5 Hour Energy: Like Coffee, But More Annoying

5 Hour Energy / Fair Use

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

It seems I can’t enjoy my “Cake Boss” or “Say Yes to the Dress” without being annoyed by endless commercials for 5 Hour Energy. The commercials are so low in production value, and so high in performances by smug actors, that they’ve been nominated as “Worst Ad in America.” 5 Hour Energy lost that honor to the “Wow! That’s a Low Price!” commercial from Staples, but won 28% of the vote for “Most Grating Performance by a Human.”

Not only are the actors grating, the commercials themselves are just plain stupid. Really? You’re too lazy to make a cup of coffee? You can’t spend $1.50 or wait in line for 5 minutes? As the makers of 5 Hour Energy see it, if you are too much of a sad sack to drink/buy/brew coffee you should buy… wait for it… 5 Hour Energy! Think about it: if you drank five 5 Hour Energys a day, you’d have energy for 25 straight hours! Awesome! Especially if you have to stay awake for long periods of time, like a first-year resident or long-haul trucker.

But 5 Hour Energy has left the trucker market behind and is instead targeting office-workers who lack the time to pour hot water through ground beans. The problem is, 5 Hour Energy doesn’t even do what it claims, which is perform better than coffee at keeping people awake due to extra ingredients like taurine. Consumer Reports did an investigation and found that 5 Hour Energy has slightly more caffeine than the average cup of coffee, 207 milligrams. For comparison, an 8oz cup of Starbucks contains 180 milligrams of caffeine. But, Consumer Reports said, “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.” I’ve made a little chart, below, comparing coffee to 5 Hour Energy. Also below, a video of one of their insipid ads. Enjoy!

                              Coffee                                    5 Hour Energy

Caffeine                  180mg/8 oz                             207mg/2 oz

Sugar                      None                                      None

Flavoring                 None                                       Assorted (e.g. berry, lemon)

Calories                   2                                              4

Cost                       around $1.50                            around $3

 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate