Reviewing 5-Hour Energy: Works but not for people with tastebuds

Team Cbus in Memphis Starbucks
5-Hour Energy is a tiny little shot of energy drink that supposedly gives you energy with no crash and no sugar high. Being a fan of Monster, Rockstar, and Red Bull, I always found 5-Hour Energy‘s claims just a tad suspicious. (Their TV commercials don’t help their credibility either.) I mean, really? 5 hours from 1.93 ounces of Vitamin B and taurine and caffeine? I don’t even think I get 5 hours from a 16-ounce can of Red Bull. How can 1.93 ounces compare?

So, I decided to do a little testing. Now remember, I’m not a scientist and this “experiment” was done on the fly, a few weeks ago. (Or is this a case study? I repeat: I am not a scientist. The only science-y bone in my body is the one that laughs at Schrodinger’s Cat jokes, mainly because it involves cats.) I’m sure your experience will vary – and please share your stories with 5-Hour Energy!

I tried to down my first ever 5-Hour Energy shot a little before 3 pm. I was settling in for an afternoon and evening of work on my laptop. Obviously, I wasn’t planning anything physically strenuous: the most active thing I did during the time period was push my cats off my keyboard (repeatedly). But my work would involve lots of brain activity. So that deserved an energy drink.

You can read the live blog of my experience with 5-Hour Energy, orange flavored, under the cut. In a nutshell: 

  • The taste is horrible, so bad I wanted to scrub my tongue with a brillo pad.
  • My energy levels were high and even for 4 hours before I started feeling noticeably pooped.
  • But I could push myself to a full 7 hours.
  • B+. I would try 5-Hour Energy again – with a chaser of something flavored.
  • Bonus: an empty bottle makes a great cat toy!

Photo credit: chuck-reynolds.


2:53 pm – Little bottle opening makes it difficult to chug. Orange flavor is very artificial, worse than Tang. Tastes a little like how I’d imagine cat pee would taste.

2:53 pm – 3/4 through one bottle – feeling some energy but maybe that’s just because the taste is so disgusting it makes me want to rush to the bathroom and brush my teeth.

2:54 pm – Finished one bottle (1.93 fluid oz). Fighting urge to brush my teeth. Must see what kind of aftertaste this has.

2:54 pm – Cannot stop trying to create saliva in my mouth to wash the taste away. Ugh.

3:01 pm – Very thirsty. Because of 5-Hour Energy or because of other things? Still feel like the orange is coating my tongue. On the other hand, I am quite awake and raring to go, right now. Thanks, gross orange flavor!

3:13 pm – Orange is pretty much gone but I’m still very thirsty.

4:24 pm – Still energetic, still thirsty. Orange taste is completely gone. Will drink some water now.

6:01 pm – Still buzzing and working away happily.

7:04 pm – Feeling a little crash-y. Like I’m tired under the 5-Hour Energy but the 5-Hour Energy will keep me going.

8:22 pm – Definitely coming down a little.

9:22 pm – Going strong but getting a little twitchy/wobbly like i do when I haven’t had enough sugar. But I ate a corned beef sandwich at 4 and half an apple at 6. Will now try eating something else.

9:25 pm – Now eating a slice of honey oat bread with honey nut peanut butter.

9:49 pm – Ate and feel normal. Getting tired. I may be able to sleep soon.

9:56 pm – Yawned for the first time since drinking 5-Hour Energy. I usually start yawning by 7.

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