Three states have filed lawsuits against the makers of the popular energy drink 5-Hour Energy, claiming that the company’s advertising is misleading and deceptive. Oregon, Vermont and Washington are all seeking a permanent injunction on the marketing practices of the drink, in addition to seeking civil penalties and restitution to consumers. The suit alleges that consumers of 5-Hour Energy were mislead by claims that they would not experience the typical post-caffeine crash, and that the drink was safe for adolescents. The lawsuits come after an investigation launched in 2012 by 33 states into the various claims made by the 5-Hour Energy’s advertising. It seems that, while Michigan-based manufacturer Living Essentials and its parent company Innovation Ventures claim that a unique combination of B vitamins, amino acids, and caffeine give the drink its noted power, the “energy” in five hour energy in fact comes almost exclusively from its monster dose of caffeine.
But how much caffeine exactly? While 5-Hour Energy does not list its caffeine content, independent reports by Consumer Reports and the Center for Science in the Public Interest find that the drink contains somewhere from 207 to 215 milligrams of caffeine. That’s about 100 grams per fluid ounce in the standard two-ounce bottle–about on par with an espresso. So while the false advertising suits develop, it’s unlikely consumers will be scared away by the threat to their health. 5-Hour Energy has been on the market since 2004, and as of two years ago, 5-Hour Energy was estimated to have 90% of the energy shot market.