The daily grind is brutal. That’s something we all struggle with every day.
Being a student and a professional means meeting a long list of requirements with barely enough time to breathe.
A dose of caffeine can do wonders for productivity. For some people, however, it’s the difference between a good morning and a bad one.
Should that daily dose include taking an energy drink?
The short answer is no. There are pros and cons when it comes to taking a can of NOS. It might look harmless, but NOS Energy is still a highly caffeinated drink that contains very high sugar. Drinking NOS every day can put your health at risk if you’re not cautious.
It’s kind of complicated, but I hope this will help you understand some of the repercussions that come with drinking too much energy drink.
What are the Ingredients in NOS?
Here’s a list of ingredients you can find in the average NOS Energy can:
- Carbonated Water
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Citric Acid
- Natural Flavors
- Sodium Citrate
- Sodium Hexametaphosphate (Preservative)
- Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)
- Caramel Color
- Calcium Disodium Edta (Preservative)
- Red 40
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
- Guarana Extract
- Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
What Will Happen If I Drink NOS Every Day?
Though they taste nothing like coffee, energy drinks like NOS still have caffeine in them, which can bring a diuretic effect, increasing the salt and water in your body.
Besides dehydration, there are many other predicaments to drinking too much caffeine, whether it’s through an energy drink or cups of coffee.
What’s hard to figure out is how much it takes for the average person to reach that point given that not all people are the same — everyone has a different tolerance level.
The half-life of caffeine in the body varies between 1.5 to 9.5 hours, meaning it can take anywhere between 1.5 to 9.5 hours for the amount of caffeine in your bloodstream to drop by half.
All the more reason to keep an eye out for the symptoms.
Signs of Caffeine Overdose
- Increased Thirst
Another thing to note is the possibility of caffeine withdrawal, which occurs when you suddenly stop drinking coffee. It has similar symptoms to overdose, but it’s surely preventable.
Of all the consequences of caffeine overdose, insomnia deserves to be mentioned as it impacts both physical and mental health.
In other words, insomnia is when a person has a difficult time sleeping. The way it manifests varies from person to person. It can occur for short periods of time or as a long-lasting (chronic) condition.
Oftentimes, the people who experience are:
- People over 60 years old
- People with mental health disorders or physical health conditions that need medication
- People who are under a lot of stress
- People who don’t have a regular schedule
Why it happens also varies between patients. Sometimes, it’s a result of a medication or a physical (or mental) illness (secondary insomnia). And there are times that it’s not linked to any other condition of the person at all (primary insomnia).
For primary insomnia, experts have identified common causes to include stress, jet lag, or being in an uncomfortable environment.
Secondary insomnia is usually caused by mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you drink too much caffeine from any source, this is the kind of insomnia you can expect to wind up with.
It’s not surprising considering how caffeine blocks adenosine, which is a sleep-promoting chemical in the brain that’s produced during your waking hours.
How is this bad?
Well, people who have insomnia may experience one or a few of the following:
- Fatigue during the day
- Problems with learning
- Impaired problem-solving
- Trouble regulating emotions
- Sloppy concentration
- Slower reaction time
- Exacerbated issues with anxiety, depression, etc.
- Increased risk or severity of long-term health problems
Hence, everything you don’t want to be experiencing when at work or school.
If you’re not careful, relying too much on caffeine products like NOS can lock you into a cycle wherein the caffeine causes sleep deprivation, which in turn might cause you to drink more in order to keep up with your daily demands.
It can be difficult to deal with insomnia but it’s something you can prevent yourself by starting with the following:
- Keeping a consistent schedule
- Being mindful of your coffee and energy drink intake
- Check your medications
- Avoid napping
- Avoid large meals near bedtime
- Make your bedroom as comfortable as possible
Just like anything, it would be a disaster when taken in excess. But it can be a great boost to your productivity if taken in moderation.
You’re probably tired of hearing your doctor tell you to lessen your sugar intake.
Overdosing on sugar means your liver has to convert excess sugar into fat. Simply put, it’s the process that eventually leads to insulin resistance, or in more colloquial terms: diabetes.
Here are signs you’re eating too much sugar:
- Low Energy
- Low Mood
- Bloating (particularly if you have a digestive condition)
- Poor Skin Health
- High Blood Pressure
- Weight Gain
And that’s not even all the bad that can come from overdoing sugar.
