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Does NOS Energy Drink Actually Work? (Tested)

Whether you’re a racing enthusiast or someone looking for that extra push to get through the day, you’ve definitely heard of NOS.

The NOS energy drink promises high performance that is sure to entice anyone looking for a boost. Very fitting coming from a company that’s been committed to motorsports from its early days. 

It would definitely be worth your penny if it lived up to its reputation, too.

Question is: Does NOS actually work?

A series of NOS Cans.
Flavor Rainbow

For a bit of an intro, NOS is an energy drink known for its high sugar content, giving bursts of energy and focus within a short time. It comes in several different flavors, each with its own sugar levels. As with any energy drink, your mileage may vary regarding how much energy it’ll supply to you specifically.

So, what gives NOS the punch it’s known for, and how is that supposed to give you that extra push?

NOS Energy Drink Nutrition Facts

The average 16 fl.oz serving of NOS has 210 calories per can. That’s average for an energy drink.

NutritionAmount per 8 fl.oz can
Total Fat0%
Sodium200mg (8%)
Total Carb (Sugars)27g (9%)
Vitamin B6100%
Vitamin B12100%
Serving size: 8fl oz/240ml
NOS GT Grape Nutrition label
NOS GT Grape Nutrition Label.

NOS has 10g of caffeine per 1 fluid ounce (fl oz) of energy drink. That means you can expect a 16 fl.oz can like the one pictured to have around 160mg of caffeine.

Since caffeine and sugar are the main ingredients found in an energy drink, we’ll focus on these ingredients when talking about how effective NOS Energy is.

NOS Energy Drink Ingredients

GT Grape Ingredient list
GT Grape Ingredient list

Here’s what’s in the average NOS can:

  • Carbonated Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Citric Acid
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Sodium Hexametaphosphate (Preservative)
  • Taurine
  • Caffeine
  • Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)
  • Sucralose
  • Inositol
  • Calcium Disodium Edta (Preservative)
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
  • Guarana Extract
  • Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)

NOS Energy Drink Calorie Content

At 210 calories per 16 fl.oz, NOS has a pretty averag ecalorie content for an energy drink. This seems to be a safe choice for daily consumption, but the thing to remember here is: energy drinks, in general, are high in calories. 

Most energy drinks are much like soft drinks in that they have over 150 calories per serving. Thankfully, that’s nowhere near the total recommended calorie intake per day, but it’s definitely enough reason to be wary of your daily consumption. 

Imagine this: drinking too much energy drink won’t only result in a caffeine and sugar overdose but can also cause weight gain, which may lead to (or aggravate existing) health problems, too. 

Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. You can still enjoy having your can of NOS Energy so long as you maintain your healthy habits like exercising and watching what you eat.

If you’re conscious about your weight, you can try brands that offer ‘shot’ forms, which has fewer calories and no added sugar. 

How Much Caffeine Is Found In NOS Energy Drink?

Coffee beans
Every college student’s best friend

Among other beverages, caffeine is commonly found in coffee and energy drinks. It’s said to block the effects of adenosine, a hormone tied to sleep, making it a useful companion to keep you awake and alert during the day.

Contrary to what most would think, NOS actually has the normal amount of caffeine in it with 80g per can. However, it’s worth noting that I’m explaining this with a 16 fl.oz serving in mind, so a larger can would definitely contain more.

NOS also has taurine, an amino acid that lowers blood pressure by reducing resistance to blood flow in blood vessel walls, which can also be found in fish.

Although consumption of taurine has many potential health benefits (and found in some medicines), many are still on the fence about taurine as a food additive since there’s comparatively less research about its effects when mixed in energy drinks.

The list above includes guarana also known by its Latin name Paullinia Cupana. It’s a Brazilian fruit that contains many stimulants, making it an important ingredient for a high-performance energy drink like NOS. 

These stimulants include:

  • Caffeine
  • Theophylline 
  • Theobromine

Guarana also has antioxidants like:

  • Tannins
  • Saponins
  • Catechins

Guarana is popular for its healing abilities and has been used by Native Americans of the Amazon for centuries. Being an antioxidant, it helps in prevening blood clots and aid blood flow, which can also be used in treating constipation.

At present, it’s legal to buy and possess guarana in the US but it’s primarily available food supplement you can buy online. 

How Much Sugar is in NOS Energy Drink?

Sugar cubes
Best treat. Better not tell the kids.

NOS Energy has an average 50g of sugar per 16 fl.oz serving, varying between flavors.

To summarize, here’s an overview of the sugar content found in each variant:

Flavor (8.4 fl.oz)Sugar per can (g)
GT Grape54g
Nitro Mango50g
Sonic Sour50g
Power Punch50g
All data taken from the official site

As you can see, NOS is high in sugar; 54g per 16 fl.oz serving is more than twice the recommended daily sugar intake for women(25g or 6 teaspoons) and well above the daily recommended sugar intake for men (36g or 9 teaspoons).

Bang could be a good alternative if you’re looking to limit your sugar intake, but beware — it comes with 300g of caffeine per serving.

That’s very, very close to the recommended level of caffeine consumption for the average adult, which is 400g.

