5-Hour Energy – What’s in it Anyway?
I‘m sure you have either tried a 5-hour energy or have seen those ridiculously silly commercials on TV. Regardless, I get asked often about what is in these little bottles of energy and what it is doing to my body. So let’s discuss….
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – 30 mg – 150% DV (Daily Value)
- Niacin – The RDA is 14 mg for females and 16 mg for males.
- This B-Vitamin aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids (building blocks for protein).
- Found in fortified & enriched grains, fish, meat poultry, eggs, milk, legumes
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6) – 40 mg – 2000% DV
- Pyridoxine – The RDA is 1.3-1.5 mg for females and 1.3-1.7 mg for males.
- This B-Vitamin aids in the breakdown and combination of amino acids and helps convert essential fatty acids to unsaturated fatty acids.
- Helps you make Niacin
- Essential for normal growth and development.
- Found in pork, milk, egg yolk, oatmeal, legumes
- Folic Acid - 400 mcg – 100% DV
- Folic acid – The RDA is 400 mcg (micrograms) for females and males
- Essential for early fetal development and normal maturation of red blood cells.
- Helps with nucleic acids so your cells reproduce properly
- Found in green leafy vegetables, wheat, eggs, fish, lentils, broccoli, enriched grains
- Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12) – 500 mcg – 8333% DV
- Vitamin B12 – The RDA is 2.4 mcg for females and males
- Plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain, nervous system and helps with blood formation.
- Aids in metabolism of fatty acids and energy production
- Necessary for folate (folic acid) metabolism
- Found in dairy foods, meat, eggs
- Sodium - 18 mg – <1%
- Sodium – The RDA is <2300 mg of sodium for females and males
- We all know what sodium is….SALT
- Trace amounts found and merely acts as a electrolyte in this instance.
Energy Blend – 1870 mcg
- Taurine - Needed for proper functioning and maintenance of skeletal muscles. Research has shown that large amounts found in energy drinks are not enough to cause adverse or even beneficial effects.
- Glucoronolactone - Important structural component of connective tissue. Claims to detoxify the body.
- Malic Acid - Found in unripe fruits and gives the drink the very “tart” flavoring.
- Tyrosine - One of the 20 amino acids necessary to synthesize new protein. Found to elevate moods in highly-stressed individuals but doesn’t do much to the moods and mental clarity for non-stressed, healthy individuals. Found in meat, fish, dairy, and grains.
- Phenylalanine - Another one of the important 20 amino acids. Precursor for tyrosine and helps with hormones such as adrenaline, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
- Citicoline - Psychostimulant that improves focus and mental energy/clarity.
- Caffeine - And this is where the “buzz” comes from. The company says that one bottle is equal to 1 cup of coffee. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and your metabolism.
Now that you know what is in it and what it is doing to your body, here is my opinion. I don’t think that these little drinks are terrible for you BUT I also don’t think that they are great for you. If you want to have a little caffeine pick me up, maybe try a cup of coffee or tea.
You may be worried about the excessive amounts of B vitamins??? That is a valid concern but since B vitamins are water-soluble and aren’t toxic in large amounts, your body will excrete them through your urine. On the other hand, high levels of B vitamins can cause tingling & numbness in your arms and legs. If you are sensitive to nerve stimulants, you may experience this feeling for a short time.
One good thing is that 5-hour energy drinks DO NOT contain Aspartame (instead contains Sucralose) which most energy drinks do.
Like I always say…. Everything in Moderation!