A cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine. A two-ounce shot of 5-hour Energy has about 250 milligrams of caffeine. We’re certainly not going to say definitively that 5-hour Energy is the cause of the 13 deaths it’s been cited for over the last four years. But we will say that that is an awful lot of caffeine.
Keep in mind that just because reports are filed, that doesn’t mean the case is closed. It does mean, however, that a product is being investigated as a possible factor or cause of negative health effects. And since 2009, 90 complaints have been filed against the “energy shot,” including 13 involving death and 30 for very serious health problems — like heart attacks, and in one case, spontaneous abortion.
5-hour Energy is not the only energy drink facing questions about its safety, but it has had a lot of complaints compared to other drinks. Maybe once the dust from these cases has settled, they can do the same thing with 5-hour Energy that they did with the late lamented Four Loko: turn it all into ethanol.
Caffeinated Drink Cited in Reports of 13 Deaths, New York Times.