Sugar overdose comes with a whole lot of other consequences when keeping track of your diet.
Other consequences of sugar overdose include:
- Tooth decay
- Cardiovascular Disease
- High Blood Pressure
It’s also important to remember that simply decreasing your sugar intake won’t be enough to avoid all these consequences. You also need to mind how much sugar is in what you eat and drink.
NOS has 54g of sugar in a 16 fl. oz can. Drinking twice of this daily will definitely raise your chances of acquiring diseases in the future.
Pros and Cons of Drinking NOS
Health experts might have given energy drinks like NOS Energy a bad reputation for being having loads of caffeine and sugar. But you have to admit—they’re popular for a reason.
Improved Brain Function
Studies confirm that NOS Energy can increase focus and brain activity. It’s not surprising since sugar or glucose plays a big role in the brain’s functions. That’s why many students (and office workers) make energy drinks part of their daily routine.
This could also be an effect of taurine. While we usually talk about taurine in the context of its similarities to caffeine, it’s also important to the function of the brain. It plays a role in neurotransmission, and taurine supplementation can also help with developing long-term memory.
Can NOS Energy Help Me Stay Awake?
At some point, everyone still tries to get up and do something even if they’re tired. So with the help of an energy drink, they can manage to go through the day despite feeling sleepy and tired.
There have been studies on drivers who have gone on long trips and had energy drinks to keep them alert and combat sleepiness. This allowed them to stay awake while on the road.
Interestingly, the study also mentions that one of the reasons why people drink energy drinks in lieu of coffee is because the amount of caffeine in a single cup can vary a lot.
In contrast, functional energy drinks (FEDs) have their caffeine content and other ingredients listed at the back of the can. That means consumers are made aware of its content per can, which could help in their consumption.
How Much NOS Can You Drink Every Day?
Unfortunately, as much as the facts above can appear discouraging, they remain to get more appeal, especially to athletes.
So, what then?
Though sources everywhere will tell you to avoid drinking energy drinks too often, Healthline recommends that if you choose to drink regularly, you should limit your intake to 15 fl. oz a day. However, you can only do so if you limit your intake of sugar and caffeine to balance things out and avoid potential overdose.
That means you can drink up to 1 can of NOS Energy a day, as long as you know your limits.
In my opinion, drinking NOS every day is not advisable.
Even though there are ways of pulling it off and coming out of it just fine, the risks aren’t worth it. Watching yourself might be the key to success here, but there are other ways that can go wrong because of how sugar and caffeine are often used in our food and drinks.
Of course, you’ll be better off consulting with your doctor as far as your individual needs are concerned, more so if you’re diagnosed with a sickness or disease.
Responsible Energy Drink Consumption
As the common saying goes, everything should be taken in moderation.
To help you out, here are some tips I think would be useful when it comes to managing your consumption habits.
- Know your sources of caffeine and sugar – It’s not just candy, coffee, and energy drinks that have caffeine and sugar. Caffeine is also present in sodas, tea, and chocolate. Likewise, sugar is also found in honey, maple syrup, and fruit juice.
- Keep the recommended consumption of caffeine and sugar in mind – According to Mayoclinic, up to 400mg of caffeine, a day (4 cups of coffee) is safe to consume for the average adult. Assuming you’re only drinking NOS, that’s 2 cans. For sugar, the American Heart Association recommends that sugar intake be limited to 36g (9 teaspoons) for men and 25g (6 teaspoons for women).
- Sleep well – The easiest way to make sure you have enough energy for most of the day. It might not be possible for some, but simply taking your chances for a good rest whenever possible should do a lot to reduce your need for caffeine and sugar.
- Keep a balanced diet – know your limits and don’t overeat.
Not Good for Children and Adolescents
It’s a sad truth that not everyone should consume energy drinks. NOS Energy’s high sugar and caffeine content might be great for those who can handle it, but children, teenagers, and pregnant women aren’t supposed to drink at all.
A can or a bottle of an energy drink could have as much as 500 mg of caffeine, which is equal to about 14 cans of soda — [so] way higher than you want to have a child.
Drinking NOS if you’re from any of the groups abovementioned can mean a greater chance of being met with negative consequences such as neuro and heart problems.