NOS is one of the popular formulas marketed as an energy drink. It contains a list of ingredients, five of which are included to increase energy. Ingredients like water, flavors and preservatives have no need for further description, so focusing on the energy enhancing components should allow you to determine if the product is right for you. Consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.
NOS contains the amino acids L-carnitine and taurine. L-carnitine is used by the body to assist in the metabolism of fatty acids, which is the reason for its inclusion in this supplement. There is, however, no evidence to support its use as an energy booster. As no more than twice the amount normally ingested over the course of the day is included in this supplement, there is some question as to how much benefit you could receive in any case. Taurine can function as a vasodilator, increasing blood flow to the surface of your skin, which may account for the "tingling" sensation. Taurine is in no way a stimulant.
Caffeine is technically a methylxanthine, which means it directly stimulates your central nervous system. There is a modest amount of caffeine in NOS, which can provide a stimulant effect. Caffeine also functions as a diuretic, which means the more of it you consume, the more fluid you will excrete. So if you are drinking several energy drinks a day, you may need to increase your fluid intake to compensate for any water that you may be losing.
Inositol is one of the vitamins that make up the B-complex. Inositol assists in the function of messenger systems within your body, including the transmission of nerve impulses. Inositol is also produced by your body, so it is not an essential nutrient. If you have a balanced diet, you will be producing enough inositol that there is no need to supplement it. There is no evidence of inositol providing any stimulant effect.
Panax Ginseng is reported to do just about everything from relieve stress, increase libido, treat illness and increase energy. Panax Ginseng is often included in energy drinks despite the scarcity of evidence supporting its role as a stimulant. There are four forms of Panax Ginseng: fresh, white, red and sun ginseng, none of which have been shown to have any stimulant effects in a controlled environment. It has been shown to have harmful effects when mixed with various anti-depressants. If you are on any form of anti-depressants, you may wish to exercise caution before using NOS.
- "Journal of Pediatrics"; Dietary Supplement Use by Adolescents; Charles Alves et al., Jul - Aug 2009.
- "Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine"; Acceleration Tolerance After Ingestion of a Commercial Energy Drink; Tony Walker et al. Dec. 2010.
- "The Lancet"; Herb-Drug Interactions; Adriane Fugh-Berman; January 2000.