Is NOS Energy Drink Vegan? (Hard Truth)

NOS Energy Drink may not be considered vegan because some of its ingredients are tested on animals which may be worrisome for ethical vegans.

Whether or not you consider NOS vegan is really up to your take on veganism.

As an energy drink enthusiast, I am here to help all types of consumers choose the right energy drink for their vegan diet.

For this post, I would like to dig deeper to the question – is NOS vegan?

So, stick around to discover the hard truth!

What is NOS Energy Drink Made Of?

Nutritional information of NOS Energy Drink.

NOS Energy Drink contains 160 calories, 53 grams of sugar, and 160 mg of caffeine.

At first glance, I can tell you that this is an average energy drink with moderate strength. It has a reasonable number of calories and a high level of sugar, although the latter exceeds the recommended daily limit.

As per the American Heart Association, the maximum daily sugar intake should be 24 grams for women and 36 grams for men. Exceeding the limit can lead to potential health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, and many other sugar-related conditions.

As you can see, the amount of sugar in NOS is worrisome because it’s twice the recommended level for women and way past the limit for men.

Watch your sugar intake if you’ve already consumed one can of NOS Energy Drink in a day. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself dealing with several health complications because of excessive sugar intake.

If you’re really curious to know how many cans of NOS is okay to drink in a day, give this article a quick read!

Now let’s move to the NOS Ingredients!

NOS Ingredients List

For your reference, here is an enumerated list of NOS ingredients:

Ingredients of NOS Energy Drink as seen on the packaging.
  • Carbonated Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup – artificial sweetener derived from corn syrup
  • Citric Acid
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Sodium Hexametaphosphate – preservative
  • Natural Flavors
  • Taurine
  • Caffeine
  • Gum Arabic
  • Potassium Sorbate – preservative
  • Ester Gum
  • Sucralose- zero-calorie sugar substitute
  • Yellow 5
  • Inositol
  • Calcium Disodium EDTA – preservative
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vit. B6)
  • Yellow 6
  • Guarana Extract
  • Cyanocobalamin (Vit. B12)

If you’re interested in reading about this energy drink’s nutrition facts, click here.

Are the Ingredients in NOS Energy Drink Vegan?

Now that you have a working knowledge of what makes up NOS Energy Drink, let’s see if each of these ingredients are vegan.

IngredientsSourcePropertiesIs it Vegan?
High Fructose Corn SyrupPlant-basedderived from corn syrup sweetenerYes 
Citric AcidPlant-based/Syntheticflavoring and preservativeYes 
Sodium CitratePlant-basedFood AdditiveYes
Sodium Hexametaphosphate SyntheticPreservativeYes

SyntheticAmino AcidYes
CaffeineSynthetic StimulantYes 
Gum ArabicPlant-basedStabilizerYes 
Potassium SorbateSynthetic Preservative Yes 
Ester Gumcould be animal based because it uses glycerolStabilizerUnspecified
SucraloseSyntheticArtificial SweetenerYes
Yellow 5 SyntheticFood Coloringtested on animals
Yellow 6SyntheticFood Coloringtested on animals
Guarana ExtractPlant-basedStimulantYes
Calcium Disodium EDTASynthetic Preservative and Flavoring AgentYes 
Vegan or Not? Breakdown of NOS Energy Drink ingredients.

In an online forum, I read about a consumer who wrote to NOS asking whether their product is vegan or not.

NOS replied with the statement “We use no animal by-products in any of our products line. However, they are not vegan certified.”

The manufacturers confirmed NOS does not use any products of animal origin. However, it would be more reassuring, if they were certified by vegan certification programs like the Certified Plant-Based label by the National Sanitation Foundation.

These certification bodies have more strict standards in certifying vegan products. They also take into account that no animals are harmed in the manufacturing process.

Is NOS Energy Drink Vegan?

NOS Energy Drinks are considered vegan because they do not use any animal by-products in their formulation.

However, if you are a vegan for ethical reasons then NOS would not pass your standards as it is not cruelty-free.

The food colorings Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 present in NOS are still being tested procedurally on lab mice and rats. 

Yellow 5 or Tartrazine, is a yellow coloring made from petroleum products and is mainly tested on mice and rats. The animals are then promptly disposed of after the experiment.

Meanwhile, Yellow-6 is a food dye often used in sodas, candy, sauces, and baked goods.

