Oregon, Washington and Vermont sued the makers of 5-Hour Energy on Thursday for allegedly deceptive and misleading advertising, and said similar suits will follow in other states in the coming weeks.
In its lawsuit, Oregon said advertising for 5-Hour Energy claimed the drink contained a unique combination of ingredients to boost energy, whereas its only effective ingredient was a concentrated dose of caffeine.
The lawsuit also said consumers had been misled with claims that the drink would not cause them to experience a "crash" like the one that typically follows a caffeine high, and that it had been recommended by doctors.
I've only had a 5-Hour Energy once in my life. I flew on a redeye from Seattle to Maine and didn't sleep a wink. I went right from the Portland International Jetport to a large family reunion full of relatives I hadn't seen in years. I was deliriously tired, and so I risked a few bucks on a bottle of 5-Hour Energy and downed it in the car on the way to the reunion. I have to say it worked—soon after drinking it, I was alert and awake, in a very non-jittery way. And then, almost exactly five hours after I drank it, I fell into one of the hardest, deepest sleeps of my life. Say what you will about all those other claims, but the "5-Hour" part of the advertising was eerily true in my experience.