Crunch time at work? Bad week at school? If coffee isn’t your thing, then an energy drink could be a good alternative for you.
We can sit and listen to all the talk about how too much caffeine and sugar are bad. But hearing these probably won’t change the fact that sugar and caffeine are occasionally necessary.
If you’ve ever heard of NOS or its reputation as a high-performance energy drink, then you’ve definitely asked yourself these at some point:
- How much of this can I drink every day?
- Can I get the energy without sugar and caffeine?
The short answer is: You can drink up to half a can of NOS Energy daily, but more than that would be a health risk.
NOS is loaded with sugar, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. A single can contains far more than the recommended intake. So drinking a whole can every day will undeniably end badly after a while.
But if you can drink through the can in small portions, you can get your sugar and caffeine fix without overloading on anything.
And if you’re looking for more information, well read on to find out.
NOS Energy Drink Nutrition Facts
A nutrition label is a table that displays the information you need to get nutritional advice. The values for most minerals are given either in grams (g) or in percent daily value (%DV).
%DV is the per cent of your daily need for a mineral you can find in a product.
This gives you an idea of how much of anything (vitamins and nutrients) you’re consuming with what you eat and drink.
For example: if the nutrition facts say that sodium is present at 9 %DV, then the product fulfills 9% of your need for sodium upon consumption.
However, not all items on the list appear in %DV.
Some appear only in grams, while others only appear in %DV. The reason for this can be that there are no established guidelines for optimal consumption for that item.
Nutrition labels also have recommended serving sizes. Always check the label before drinking. This also applies when taking food, supplements, and other alternative medication.
Here’s a quick look of the nutrition facts that can be found at the back of a NOS energy can:
|Amount per can (16 fl.oz)
For further reference, here’s an actual photo of the nutrition facts stated on every NOS Energy can:
If you would like more information on what you’re really getting nutritionally out of a can of NOS, read through the article I’ve written on NOS Energy Nutrition Facts, for an in-depth look.
Sugar in NOS
16 fl.oz of NOS has 53g of sugar.
53g is well over the recommended sugar intake for both men and women. That’s 36g for men (9 teaspoons) and 25g for women (6 teaspoons).
This means drinking a full can per day can put you at risk, which include:
- Weight gain
- Increased risk for heart disease
- Increased risk of Type-2 Diabetes
- Hastened cellular aging
- Sugar crash
In theory, getting only half of the 53g would be a smarter choice.
Sugar per serving is 27g, less than the sugar content in other energy drinks. Although this is the case, that might still be too much depending on what else you eat and whether you’re male or female.
Vitamins in NOS
A 16 fl.oz of NOS gives you 200% of what you need for both vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12.
Both vitamins are essential to metabolism and provide great benefits when taken regularly.
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Improved mood
- Better red blood cells
- Reduced anemia risk
- Better eye health
Benefits of vitamin B12:
- Better mood
- Improved bone health
- Less risk of muscular degeneration
- Prevents loss of neurons in the brain
- Better heart health
- Energy boost
Aside from these, there are other side effects to watch out for like:
- Skin lesions
- Reduced sensitivity to extreme temperatures
In addition, you can also get B12 from other sources like eggs, seafood, and dairy products, which are all very common in your daily diet.
What you can do is to adjust your diet, list down your meals and have a budget for groceries or eating out with family or friends.
If you’re curious about what a diet lacking in Vitamin B12 looks like, check out this short video that shows the symptoms of B12 deficiency. These include but are not limited to:
- a sore and red tongue (glossitis)
- a pale yellow tinge to your skin
- mouth ulcers
- changes in the way that you walk and move around
- pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- disturbed vision
NOS Energy Drink Ingredients
Here’s a list of ingredients found in a can of NOS:
- 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)
Artificial Sweeteners in NOS
NOS has Sucralose and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) together with the usual sugar content.
Artificial sweeteners are common in processed food and can also be used in baking and cooking. They are usually used as a substitute for sugar in food for those who suffer from diabetes or want to lose weight.
Sucralose (also known as Splenda) has a reputation for being 600 times sweeter than sugar. Given that it’s a zero-calorie artificial sweetener, you won’t have to worry about adding any more calories to your food and beverage.