And as mentioned in the video, some flavors such as the cherry variant also have sucralose together with the sugar.

Does NOS Energy Use Artificial Sweeteners?

Not to be confused with sucrose, sucralose is an artificial sweetener that adds to the flavor of foods and beverages without contributing to the calorie or carbohydrate content.

While it might technically be better for you than sugar (and given that NOS Energy already has sugar present, its use in NOS is debatable), there’s definitely been some controversy over the long-term use of artificial sweeteners.

That being said, the FDA has approved the use of sucralose for general use, so as long as you’re not consuming too many foodstuffs with artificial sweeteners in them, you should be good to go

How Long Does It Take For NOS Energy Drink To Kick In?

Based on experience, there could be differences as to how quickly the drinks kick in between flavors due to varying sugar levels. But regardless, the rush should take effect for about 4 to 5 hours per can.

When I tried NOS, I found that some flavors generally take effect for at least an hour. The original and mango flavors took about 10 minutes, while the grape and cherry ones took longer to kick in, around 30 minutes to give a noticeable boost.

Your body’s tolerance for caffeinated beverages and sugar can also affect your reaction to energy drinks, so be aware of how much caffeine and sugar you can actually handle before you wind up with a caffeine-induced headache.

How long does NOS Energy Drink keep you awake?

Caffeine has an approximate four- to six-hour half-life. To put it another way, half of the caffeine you drank in NOS will still be in your system up to six hours later.

Multiple studies have shown that a healthy adult may drink up to 400 mg of caffeine daily without experiencing negative effects. Based on this information, it is recommended that you consume no more than two cans of energy drinks every week.

Are There Health Risks To Drinking NOS?


As mentioned, NOS is very sugary and has loads of caffeine. Although consuming isn’t harmful on its own, it’s important to remember that you should keep the possible side-effects of drinking too much when considering whether an energy drink is worth it.

If not taken moderately, the consequences of consuming too much sugar can result in the following:

  • Weight gain
  • Increased risk for heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cavities
  • Poor sleep

Similarly, too much caffeine can cause:

  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Stomach issues (e.g ulcers)
  • Risk of addiction

It’s important to consider these factors before taking a can of NOS, or any energy drink for that matter.

You should also remember not to mix NOS or any energy drink with alcohol.

There are caffeinated alcohol drinks you can buy in the market but that doesn’t mean you can mix and have fun with coffee and alcohol.

Combining these two can bring great harm to your mental and physical state. This is because the stimulation that comes with caffeine can mask alcohol’s effects as a depressant, causing you to drink more alcohol than you can ever realize.

In practice, this means that consuming them together will inhibit your ability to recognize your own limits and drink way more than you should. That in turn will make you more likely to experience the harm that comes with binge drinking (notably alcohol poisoning) by accident

All-in-all, so long as you’re having NOS in moderation, know your sugar and caffeine limits, and don’t mix it with anything remotely remotely dangerous, it shouldn’t really pose a significant health risk.

Is NOS a good pre-workout?

If used in moderation, NOS might be an effective pre-workout beverage. With its combination of 160mg of caffeine and 54g of sugar, NOS is an effective pre-workout supplement. No doubt the taurine and guarana in NOS will also contribute to the enhancement it provides.

Consume NOS sparingly, and watch how much-added sugar you get from other sources, too. It’s okay to give into your sweet tooth every once in a while; just don’t go crazy.

Is NOS Energy Drink Bad For You?

If taken moderately, NOS Energy can be a good alternative for your morning coffee.

With all contents found in a single can, I wouldn’t blame you for being discouraged. And that’s fine; it can suck to be reminded that not everything you want to drink is good for you.

The thing to remember here is that like everything else, NOS is good on its own —overconsuming, however, may cause health problems in the future.

Think of it like this: having a bar of chocolate or coffee is fine, but taking too much can result in serious health issues such as diabetes or hypertension.

High sugar and caffeine content can seem like a terrible thing in a single drink, but it won’t be harmful if you pair it with a balanced diet and exercise.

For me, the best time to have NOS Energy is at least 30 minutes before you start your day.

Either way, it’s best to consult with your doctor before taking highly caffeinated drinks most especially if you’re diagnosed with an illness or on medication.

For more information on NOS and its various flavors, have a look at the video by TheCaffeineMan below:

Personal Opinion

NOS Energy works, but should be taken in moderation.

It certainly deserves its reputation and is worth a try if you want to get the extra mile in on your exercise. But, I don’t think it’s something you should be incorporating into your daily routine if you really want to stay healthy.

With how loaded NOS is, it’ll see its best use as a boost to your focus while studying, working, or clearing nasty arguments with your boss (just saying).

Taking too much of anything is not good for you. So whatever you do, remember to always prioritize your health over anything else.

Flavor-wise, Personally, I liked the cherry the best. The taste was worth a full 10/10 and it gave me the boost I needed to get through my daily jog. It might have taken a good 20 minutes more than the original did to kick in, but the extra focus and energy were well worth it.

If none of the supposed issues of NOS is a problem for you, then feel free to try out some (if not all) of its flavors, and see if it suits your taste buds.

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