NOS Energy Drink Flavors, Ingredients, Benefits & Potential Side Effects

In a Nutshell:

  • NOS Energy Drinks is a beverage brand owned by Monster Beverage, with edgy marketing targeting athletes and gamers.
  • NOS energy drinks contain caffeine, taurine, guarana, B vitamins and other ingredients to provide an energy boost.
  • Benefits include increased alertness, focus, and physical performance, though effects may be temporary.
  • NOS Original has 54g sugar per 16oz can. A sugar-free version is also available.
  • NOS offers many flavors like Grape, Cherry, Citrus, Mango Nitro, and limited editions.
  • While considered vegan, NOS contains artificial colors and sweeteners some vegans may avoid.
  • Potential side effects include jitters, blood sugar spikes, nerve damage, diarrhea, and amplified caffeine effects.

What is NOS Energy Drink?

NOS is an energy drink brand that was first launched in 2005 by Fuze Beverage. In 2007, Fuze Beverage was acquired by Coca-Cola, which then managed the NOS brand. In 2015, Coca-Cola transferred NOS to Monster Beverage as part of a strategic partnership.

NOS energy drink is marketed as a performance energy drink that can provide an energy boost to enhance both physical and mental performance. It contains a blend of caffeine, taurine, guarana extract, and B vitamins. Some of the key features of NOS energy drink include:

  • Packaged in 16oz and 24oz cans with bold, eye-catching graphics and colors.
  • Caffeine content of around 160mg per 16oz can.
  • Proprietary “CMPLX6” energy blend.
  • Variety of flavors like Original, Grape, Cherry, Citrus, and more.
  • Associations with motorsports and athletes for marketing.
  • Slogans like “NOS Powers Performance”.

The name NOS is licensed from Holley Performance Products and designed to evoke associations with nitrous oxide systems used to boost performance in racing cars. Overall, NOS energy drink is positioned as a edgy, high-performance energy drink brand.

What are the Benefits of Drinking NOS Energy Drink?

There are several purported benefits to drinking NOS energy drinks:

  • Energy boost: The caffeine content in NOS can provide a jolt of energy and help combat fatigue and drowsiness. Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain which promotes wakefulness.
  • Enhanced focus and concentration: Caffeine in NOS can stimulate the central nervous system leading to increased alertness, focus, and concentration. This can help with tasks requiring sustained attention.
  • Improved physical performance: Studies have shown that caffeine can enhance physical performance by reducing perceived exertion and pain during exercise. NOS is marketed as able to boost strength, endurance, and workout performance.
  • Hydration: While not a substitute for water, NOS provides hydration from its liquid content. This can help prevent dehydration especially during prolonged physical activity.
  • Vitamins: NOS contains B vitamins including B3, B6, and B12. These support energy production and reduction of fatigue.

However, the ergogenic effects of energy drinks depend on the individual and are affected by tolerance levels. The benefits are likely temporary and moderate at best.

Who Should Drink NOS Energy Drink?

NOS energy drink is marketed primarily towards teenagers, athletes, gamers, and other active individuals looking for an energy boost. Some specific groups that may benefit from drinking NOS in moderation include:

  • Athletes: The caffeine in NOS can enhance physical performance for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The boost in energy can help push through tough workouts and competitions.
  • Gamers: NOS energy drink provides sustained energy and focus which can benefit gamers during long gaming sessions requiring concentration and quick reflexes.
  • Students: The mental alertness from NOS can help students combat drowsiness and remain focused during study sessions or exam cramming.
  • Shift workers: For those working long or irregular shifts, NOS can provide an energy boost to get through late nights or early mornings.
  • Drivers: The caffeine in NOS can help counteract drowsiness during long drives or commutes. However, moderation is key for safety.

However, NOS energy drinks may not be suitable for some individuals including:

  • Children or adolescents: NOS is not recommended for those under 18 years old due to its caffeine content, as well as added sugars and vitamins that may exceed daily needs.
  • Pregnant women: Caffeine intake should be limited during pregnancy, so NOS is not advised for expecting mothers.
  • Caffeine-sensitive individuals: Those who experience jitters, anxiety, or heart palpitations from caffeine may want to avoid NOS due to its high caffeine content.

Moderation is key, even among the target demographics. It’s important to be aware of your personal caffeine tolerance and sensitivity.

The Many Flavors of NOS Energy Drinks

Over the years, NOS has released numerous unique and innovative flavors to keep their fans energized. Here is a complete guide to all the NOS energy drink flavors that have been produced so far.


