Is 5-Hour Energy Any Better At Keeping You Awake Than Coffee?

Do you know what 2:30 feels like? The makers of 5-Hour Energy may have made a commercial worthy of a Worst Ad In America nomination, but that hasn’t stopped the pick-me-up from being the top seller in the $800 million/year energy shot market. But our sensible siblings at Consumer Reports Health wanted to find out if the concoction was any better at keeping you awake than a cup of coffee.

The folks at 5-Hour Energy tout a study that claim to demonstrate the drink’s effectiveness at keeping people alert and attentive, but the study has never been published and the company would only show CR Health a copy of a summary that the magazine was not allowed to keep.

There’s also the fact that makers of energy shots aren’t required to prove that their products are safe or effective, as demonstrated in the fine print that reads “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food And Drug Administration.”

As for the non-caffeine ingredients in 5-Hour Energy, CR Health writes, “We found little if any research showing that other ingredients on the label–including B vitamins and amino acids–would give the average person a boost.”

Given that 5-Hour Energy has about as much caffeine as an 8-ounce cup of coffe, if you’re looking to get the most pick-up for your dollar, CR Health says, “You might as well make yourself a cup of coffee, it will cost a lot less than this $3 bottle.”

Can 5-Hour Energy kick your afternoon slump? [Consumer Reports Health]