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Friday, March 2, 2012


In a word, YES!!!  Is it safe?  I am concerned.  I did not intend to write about this energy drink, but yesterday had just read the recent Forbes article on Manoj Bhargava, and, on check-out at Long's (CVS), happened to see a bunch of 5-hour ENERGY bottles at the counter, so, I thought, why not, and bought one, for $3.

I went home and poured the entire contents of the (1.93 fluid ounce) bottle into a glass of sherry and at 5PM took a bath.  First, I should have taken my blood pressure before drinking this concoction, and, after an hour, take another reading.  I did not.  What I did was just before going to sleep at 11PM, 6 hours later, monitored my blood pressure, and was appalled to read 177/83, with a pulse rate of 84.  I did not feel especially energized and was not aware that my blood pressure was so high.  Somehow, though, I did doze off, but must have awakened after half an hour or so.  I could not get back to sleep, and feared the worse, for I was edgy and thought my blood pressure was really, really high.  At 2AM I took another reading, and was comforted to see 134/76, with a pulse rate of 68.  But I could only sleep fitfully.  Perhaps 2-3 hours total.  My readings were:  147/83/53 (0300) 153/91/54 (0500), 166/88/49 (0800), all quite high, and unexpected, for I ate a small cookie with a swig of chocolate milk in between those measurements, which meant I was not particularly hungry, and went to the bathroom.  After a late breakfast, the readings were 146/79/61 (1000) and 136/85/60 (1230), almost normal.

So, yes, this potion does keep you awake if you need to drive or study for a final exam.  I also noticed that my body aches disappeared.  Hmmm, that is not mentioned anywhere.  At this writing, the pain remains largely absent, although it seems to be returning now after 18 hours.  I should be hurting a  lot more because I walked 22 holes at the Ala Wai Golf Course yesterday.

Although I cannot be absolutely sure, I think this energy drink was a shock to my system and almost surely was the cause of this sudden blood pressure jump.  I could do a more thorough repeat, but won't because I don't want to subject my body to another trauma.  If anyone has the capability of measuring your blood pressure, please send me your results.

What is "5-hour ENERGY" and who is Manoj Bhargava?  Let me start with his life.  Bhargava's wealthy parents left India in 1967 so his publisher father could get a PhD in America  They had a poverty-like existence.  Even at 17 he was already an entrepreneur, and was accepted to Princeton.  He dropped out after a year and migrated back to India to join a cult/commune (Hanslok).  Twelve years later he was back with his father's plastic business.  However, at a natural products trade show, he saw an energy drink, and, from all reports, just copied the formula, which became 5-hour ENERGY, and monopolizes 90% of the energy shot business.  There are at least 90 lawsuits pending.

As an aside, this reminds me of another enterprising individual from South Korea.  I think his name is Wang.  It must have been two decades ago when a few of us were visiting Seoul, and he invited us to join him for golf.  We told him we did not have any equipment nor clothes, but he insisted, and told us to purchase or rent what we needed in the clubhouse and charge it to his account.  He was a billionaire, and frankly told us he stole the Japanese formulae for all those pharmaceutical drinks in those small bottles.  He could not be sued by them in Korea.

Back to Bhargava, he claims to be the richest Indian in America, and rivals Vinod Khosla.  They are both billionaires.  He has a couple of new ventures, one with Tommy LaSorda, to increase engine efficiency by 60%, and another related to indoor herb farms.  This LaSorda, incidentally, is not the famous Los Angeles Dodgers baseball coach, but the former Chrysler chief.

About the drink itself?  The bottle says this shot has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, but indicates that one serving provides 150% of Niacin, 2000% of Vitamin B6, 100% of Folic Acid and 8333% of Vitamin B12.  There is an energy blend of assorted chemicals, negligible sodium, no sugar and the caffeine equivalent of a 12 ounce cup of coffee.  On a fluid ounce basis, 5-hour has 69 mg of caffeine, compared to 51 mg from expresso, 9.5 mg from Red Bull and 4.6 mg from Mountain Dew.  However, for a full serving, they are approximately equal in total caffeine.

Apparently, professional athletes like Jim Furyk drink 5-hour, for this is legal.  You can see the logo on his cap.  He gets paid a healthy amount.  It is Kosher and has no animal products.   Me?  That was my first and last time.

There is a happy ending to all this.  I took my blood pressure at 4PM today and measured 144/77/89.  However, after a 45 minute nap, at 5PM, exactly 24 hours after I drank the 5-hour ENERGY liquid, the measurements were 120/68/55.  I DEFINITELY SHOULD TAKE MORE NAPS!

The Dow Jones Industrials slipped 3 to 12,978, with world markets mixed.  Gold fell $7/toz to $1712, while, petroleum is dropping, as the WTI Cushing is at $106/barrel and the Brent Spot at $124/barrel.



cliff mclain said...

I haven't tried 5-hr energy but am in the midst of waste to energy. Intersting "new" chemistry - have formed new company - intersted in getting your comments, possible participation. I don't have your e-mail. You do have mine but I haven't received your blogs lately. Cliff McLain


Nice to hear from you, Cliff. E-mail me at