood sugar.

The lack of sugar and calories is a major benefit of 5-Hour Energy compared to many other energy drinks on the market loaded with sugar.

Is 5-Hour Energy vegan?

While not officially certified vegan, 5-Hour Energy is free of animal ingredients and suitable for vegan diets, based on the company’s own statements:

  • 5-Hour Energy states “No animal products are added to 5-hour ENERGY® shots”
  • The amino acids like taurine are synthetically produced, not from animal sources
  • It does not contain common non-vegan ingredients like carmine, whey, etc.

Those with strict vegan requirements may want to contact the company directly for more details.

How much 5-Hour Energy drink should you drink per day?

The company recommends limiting 5-Hour Energy intake to no more than 2 bottles per day, spaced several hours apart. Each bottle contains about 200mg of caffeine in the regular strength and 230mg in the extra strength varieties.

Consuming more than 400-460mg of caffeine daily can lead to side effects like anxiety, insomnia, and rapid heartbeat in some people. Those sensitive to caffeine may want to limit intake to 1 bottle or less per day. Moderation is key.

When is the best time to drink 5-Hour Energy drink?

The best time to take 5-Hour Energy depends on your needs and caffeine sensitivity:

  • Morning – For an alertness boost first thing in the morning, especially if not a coffee drinker
  • Early to mid-afternoon – To combat fatigue and the “2:30 feeling” without disrupting sleep
  • Pre-workout – For enhanced energy and focus before exercise
  • While traveling or driving long distance – To stay alert and awake

Most experts recommend stopping caffeine intake by early-mid afternoon at the latest to avoid sleep disruption. Those especially sensitive may need to stop even earlier.

Can you drink 5-Hour Energy drink before bed?

It is not recommended to drink 5-Hour Energy right before bedtime. The caffeine can make it harder to fall asleep, reduce overall sleep time, and negatively impact sleep quality.

Caffeine’s stimulating effects can last for several hours after ingestion. Consuming caffeine too close to bedtime can disrupt the body’s natural sleep processes.

For best sleep, experts recommend avoiding caffeine for 4-6 hours prior to bedtime. Earlier cutoff times may be needed based on individual caffeine sensitivity.

The Company Behind 5-Hour Energy Drinks

Living Essentials LLC is the company behind the popular 5-Hour Energy drink brand. 5-Hour Energy was launched in 2004 by CEO Manoj Bhargava. Bhargava founded Living Essentials specifically to market and sell 5-Hour Energy shots.

The company is based in Farmington Hills, Michigan and remains privately held. Living Essentials employs over 200 people and operates production facilities in Wabash, Indiana.

In just 8 years after launch, 5-Hour Energy reached over $1 billion in retail sales, completely dominating the energy shot market. The brand’s growth has been attributed to Bhargava’s focus on product quality and strategic distribution through partnerships with major retailers like Walmart, Walgreens, and 7-Eleven.

Today, Living Essentials offers over 20 flavors of 5-Hour Energy and has expanded into 16 oz carbonated energy drinks. The company continues to innovate within the energy space under the leadership of its founder.

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Joe Gillian is an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in creating content about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle in our tech-driven world. When he's not typing away on his laptop, you can find him outdoors hiking, biking, and recharging his mind, body and spirit.

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