Vermont, Washington, and Oregon are suing Living Essentials, the maker of 5-Hour Energy, a popular product that sells millions of units a week. The small bottles contain a highly concentrated dose of caffeine, along with a few other ingredients:
Energy Blend: Taurine, Glucuronolactone, Malic Acid, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, L-Phenylalanine, Caffeine, Citicoline.
Other Ingredients: Purified Water, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sucralose, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate and EDTA (to Protect Freshness).
The bottle is tiny, containing only 2 ounces of fluid (compared to a standard 8 fluid ounce cup). It only has 4 calories because this product is sweetened artificially with sucralose.
Back to the lawsuit. The three states claim that Living Essentials is deceiving consumers with its marketing claims. There is no scientifically sound evidence that 5-hour’s “unique combination of ingredients to boost energy” actually works.
Like many other processed products that are supposed to make us healthier, thinner, sexier, smarter, AND more alert, there is unfortunately not enough evidence to support their claimed benefits. These products are targeted at young people who don’t always exercise proper judgment. And at older people who are looking for a panacea that does not exist.
Products like 5-hour energy are supported by huge marketing budgets because they command a huge profit margin. After all they’re mostly water, sugar or fake alternatives, and a mix of cheap vitamins and caffeine.
Instead of getting kids to eat more vegetables and fruits, which actually can improve health, our warped food culture convinces them to consume more crap. Imagine what a $100 million TV ad campaign would do for cauliflower.