The OG NOS energy drink that started it all. NOS Original packs a punch with its tropical citrus, mango, and passionfruit flavor. It contains the brand’s proprietary CMPLX 6 energy blend to provide sustained energy and focus. NOS Original has 160mg of caffeine per 16oz can.

Original Zero Sugar

A sugar-free version of the classic NOS flavor. It has the same great taste but without any of the sugar. Sweetened with sucralose and ace-K, Original Zero Sugar is a solid option for those looking to limit their sugar intake. It provides the same energy boost as the original with 160mg of caffeine per can.

GT Grape

A grape flavor that will bring you back to your childhood. The sweet concord grape taste is reminiscent of grape soda but with the added benefit of vitamins, caffeine, and other energy boosting ingredients. GT Grape is a nostalgic and delicious energy drink choice.


NOS Cherry delivers a blast of classic cherry flavor. It’s sweeter than the original NOS but still has that underlying citrus taste. The combination of cherry and citrus provides a fruit-filled flavor explosion that will perk you up.

Charged Citrus

As the name suggests, Charged Citrus packs a citrusy punch. It has a bright, tart citrus flavor with notes of lemon, lime, and orange. This crisp and refreshing flavor will get your senses going. The added caffeine provides even more of a boost.

Sonic Sour

NOS Sonic Sour has an intense sour apple candy flavor. It will make your lips pucker with its tart green apple taste. The sour flavor is balanced out by a hint of sweetness. If you like sour candy, this is the energy drink for you. The combination of sour flavor and caffeine is sure to shock your system awake.

Nitro Mango

A tropical mango flavor fused with a nitrous hit. NOS Nitro Mango has a sweet mango taste followed by a surge of nitrous flavor. It’s like eating mango candy then suddenly inhaling a whipped cream charger. The nitrous adds a cooling effect and carbonation to liven up the flavor even more. A unique mango energy drink experience.

Rowdy Punch

Rowdy Punch combines fruit punch flavor with a blackberry aftertaste. It starts sweet and ends with a bit of tart berry flavor. This punchy flavor combo gives you a one-two punch of energy. Rowdy Punch was created in partnership with NASCAR driver Kyle Busch a.k.a “Rowdy”.

Power Punch

Power Punch blasts your taste buds with a mix of fruit flavors like pineapple, orange, lemon, and berry. It’s a tropical fruit cocktail in energy drink form. The combination of juices awakens your senses and gives you an instant energy boost.

Seasonal and Limited Edition Flavors of NOS Energy Drinks

While most NOS flavors like Original, Grape, and Cherry are available year-round, the brand has put out special seasonal editions as well as limited batch flavors over the years. These unique flavors give NOS drinkers something different to look forward to.

Seasonal Flavors

To coincide with the winter holiday season, NOS has put out special seasonal flavors:

NOS Holiday Brew – Released for the 2016 holiday season, Holiday Brew combined the taste of egg nog with NOS energy. It had a creamy, nutmeg-accented flavor profile.

NOS Chill – Hitting shelves in winter 2017, NOS Chill had a frosty peppermint flavor with icy menthol notes to give drinkers a cooling sensation. It was a festive flavor for the Christmas season.

NOS Holiday Grape – For Christmas 2018, NOS launched a holiday rendition of their popular Grape flavor. Holiday Grape had extra cinnamon spice added to give it a seasonal twist.

NOS Gingerbread – Arriving in late 2019, NOS Gingerbread tasted like freshly baked gingerbread cookies. It had robust ginger and cinnamon flavors with a hint of molasses.

Limited Edition Flavors

In addition to seasonal editions, NOS has also produced limited batch flavors that are only available for a short time:

NOS Active Orange – Released in 2016 for a 12-week run, Active Orange had a bright, citrusy orange flavor. It was exclusive to Circle K convenience stores.

NOS Solar Flare – Unleashed in summer 2017, Solar Flare combined orange, pineapple, and coconut for a tropical fruit fusion. It was promoted with a fiery graphics campaign.

NOS Rowdy Punch – Created in collaboration with NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, Rowdy Punch was a fruit punch and blackberry flavor. It was released briefly in 2018.

NOS Power Punch – Available for a limited time in 2019, Power Punch was a blend of pineapple, orange, lemon, and mixed berry flavors.

NOS GTx – In 2020, NOS launched a limited edition Grape flavor called GTx that had double the caffeine (320mg per can). It provided an extra strong energy kick.

