Friday, July 2, 2010


This one is easy. It doesn’t work.

OK, I’ll give you some background and a little story to go with it all. We were driving from DC to SC, it was hot when we left, we were on a deadline, the dogs were in the car, we were 6 hours into the drive somewhere in NC where it was even hotter, and Kath was driving. We pulled over at a gas station, which appeared to be the only one for 100 miles, given how busy it was and the desertion factor of the rest of the road. I was handed the dogs after taking my pee break, and Kath went into the store for her pee break and to procure some beverages. When she returned she had one of my favorites for me, and some unknown oddity in a large blue and purple bottle for her.

NOs, which I assume is come sort of supposedly clever contraction for No Doze, is chock full of all the things that should keep one awake for years. This particular NOs product, the energy drink in Grape flavor, contains 130 mg of caffeine, 1000 mg of Taurine, 100 mg of Inositol and 200 mg of L-Carnitine per 8 oz serving. The large blue and purple bottle contained 22 ozs of beverage.

Caffeine, as we all know, is a well loved stimulant. Taurine, Inositol and L-Carnitine are somehow involved in energy production or metabolization. They are not stimulants like caffeine, but nonetheless are, I suppose, useful in jump-starting one’s day.

All that said, the average cup of coffee contains between 90 and 150 mg of caffeine. A whole bottle of NOs contains about 550 mg of caffeine, which, if we do some basic math (which is about all I’m capable of), is the equivalent of between 3.5 and 6 cups of coffee. That’s sort of a lot, and should be enough, to keep the average human awake for at least a few hours. Certainly a few minutes. No such luck.

I for one, am not all that interested in caffeinated beverages other than coffee. They just make me jittery and a little nauseous so NOs wasn’t even on my list, and when offered, I wouldn’t even take a sip. Kathryn on the other hand is a big advocate of all “energy” products. Red Bull, Monster, NOs, and five-hour energy (which neither of us has tried yet, but is actually on my list for later this year) regularly come up in conversation surrounded by phases like “I love…” and “I used to drink a case a week of…”. It must be the years of working 18 hour days with no sleep.

Kathryn, for those of you who don’t know her, is 100 lbs. She drank the whole bottle of NOs with no(s) result. I will definitely grant you that her body is a little different than most, but still 6 cups of coffee in a 100 lb person? It was nothing sort of odd that she was nodding off in the seat next to me (by this time I was driving, no worries). Nonetheless there she was. I kept waiting for her to shoot out of her chair or start chewing off her fingers or something, but literally, nothing happened. It was just plan wrong if you ask me. And extremely disappointing if you ask her.

I can’t explain if it was the day’s body chemistry or a flawed product. I suppose this one should go on the “try-it-twice-to-be-sure” list, but, that much of a colossal failure does not make me want to run right out and spend more money. I can’t, in good conscious tell you that this product is worth trying, but if you do give it a shot and it does keep you awake, please let me know. I would hate to provide misinformation based on the excessive tolerance of someone who used to drink a case a week of Red Bull.

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