Benefits of Vegan Diet

A vegan diet has promising health benefits such as:

  • it is rich in nutrients
  • it helps lose weight
  • lowers blood sugar levels
  • improves kidney function
  • protects against cancer
  • lowers the risk of heart disease
  • reduces arthritis pain

But aside from health reasons, others choose a vegan diet out of respect for animal life.

From this point of view, NOS is definitely not vegan-friendly because of the involvement of animals in testing their products.

In sum, NOS might be vegan or not depending on your personal belief in veganism.

Either way, I totally respect your decision. Whether or not you drink NOS after knowing this information is up to you.

Which Energy Drinks Are Vegan?

Are your favorite energy drinks vegan-friendly?

Based on a credible vegan-friendly website, here is a quick list of vegan-friendly energy drinks that you can try.

  • Boost
  • Emerge
  • Lucozade
  • Monster
  • Red Bull
  • Relentless
  • Rockstart

Like NOS, I think some of the ingredients used on some of these energy drinks such as food colorings are being tested on animals.

You can refer to this list if you want a guide to energy drinks that are acceptable as vegan by most standards. But I suggest additional research if you want an ethically vegan product from harvest, production, to market.

Meanwhile, here are ingredients that you should avoid if you are a vegan.

WATCH AND LEARN: Ingredients to Avoid if You are Vegan

Now, let’s move on to some commonly asked questions regarding NOS Energy Drink.

Why is NOS Energy Drink Bad for You?

NOS actually isn’t bad for you if you drink it sparingly. Although most energy drinks aren’t healthy, that doesn’t mean they’re immediately bad for you.

If there’s anything you need to watch out for, it’s the caffeine and sugar content in NOS.

NOS has 54 grams of sugar, exceeding both the daily recommended sugar intake for both men and women.

The American Heart Association proposes the following daily intake of sugar:

  • 24 grams of sugar per day for women
  • 36 grams of sugar per day for men

It is quite obvious that NOS has an alarming amount of sugar. Repeated consumption of this drink can result in heightened risk of high sugar levels-related illnesses or symptoms.

Moreover, NOS Energy Drink contains 160 mg of caffeine per regular 16 fl. oz.

I think NOS’ caffeine content is average. When I tried this drink myself, I didn’t feel jitters or headaches.

However, just because I didn’t have any adverse reaction to this drink doesn’t automatically mean it will also happen to you.

Everyone’s caffeine tolerance is different. Factors such as weight, height, and age all affect caffeine tolerance.

To know if you have low or high caffeine tolerance, observe how your body reacts to different levels of caffeine. Just be careful and try minimal amounts first before increasing your consumption.

In summation, NOS can be bad for you because of its high sugar content and average caffeine levels. Depending on your tolerance, you may or may not suffer the adverse effects of caffeine overdose after just one can of NOS.

Do you want to know more? Check out this article that I have written.

Is it Bad to Drink NOS Energy Drink Every Day?

It’s not bad, but it’s not advisable to drink NOS every day either.

Like mentioned earlier, NOS Energy Drink contains high levels of sugar, way more than the daily recommended levels for both men and women, so if you were to drink it every day, you would also be exceeding your sugar intake level daily.

This is dangerous because there are numerous health concerns associated with high sugar levels.

Too much sugar may lead to unwanted calories, then diabetes, and before you know it, other health complications such as acne, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and high blood pressure.

Consuming too much sugar can also be counterproductive for your performance. Related studies show that instead of being alert, excess sugar can leave you in low spirits, resulting in lowered energy levels!

To stay on the safe side, refrain from consuming NOS every day. If you really need the energy boost, drink it at least every other day.

Remember, when it comes to energy drinks, everything in excess is bad for your health.

For my analysis if or not you can drink NOS every day, click here.

Final Say

There is no straightforward answer as to whether NOS Energy Drinks are vegan or not.

That is because, although this beverage does not contain any products derived from animals, it was not made cruelty-free.

Different layers in veganism must be taken into account, so the judgment, I believe, ultimately depends on the consumer.

Most artificial flavorings in beverages like Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 are routinely tested on animals so this might affect your judgment about whether NOS or other popular energy drink brands are truly vegan.

But I think the important thing here is now you know what to look for. You know which ingredients might not be cruelty-free and which brands are relatively the safer choice in a vegan diet.

More power to your vegan journey. Hats off to your commitment of living a vegan lifestyle!


The only thing I like more than a delicious energy drink is uncovering the TRUTH about energy drinks. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I like to share the facts that I uncover and I hope you find my words interesting and useful.

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