Meanwhile, HFCS is known for being derived from corn starch and has a large amount of fructose (fruit sugar). The amount of fructose vary between formulas, but it’s most commonly between 42 and 55 percent of fructose.
As of the writing, they are both considered safe by the FDA,
So what’s wrong then?
Some studies show that Sucralose might disrupt the balance of your gut bacteria.
Your gut bacteria play a significant role in metabolizing nutrients in your body. It also serves as a barrier against infections, produces vitamin K, and helps in making blood-clotting proteins.
On the other hand, HFCS can increase your chances of fatty liver disease since processing this type of fructose results in more liver fat.
While these scientific facts are true, we’re still uncertain of how much either of these substances is in a can of NOS Energy.
So even though seeing them in the ingredients list isn’t a reason to panic but it’s definitely a reason to be careful.
Caffeine Content in NOS
A 16 fl.oz can of NOS has 160mg of caffeine. So drinking half a can according to the recommended serving size will give you 80mg of caffeine.
Caffeine is important in the potency and effectiveness of NOS Energy, so knowing the caffeine content in any food or beverage you take would be helpful.
The side effects of drinking too much caffeine are:
- Digestive issues
- Muscle breakdown
- High blood pressure
- Frequent urination
Developing insomnia is especially alarming since sleep deprivation can greatly affect your productivity during the day. Slow reaction times, constant fatigue, moodiness are also equally bad.
Don’t get me wrong. Caffeine and its side effects are absolutely things you should keep an eye out for. Too much coffee or any substitute can bring long-term effects on your body. Make sure that you know your limits and do your research when trying out new products.
While caffeine has its negative effects, it also proposes benefits if taken in moderation:
- Improved energy levels
- Better short-term memory
- Better reaction times
- Improved mental ability
If this is what you’re looking for in your caffeine fix, then NOS might be what you need. Based on caffeine content alone, anything from a quarter to a full can (depending on your metabolism) would be enough.
Why Drink NOS?
NOS’ high sugar makes it great for a quick pick-me-up. There’s no denying that it gets the job done.
Put that together with the caffeine, and you’ll definitely be running like a race car.
You can always check the label to know what you’re in for.
There are ways to monitor your caffeine and sugar intake. You can have a digital scale to weigh your products or use Splenda as a sweetener.
In some cases, you can ask for less sugar or get a decaffeinated drink if you’re worried about not being able to sleep. It’s all about being conscious of what you put into your body.
How much energy drink is safe?
If you want to drink energy drinks, don’t drink more than one normal energy drink, or 16 ounces (473 ml), each day, and cut down on other caffeinated beverages as well. There is no safe level of consumption for children, adolescents, pregnant or nursing women, thus they should all stay away from energy drinks.
Excessive energy drinks are a vicious circle of destruction. Your inability to get a good night’s rest is a direct result of the energy drinks you’ve been drinking to perk up in the morning, so you spend the day feeling sluggish in addition to the need for a new boost of energy. Further, the sugar content in energy drinks might lead to addiction and weight gain.
NOS is an energy drink with normal amounts of caffeine but has a lot of sugar, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
A single can of NOS gives you 200% of the vitamins per serving. That doesn’t sound bad the first time you hear it, but it’s far from desirable.
The good news is, the large amounts of vitamins 12 and B6 are less likely to bring health risks.
These vitamins are water-soluble and won’t have adverse effects on the body. Plus, you can immediately get them out of your system by urinating. It would help to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water, as recommended.
Regardless, drinking a whole can every day may cause serious heart and blood vessel problems if you’re not cautious about your diet
This, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t have NOS Energy in your morning routine. With proper exercise and a healthy diet, you can consume any food that you want as long as you know your limits.
You can safely drink a maximum of half a can on NOS (8 fl.oz) in a day.
You’ll also be less likely to consume too much sugar if you cut down to 27g through the serving size. But as mentioned, that might still be too much depending on various factors.
That’s why I’m of the opinion that half of that (4 fl.oz) in a day would be better.
Of course, I’m not a doctor so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Always feel free to consult with them if you have any concerns about drinking NOS and what it might do to your health.