Are NOS Energy Drinks Bad For You?

With life's increasing demands, it seems that more and more of us find ourselves in need of caffeine. Between morning wake-ups, midday slumps, and tiresome workouts, an energy drink feels like a viable solution for a much-needed energy boost. Different energy drinks contain different amounts of caffeine, and those sources of caffeine may vary. Some energy drinks contain chemical additives, while others may be made with more natural ingredients. Since all energy drinks are made differently, it's helpful to know which ones may not be so good for us.

NOS Energy Drink gets the inspiration for its name from a brand of nitrous oxide racing performance products (via Convenience Store News). As a result, the drink is popular among motorsports fans. Following this theme, the product comes in a variety of racing-themed flavors including Sonic Sour, Turbo, Nitro Mango, and Power Punch (via Caffeine Informer). Boasted as a "high performance" energy drink, the product can come in the form of a 16 oz or 24 oz can. According to Caffeine Informer's caffeine ranking system, Nos Energy Drink ranks "very high" in caffeine content, with a standard 16 oz can containing 160 milligrams of caffeine — a downgrade from its previous 260 milligrams of caffeine per can.

NOS may have potentially dangerous side effects

According to LiveStrong, NOS is noted for having some potentially dangerous side effects, particularly if you're prescribed certain medications. Among some of its physical side effects, NOS Energy has carnitine, an amino acid known to cause digestive discomfort and diarrhea. Additionally, the beverage contains large amounts of vitamin B-6, too much of which can cause nerve damage in the extremities and lead to pain, numbness, and difficulty walking. 

According to legal experts at Schmidt & Clark LLP, NOS and other energy drink brands have been under investigation for inducing potentially fatal side effects such as seizures, strokes, heart attacks, and allergic reactions. The legal team cites a case in which teenager Dakota Sailor had a seizure after ingesting two cans of NOS Energy Drink. After he was hospitalized, the doctors determined the teen's high levels of caffeine consumption were likely the cause (via Caffeine Informer).

Caffeine Informer estimates that it would take roughly 45 cans of NOS to put the average person at risk of death, and while it's unlikely anyone is consuming that much, those who are sensitive to caffeine may opt to avoid the beverage altogether.