by Matt Weik
Have you ever looked at the ingredients list of your favorite energy drinks or pre-workouts? You’ll often find an ingredient by the name of taurine. And if you are a frequent consumer of energy drinks and pre-workouts, it is important to know exactly what taurine is.
Being that taurine is such a popular ingredient in energy-based supplements, it’s essential to understand why it’s added, what it does, and the benefits you can experience through its use.
In this article, we will look at the benefits of taurine along with taurine supplements. Let’s dive right in and explore the incredible benefits this ingredient has to offer.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. The information found within this article is not medical advice and should not supersede a doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan should you have a health condition. The use of taurine supplements should never be a replacement for any medication that your doctor puts you on.
What is Taurine?
Taurine, also known as L-taurine or 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the human body (just like leucine which is common in BCAA supplements). It is essential for overall health and plays a key role in metabolic processes and brain, heart, and muscle health and functioning.
Taurine can be found in various animal-based food items like meat, fish, and dairy products. Unfortunately, many people don’t consume enough of these foods to really see a true benefit from taurine in its natural (food) form if they aren’t taking in an adequate amount of protein from their diet.
Now, the question arises, what if you follow a vegan diet and don’t regularly consume the foods mentioned above that contain taurine?
Well, the body can produce small amounts of taurine, but some vegans may find they have low taurine levels and will need to turn to something like a taurine supplement. But per a study in The Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, taurine supplements aren’t an absolute must for those following a vegan diet. However, it would be advised to monitor the level of taurine for those on such a diet.
The Benefits of Taurine Supplements
Due to its versatility, taurine offers a lot of benefits. From potentially reducing anxiety and preventing hair loss to promoting heart health and enhancing athletic performance. Taurine supplements can benefit you in several ways. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits from a health and exercise perspective.
1. Improve Endurance and Enhance Athletic Performance
All amino acids play an important role in muscle recovery and growth, and taurine is no exception. So, one of the most beneficial aspects of taurine supplements is its ability to help enhance athletic performance.
Also, if you are someone who exercises regularly and is looking to maximize your results from training sessions, taurine can help enhance your workouts by improving endurance. Plus, it can prove to be a great pre-workout drink that can boost energy levels.
As per a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, using caffeine and taurine consistently for two weeks has been shown to help enhance endurance performance. Plus, it helps to remove the excess waste from the body that builds up during exercise. By eliminating waste buildup, it can reduce fatigue and muscle soreness while also allowing athletes to perform better.
2. Promote Weight Loss
Roughly one-third of adults in the US are obese, and over 70% are considered overweight. This is a significant problem that seems to get worse with each passing year. Supplementing with taurine can help improve weight loss, as it speeds up fat-burning during exercise.
As per a study, taurine supplements can increase fat burning by around 16%. Will this change the obesity crisis in the US? No, but it wouldn’t hurt those who have some extra weight they are trying to get rid of.
3. Reduce the Risk of Heart Diseases
As per the studies, taurine helps to reduce the chance of developing heart-related diseases.
Taurine can help control high blood pressure levels by minimizing the resistance of blood flow within the walls of the blood vessels. High blood pressure tends to put a strain on the walls of blood vessels, which can cause severe damage to the heart.
Next, taurine also helps to curb inflammation, which is known to be a causative factor in heart diseases.
As per research published by the American Journal of Hypertension, taurine supplements, when combined with proper exercise, can help prevent hypertension and improve exercise capacity.
4. Prevent Diabetes
High blood sugar levels or blood glucose is the key factor in diabetes. Taurine supplements may play a significant role in combating diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels. Issues arise when the body cannot bring and maintain blood sugar down into the normal range, and it stays elevated.
As the research shows, people with diabetes tend to have low taurine levels. This also increases the risk of oxidative damage. Luckily, taurine also possesses antioxidant properties to help combat this.
Adding taurine supplements to your daily regimen can help with enhancing insulin resistance by reducing blood sugar levels and better managing them.
Taurine supplements are available in both pill and powder form. The recommended dosage for most people is between 500-2000 mg per day. However, a dosage as high as 3000 mg per day has also been deemed safe.
The dosage you consume should depend on why you are consuming taurine. Let’s say, for instance, you are an athlete, then you need a higher dose as compared to someone who is just trying to combat hair loss.
Potential Side Effects of Taurine Supplements
Taurine is considered to be safe and effective when consumed in a limit or recommended amount. But since it is an amino acid, people with kidney issues may face some problems. That said, it’s incredibly important to speak with your doctor before supplementing with taurine supplements.