Between what energy drinks do and what they say they do lies a huge gap in scientific knowledge. This lack of evidence is leading 3 states (Oregon, Washington, and Vermont — with more states expected to follow) to sue Living Essentials, the manufacturer of 5 Hour Energy.
Oregon’s original lawsuit has its basis in the idea that the company has violated Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act by making claims about the products that are “false, misleading and/or unsubstantiated by competent, reliable scientific evidence”. Washington and Vermont filed similar suits on similar grounds.
Several claims are called to issue but the one I find most interesting is whether any ingredient in the drink besides the caffeine is responsible for providing extra energy, focus, and alertness. Caffeine has been found to provide these benefits, although to be more precise, caffeine has the ability to mask fatigue — not necessarily take it away. But the role of 5 Hour Energy’s “unique combination of ingredients to boost energy” has yet to be determined to the satisfaction of the scientific community.
Hopefully, the suit will be a wake-up call to the American public who is spending $750 million dollars a year on energy drinks, making them the fastest growing segment of the $10 billion beverage market. These products aren’t offering anything that couldn’t achieved given a healthy diet and enough sleep.
I think Fooducate said it best:
“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.”
Don’t let your performance rest on marketing claims made by those that can’t backup their claims with research. There’s just no substitute for what a nutritious diet, plenty of water, and enough sleep can do.
Interested in learning more about the suit? Click here!