The Key Ingredients in NOS Energy Drink

NOS energy drink contains a blend of ingredients that work together to provide a boost of energy and mental focus. Here are the key ingredients:

  • Caffeine: The primary active ingredient in NOS is caffeine. Each 16 oz can contains 160 mg of caffeine, which is approximately the amount in two cups of coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant that blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, reducing fatigue and enhancing alertness and concentration.
  • Taurine: An amino acid that is thought to amplify the effects of caffeine. Taurine may also have antioxidant properties.
  • Guarana: A plant native to South America that contains caffeine and related stimulants. Guarana seeds have up to three times more caffeine than coffee beans.
  • B Vitamins: NOS contains high levels of B vitamins, including B3, B5, B6, and B12. B vitamins are essential for converting food into cellular energy.
  • Glucuronolactone: A naturally occurring compound that may provide a mild energy boost. There is limited research on its effects in energy drinks.

How the Ingredients Provide Energy and Focus

The combination of caffeine, guarana, and glucuronolactone in NOS provides the primary energy-boosting effects. Caffeine is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, blocking adenosine receptors and promoting the release of adrenaline, dopamine, and noradrenaline. This provides a boost in alertness, reaction time, and concentration.

Guarana provides additional caffeine along with related stimulants like theobromine. The added caffeine from guarana prolongs the energizing effects.

Taurine and B vitamins play a supporting role in energy provision. Taurine may enhance the effects of caffeine, while B vitamins help convert caffeine and sugar into cellular energy.

Together, these ingredients provide both rapid and sustained energy and focus. The caffeine in NOS delivers an immediate stimulant effect, while ingredients like guarana provide longer-lasting energy.

Potential Side Effects of NOS Ingredients

Some of its ingredients may cause side effects in sensitive individuals, especially when consumed in excess:

  • Caffeine: Jitters, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, rapid heartbeat, and adrenal fatigue from caffeine withdrawal.
  • Sugar: 54g per can may cause blood sugar spikes and crashes leading to fatigue and irritability.
  • B Vitamins: Excess B6 can cause nerve damage, numbness, and impaired motor function.
  • Taurine: High doses may cause diarrhea, nausea, irritability, and muscle cramps.
  • Guarana: Large amounts may amplify caffeine side effects like insomnia, anxiety, and irritability.

To reduce the risk of side effects, limit consumption to 1 can per day and avoid co-consumption with other caffeinated beverages. Those with heart conditions or anxiety disorders should exercise particular caution with energy drinks like NOS.

How Many Calories, Sugar, and Caffeine Does NOS Energy Drink Contain?

NOS Energy Drink contains around 210 calories and 54g of sugar per 16oz can. The caffeine content is 160mg per 16oz can.

So in a typical 16oz can of NOS Energy Drink you get:

  • 210 calories
  • 54g sugar
  • 160mg caffeine

The caffeine provides an energy boost while the sugar adds sweetness and flavor. However, the high sugar content means NOS Energy Drink is not the healthiest beverage choice. Consuming too much added sugar can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other health issues. Moderation is key when drinking NOS Energy or other sugary drinks.

Is NOS Energy Drink Sugar-Free?

NOS Energy Drink does have a sugar-free version available. The sugar-free NOS Energy Drink is sweetened with sucralose and ace-k instead of high fructose corn syrup.

The sugar-free version has 0g of sugar and 0 calories while still providing the same 160mg caffeine kick per 16oz can. This makes it a better choice for those watching their sugar intake.

However, the sugar-free version still contains artificial sweeteners which some people prefer to avoid. And it lacks the vitamins and other ingredients contained in the original NOS Energy Drink recipe.

Is NOS Energy Drink Vegan?

Yes, NOS Energy Drink is considered vegan. The company has confirmed that no animal products or byproducts are used in making NOS Energy Drink.

While not certified vegan, NOS Energy Drink does not contain any overt animal-derived ingredients. The taurine is synthetically produced and the vitamin B12 is likely from a vegan source.

Some strict vegans may take issue with certain ingredients like artificial colors or “natural flavors” in NOS Energy Drink. But the drink passes the criteria for most vegans. Those following a plant-based diet for health reasons can comfortably consume NOS Energy Drink.

Where Can You Find NOS Energy Drinks Worldwide?

NOS Energy drinks are distributed globally by Monster Beverage Corporation. The details on its availability are as follows:

Availability in the United States

NOS Energy drinks are widely available across the United States. They can be found in most convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, and mass retail outlets. Major chains that sell NOS Energy nationwide include 7-Eleven, Circle K, Wawa, Sheetz, Kroger, Walmart, and Target.

