5 Hour Energy: Like Coffee, But More Annoying

5 Hour Energy / Fair Use

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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

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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