The 2-oz. Energy shot promises 5-hours of energy with no crash and no jitters. Can the product live up to it's tagline? We review three 5-hour Energy products and bring you the unbiased results.
After our last two energy drink reviews 5-hour Energy contacted us to see if we'd be interested in reviewing their new products and flavors of energy shot. We've received some samples from the company, which we're using for this review, as well as press documentation for the product. Keep in mind, though, that the conclusions we draw are based on our own experiences, not those touted by the company.
How Does It Make You Feel?
We started our test at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, with a 2-oz. Shot of Berry flavored 5-hour Energy drink. We noted each hour how we felt after consuming the product:
11:00: Within 10 minutes, we felt the product working. Energy levels were higher, our attention was more focused, and we felt even better once we did a short walk around the newsroom.
12:00: We're still on the rush with the energy shot, but don't feel nearly as jittery as we would if Red Bull was in the system. So far, the only unpleasant feeling is a stronger desire to eat lunch.
1:00: Even after lunch, our energy is still on par with the original level of the first hours. We're impressed that we don't have the jitters from the shot even though we still have the energy and focus.
2:00: Even in the midst of the "two o'clock push," we still feel very jazzed.
3:00: Still energized. "Impressive. Most impressive."
4:00: Starting to take an energy hit, but no crash, so we'll chalk up a win to 5-Hour Energy.
How's It Taste?
Berry flavored tasted a little like a berry, but mostly like a medicine rather than a true drink. It's designed as a shot, which is noble since you're unlikely to sip this slightly bittersweet concoction. That being said, it's not really designed to serve the function of a long-lasting beverage, so taste is of reduced importance in this test. Orange flavor was better than the berry, but it's still a "chug this shot" process rather than "sip this drink."
What's In It?
The main booster in the drink is 8333% of your daily value of Vitamin B12. While that seems like overkill, it's not nearly as dangerous as it sounds. Both the B12 and the 2000% of your daily value of B6 are non-toxic, even at that high level, and should just pass through your body if it's not absorbed. An "energy blend" of citioline, glucuronolactone, n-acetyl L- tyrosine, L-Phenylalanine, taurine, malic acid, and caffeine gives a big boost as well, though it makes the drink taste more like a laboratory concoction than a natural drink. In the end, only the sodium content is lower than your daily value…which set off warning signs in our minds.
What About The Other Products?
We sampled 5-Hour Energy in Berry and Orange flavors, which gave us the results of the test above. Also, we received a "decaf" version of the drink, which we also tested.
The creators of the "decaf" version say the product represents a "safe-zone" for folks who are sensitive to caffeinated drinks, or who can't have caffeine for some other reason. That being said, one representative told us that caffeine addicts (like yours truly) wouldn't feel the effect of the "decaf" product as well as we would the caffeinated berry and orange flavors. Through our testing we noticed that while the energy was subtlely diminished by the "decaf" version, it still brought our energy level up considerably. For purposes of the above testing, we limited it to the caffeinated versions to not be as effected by our caffeine bias.
We'd recommend that folks that are sensitive to caffeine, but still need the energy try the "decaf" version when it is released to market. Compared to other products, it has the "bang for the buck" that makes 5-Hour a winner in our book, even if it contains only the caffeine of half a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
What's Our Conclusion?
In essence, 5-Hour Energy is a product with the sole purpose to energize without feeling jittery, and it succeeded with flying colors in our tests. While it's not the tastiest shot to chug, it truly succeeded at the "bang for buck" argument, which is very impressive. We were constantly energized over the 5 hours promised by the product, and didn't notice any of the same side effects we experiences with other drinks. We'll definitely be putting 5-Hour Energy on our "to buy" list the next time we need an energy fix!