NOS Energy is also available for purchase online from retailers like Amazon,, and energy drink websites. The main NOS Energy website has a store locator to help find NOS near you by entering a zip code.

International Availability

According to Monster Beverage’s website, they sell products in approximately 140 countries and territories around the world.

Some of the major international markets where NOS Energy can be found include:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Europe – including UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany
  • Australia
  • South Africa
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Philippines

The international availability varies by region and country depending on Monster Beverage’s distribution agreements with local bottlers and retailers. NOS Energy may have more limited distribution in some markets compared to the leading Monster Energy brand.

Where to Buy NOS Online

For customers abroad who don’t have easy access to NOS in local stores, there are some online options to buy NOS Energy drinks:

  • International Amazon sites – NOS is sold on Amazon in markets like Canada, UK, Australia, Mexico
  • Monster Energy’s website lists some online retailers for international markets
  • Specialty import food and drink sites may carry NOS Energy drinks

The online availability also varies by country based on import regulations and Monster Beverage’s e-commerce strategy in each market. But online provides an option for international customers to get NOS Energy drinks shipped directly when local in-store availability is limited.

How Much NOS Should You Drink Per Day?

According to nutrition experts, it is recommended that healthy adults limit their caffeine intake to no more than 400mg per day. A 16oz can of NOS contains approximately 160mg of caffeine. Therefore, limiting NOS intake to one 16oz can per day would be a moderate amount for most healthy individuals.

Drinking more than one 16oz can (over 160mg of caffeine) is not advisable, as excessive caffeine intake can lead to side effects like insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, and an increased heart rate. Consuming high amounts of caffeine regularly can also lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms if intake is stopped abruptly.

When Is the Best Time to Drink NOS?

The caffeine in NOS reaches its peak blood levels between 15-45 minutes after drinking it. Therefore, the energy boost will be strongest during this time frame.

Many people drink NOS as a pre-workout beverage 30-60 minutes before exercise for increased energy and focus. College students and office workers often use it for improved alertness and concentration early in the morning or during an afternoon slump.

However, since the effects of caffeine can last up to 8 hours, it is best to avoid NOS too late in the day so it does not disrupt sleep.

Can You Drink NOS Before Bed?

It is not recommended to drink NOS energy drink before bedtime.

The caffeine in NOS is a stimulant that can lead to sleep disturbances like insomnia, reduced sleep quality, and increased sleep latency (time it takes to fall asleep). Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, which promotes wakefulness.

Consuming caffeine too close to bedtime can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep. The effects of caffeine from NOS can persist for up to 8 hours after ingestion.

To avoid sleep issues, nutrition experts recommend abstaining from caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime. Be mindful of all caffeine sources including coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks like NOS.

The Origins of NOS Energy Drink

NOS energy drink was launched in 2005 through a partnership between Fuze Beverage and Holley Performance Products. The goal was to create an energy drink inspired by the high-performance world of auto racing.

A Licensing Deal with Holley Performance

Holley Performance Products is a leading manufacturer of high-performance automotive parts and accessories. They are well known for their nitrous oxide systems (NOS) used by racers to give their vehicles a power boost.

When Fuze Beverage was looking to launch a new energy drink, they saw an opportunity to license the NOS brand name from Holley. The beverage was named NOS Energy Drink and packaged in bottles designed to resemble NOS nitrous tanks.

This licensing deal allowed the new energy drink to leverage the excitement and edgy image associated with the NOS racing brand. The name evoked ideas of speed, performance, and power – all attributes Fuze wanted to imbue in its energy drink.

Acquired by Coca-Cola and Monster

Within two years of its launch, NOS Energy Drink had proven successful enough to catch the eye of major beverage companies. In 2007, The Coca-Cola Company acquired Fuze Beverage, bringing NOS into the Coke portfolio.

Coca-Cola continued to grow NOS over the next several years. Then in 2015, the company transferred ownership of its energy drink brands, including NOS, to Monster Beverage as part of a strategic partnership.

Monster Beverage now produces, markets, and distributes NOS Energy Drink in collaboration with the Holley Performance team. NOS retains its racing-inspired image and high-octane flavor.

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Joe Gillian is an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in creating content about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle in our tech-driven world. When he's not typing away on his laptop, you can find him outdoors hiking, biking, and recharging his mind, body and spirit.

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