Did 5 Hour Energy Kill 13 People?

5-hour-energy5 Hour Energy Shot is in the hot seat after reports of the FDA’s investigation of 13 deaths over four years that are linked to the popular energy shot.

The wife of one of the victims has even filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company because her husband died of a heart attack in 2009 after consuming the product daily for about a month prior.

This comes on the heals of a similar investigation concerning Monster Energy Drink and the death of Anais Fournier.

The FDA’s Center for Food Safety Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS) collects data on adverse reactions to various products. Between the years of 2005 to 2012 there have been 92 reports of adverse reactions from people consuming 5 Hour.

But they do say this about their reporting:

In some reports, information in the reports cannot be verified for accuracy. Furthermore, in many reports, individuals may have used other products, and many products contain multiple ingredients which further complicates the evaluation of adverse event reports. There is no certainty that a reported adverse event can be attributed to a particular product or ingredient.

What’s in 5 Hour Energy Shot?

The shot is basically a concentrated artificially flavored energy drink consisting of a blend of caffeine, amino acids, B vitamins, and sucralose for sweetness.

The Label Lists:

Purified Water, Glycerin, Glucuronolactone, N-Acetyl, L-Tyrosine, L-Phenylalanine, Taurine, Malic Acid, Caffeine, Natural Flavors, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Niacin, Sucralose, Cyanocobalamin, Folic Acid

The exact amounts of some of these ingredients are hidden in their “Proprietary Blend”, but we found out from the company that the regular shot has around 200mg of caffeine and their Extra-Strength shot has around 250mg. Consumer Reports tested their extra strength shot and found it had 242mg of caffeine and that their standard shot contained 215mg. 

Let’s Keep This in Perspective

While I believe any death is horrible, aLL products come with risk. Anytime, we the consumers, put something into our mouths, we are assuming some degree of risk based on our own body’s unique chemistry and our good or bad judgement.

  • 5-hour-energy-labelAccording to CNN 120 deaths a year occur from peanuts.
  • Drinking too much water kills at least one person a year in the USA.
  • 3.1 million deaths each year are blamed on sugar.

Should the millions of Americans that have heart attacks each year sue the fast food companies for clogging their arteries with their fat filled burgers and french fries? Consumers have to burden at least some part of the responsibility when it comes to the risks involved with eating or drinking things that are questionable.

5 Hour Energy does contain a warning label and these labels are on certain products for a reason.

I imagine most of the victims had some type of underlying health condition that made them more susceptible to problems from products like 5 Hour, but it is up to all of us to make good choices based on what’s best for our unique health profile.

Unfortunately, we live is such a sue happy society, where it seems everyone else is to blame for our own misfortune. I don’t think 5 Hour Energy is at fault, although, they should disclose exactly what’s in their product and not hide behind the term “Proprietary Blend”.

However, since none of the ingredients in 5 Hour would be shown to cause harm at even the secret levels contained in the product, it will be hard to prove that this company is liable for the deaths especially if the warning label wasn’t heeded.

What do you think? Is 5 Hour Energy to blame for the deaths of 13 people? 

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  • Butnipps

    I gave my baby some and he

  • Big Daddy

    I love drinking these before and after I take a dump. It’s a great rush and feels amazing

  • Analdestroyer

    Me two

  • Cup

    Love your dump taking big daddy

  • SparkChamps

    I drink slam by AdvoCare. energy drinks packed with vitamis and mental focus! Email me for more info and samples at djmadvocare@gmail.com

  • David Snell

    Great for long drive when you start to get a bit tired. I drink half and then finish the balance in about 20 -30 min. I have had no ill effects from the product and I do not use it on a daily or weekly basis but only when I require a lasting boost.

  • Sarah A. O’Brien

    I think this product is great, but you have to be responsible with it. Like only use it when you need to. It works great for me when I start to head nod at work, and for my long drive home. Too much of anything is bad for you!

  • Logan Atoms

    Sucralose is a poison. They were researching pesticides when they developed it. Any amount of poison is bad for you. Drink up and if you live long enough we’ll be hearing about your cancer soon.

  • Logan Atoms

    Sucralose is a poison. They were researching pesticides when they developed it. Any amount of poison is bad for you. Drink up and if you live long enough we’ll be hearing about your cancer soon. Aspartame is another one you should avoid for a healthy life.

  • Logan Atoms

    Sucralose and Aspartame are just poison. They were developed during pesticide research.

  • Logan Atoms

    It’s garbage. Just drink coffee. At least that way you dont get the sucralose. (poisonous sugar substitute)

  • Logan Atoms

    I don’t think it’s the caffeine, you were probably having an adverse reaction to the sucralose. Just like aspartame it is a sweet poison that was developed during pesticide research. Keep yourself and your kids safe. Anything that is Sugar-free or “diet” is sure to contain either aspartame or sucralose. If you dont die from it cancerous tumors are practically guaranteed. Just look around at the cancer rates, and the FDA doesnt care because they’re in bed with Pharmaceutical conglomerates that make money off of the cancer.

  • Logan Atoms

    Did the cancer kick in yet? Sucralose is a sweet poison developed during pesticide research. Its known to cause tumors in labs already wih the information suppressed for obvious reasons. Oh wait, you posted that 3 years ago? Are you still alive? would be more appropriate a question.

  • Logan Atoms

    Lets not forget that sucralose is a poison developed during pesticide research.

  • Logan Atoms

    You failed to mention that Sucralose is a poison.

  • Logan Atoms

    Agreed, if you knowingly consume Sucralose you clearly have a deatwish.

  • skjbfjsbdjs

    It is a terrible product. I have lost the thirteenth person to this “drink”. So next time you take it to get home, realize that you’re getting home awake in spite of five hour energy, not because of it.

  • Tarra.exe

    This shit is TERRIBLE for you.
    This is another reason why I don’t drink a lot of energy drinks in general. I mean sure Nos and Monster are awesome but over time that shit will fuck you up

  • Stephanie Long-Gill

    As a conservative myself this gas nothing to do with politics. . Only health. .

  • disqus_2WE5eZrg16

    The “perspective” is highly and even dangerously misleading:
    – The deaths from peanuts are from peanut allergies and the resulting anaphylactic shock. Keep an EpiPen handy if you know you’re allergic.
    – Water intoxication happens when you drink so much water at once that your blood literally gets too watered down for you to live. It generally doesn’t happen.
    – The dangers of sugar and related obesity problems are very well known.

    5 Hour Energy, on the other hand, is considered by law a “dietary supplement” and therefore doesn’t even have to be FDA-approved.

    Stick to your Red Bull and espressos, but 5 Hour Energy is a whole another ballpark that can very well kill you.

Last Modified: June 30, 2016