Desserts & Ice Creams

5-HOUR ENERGY!!!!!!!!!!!

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Like the title? It’s supposed to signify my “five hour energy rush”  . But no, I did not take one of these. I get my energy from food….and caffeine.

Nick and I had Mark and Nicole over for dinner about a month ago. After finishing our meal Nicole’s husband, Mark, pulled one of these out of his pocket:

 

He wasn’t going to take it, he was just showing it to us because he knew it would get a rise out of Nicole and I. He was right, it caused quite the conversation! We talked about some pros and cons, and the next week Mark even posted about this product on Nicole’s blog. You can read his post here.

I thought he did a great job, but like I said in my comment to him, he missed a few key points (only a dietitian would write a follow-up post!). Here are some things he could have added:

1) While there is a warning to NOT EXCEED TWO BOTTLES DAILY, I would be willing to bet many people do. This is a huge problem. It’s not that there is a lot of caffeine in this product, because there isn’t, but the problem is the excess of vitamin B6 (and in my opinion, folic acid).

Many energy supplements supply huge doses of the B-vitamins, including B6 and sometimes folic acid, and this one is no different. Out of all of the B-vitamins the ones about which you should be cautious are B6 and folic acid (B9).

So 1 bottle provides 40 mg B6. The Upper Limit (the amount you should not exceed due to the possibility of side effects, such as neuropathy in the case of B6 excess) is 100mg. The Office of Dietary Supplements explains this in a bit more detail. So if you are really sticking to the one bottle, I suppose you would be ok, but do you think there are people out there taking two of these a day? Definitely. This adds up to 80mg B6. Not good because it’s close to the 100 mg upper limit. Take another one and you’ve exceeded it!

This is not to mention the 400mg of folic acid in one bottle, which is a dose I would NEVER exceed (I have read research about cancer risks with higher doses).

2) This product contains another B-vitamin called niacin. We need about 14-18 mg of niacin per day and this product contains about 30mg in one bottle. According to the Natural Standards Database, the recommended supplemental dosage is 15-35 mg. And what do studies show it may help with? Pallegra and cholesterol reduction. What about energy? Nope, not a thing about that. So what’s the point?! Niacin has many side-effects too, including flushing of the skin, so watch out for that.

The extra strength version of this product has more Niacin and ~40 mg more caffeine. Seriously, watch out for flushing if you take the extra strength!

3) The commercial for this product is ridiculous, but the marketing team who put it together deserves a bonus! The commercial conveys the idea that in each bottle of 5-Hour Energy you are consuming nutrients equivalent to broccoli, avocado, and banana. Wow, wouldn’t that be nice?! Personally I would much rather eat the real fruits and veggies, but other people see this commercial and think, “this is great! I don’t have to eat those foods but I can gain the benefits just by taking one of these!!” Fabulous. Little do they know this bottle is simply a bunch of manufactured vitamins and minerals. The product lacks the fiber and the array of phytonutrients, which are present in whole fruits and veggies, and which work symbiotically to provide the benefits to the host (us).

BOTTOM LINE: If you take this product, stick with 1/2-1 bottle. Never take more than one bottle, in my opinion, especially if you are taking a multivitamin in addition!

Just a quick holiday update. Nick and I finished our decorating on Monday. We did white lights on the outside (not the best picture, but I swear it looks pretty neat!).

And we used colored lights on our tree. The lights actually flash but I think it’s so tacky when lights flash (no offense to anyone who loves flashing lights….) so we keep them locked so they don’t flash.

The only thing left to do this month, other than gift wrapping, is to make 7 loaves of my “famous” pepperoni bread. Today I made peppermint chocolate ice cream, which I will post soon.

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