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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  • Daniel Gostaff

    Lmao, I guarantee you have no evidence to support your claim, and your assumptions are rediculous. Not to mention your grammar is atrocious. You probably should have just said that lawsuits are more common in the south, higher rating implies reviews, which makes absolutely no sense. Also, you should have used your, because you’re means you are. Saying opinions are undergrounded makes no sense either, not to mention it’s not even a word. Go back to school and actually learn about something before you talk out of your ass and make a fool of yourself. You were talking about him being ignorant when you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. (That was the correct usage of the word you’re)… Your post literally made me laugh out loud.

  • Daniel Gostaff

    You literally just perfectly fulfilled the democratic stereotype, while making the situation worse. You were spewing ignorance and hateful sayings about conservatives, good job making us all look bad.

  • WeirdestWolf

    I think that if this and other products that alter how your body works in such a way that is/can be lethal to you, then they shouldn’t be available or even legal. Most governments believe that drugs should be illegal because they can be/are harmful, same should be said for this, tobacco, other “legal” drugs/supplements that are known to cause damage and most fast foods because they do lethal damage to people. This has been proven but still they remain readily available. This drug being compared to water is ridiculous because water is essential to life, this is most definitely not. Water overdose kills at least 1 person a year in the US right? Well over 610,000 people in the US die because of CVD, which is caused by, guess what, fast food/takeaway food, alcohol, smoking, damaging supplements and more. Adding more causes to this is in no way a good idea.

  • bolvark

    what the article is saying in regards to peanuts a food commonly consider to be safe kills over 100 people a year while 5 hour energy if it is responsible which at current time cant be could only rack up 13 total over its years in production.
    in other words your more like to be killed by a peanut than a 5 hour energy.

  • TheRealist

    man i drink racks of that shit. all those people are pussys and can’t handle their shit. this is clearly darwinism at its finest. Cha feel?

  • TheRealist

    Its obviously obamas fault you right wing duck just flying in circles, everybody knows you need two wings to fly straight. he passed the bill making five hour energies legal. With out five hours of energy how would america run, how would we beat that 230 feeling?

  • MyaSavage

    If an adult can safely consume a couple of cups of coffee, s/he can also forgo the coffee and do one of these 5-hour energy shots. If that same person does several shots in a row, they are risking their life- per the warning on the label. I have a friend who will use 5-hour energy products. He will sometimes INSIST on using 2, though we all plead with him not to. Every time he stubbornly states he will be fine, then WITHOUT FAIL goes into violent SEIZURES!!! It scares him for 4- 6 weeks…then he’s at it again. He’s smart in every other way! See? It’s NOT the company’s fault he’s having seizures, but his own for continuing to do it, and not getting himself checked out. It’s like this with a lot of these tragedies!

  • David Missildine

    I have had a heart attack and felt it was the cause of 5 hour energy. I drank only one, but this became a ritual everyday. If I did not consume one I developed a head ache, probably because of the caffeine withdrawal. I had a stint put in and went the next 2 years without consuming one. Eventually (and I was not sure the heart attack was the cause of 5 hour) I started my routine once again. Within a month I had the same symptoms developing and stopped drinking them (this is the only change I made to my diet) and within 2 days the chest pains were gone. Now I am sure it was the 5 hour energy. I believe it may leak your CoQ10 Which protects you arteries from clogging up. This is just my opinion based on my experience and information. But if it helps anyone then that is a good thing.

  • Aria

    No screw you and your authoritarian ideals, Kim Jon Un. Here’s an idea, why don’t you NOT BUY IT AND NOT CONSUME IT. You have the FREEDOM to CHOOSE. Where the hell is personal responsibility?

  • Aria

    Sounds like you are just an unhealthy, and more importantly unhappy human being who’s blaming a shot of coffee for his inevitable health problems.

  • Matthew Clarkson

    You have to READ THE LABEL. If you have ANY underlying health conditions, you need to consult your doctor BEFORE consuming this product.
    You also must be very careful about intake from other caffeine and energy sources while using this product. It’s called being responsible for your own health and choices.

  • stephenmurphymusik

    Ridiculous! It’s coffee in a can. Rationalize it: Coffee in a can. Stay within reasonable limit of caffeine intake, you’re safe. Caffeine is ingested on a daily basis around the world with no such problems.

    Also teenagers, who never had a coffee in their lives, suddenly start drinking 5 cans a day. Depending of the brand, it can equate up to 10 cups of coffee. The label clearly states 1 can a day, not 3 or 5. Demonize the can all you want, excess is imputable to consumer.

  • zetoor

    you or the product that is fail?

    i mean, some people can drink this, and some cant.

  • Christina Moore

    Wow,I thought this was suppose to be the land of the free! It’s people like you that are responsible for our government slowly taking more of out freedoms away. What’s OK for one may not be for another and that’s where people need to be mindful of their own body. It’s pretty simple don’t buy it and if you do know what you’re ingesting! Why not make the company’s label differently instead of punishing everyone for a few stupid decisions.

  • John Trefry

    AGREED! Apply that simplistic nanny state nonsense to any substance we ingest, and the logic fails. Do your own research, make your own decisions. Peanuts kill. Stop sales of all peanuts? Water kills. place a ban on water? Lets extend that stupidity….
    Oxygen can kill you. Stop breathing.
    Pregnancy and childbirth kill thousands a year. Perhaps we should outlaw conception too!

    I can’t tell if Weirdestwolf is trolling, or just that moronic.

  • John Trefry

    Generic caffeine. I got some “Jet Alert” at Walmart for about half of NoDoz. 200mg caffeine. But BE CAREFUL.

    Every BODY is different. Poison to some is paradise to others.

  • Lani Drennan

    I didn’t read the label right and I had a massive panic attack and couldn’t breathe or stand up for an hour almost. READ THE LABEL I feel like I almost died.

  • Mary A Oatsvall

    Omg me to did it make u feel like really nervous or anxity a few days after?

  • RingDings

    Stuffs tastes like toxic wasted

  • Emma Curtiss

    My son’s best friend , 26 years old, was drinking energy drinks a lot and working 70 hours a week. He died the week before last. We heard he went to dinner with his girlfriend, said he felt light headed, dropped to the floor unconscious, went into seizure, then cardiac arrest and died. My cardiologist friend said that a rapid heart beat (could be caused by energy drink) prevents oxygen going to the brain, you feel light headed, you pass out, you go into seizure and then cardiac arrest, followed by death. Please share this with your friend. They are playing with their life. This is very serious.

Last Modified: June 30, 2016