Does the name Taurine sound familiar? Well, yes, if you are someone who drinks Red Bull frequently and have actually cared to check the ingredients. For those who haven’t, you can check out the word “Taurine” written in a stylish font at the back of the can. There`s a reason why it’s added to Red Bull and if you weren’t aware, we’re going to break it down for y’all.
What is Taurine?
Taurine is an organic compound, a naturally occurring amino acid which is found in high concentration in white blood cells, skeletal muscles, the central nervous system and as well as in the heart muscles. It is a major component of bile (bile helps in digestion of fat) in humans. It’s found in the large intestine and accounts for up to 0.1% of your total bodyweight.
Is It An Essential or Non-essential Amino acid?
For those of you who are hearing these terms for the first time, let me clear them doubts for you. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins which are categorized into two types:-
Essential Amino Acids :- These cannot be made by the body. As a result, they must come from food or supplements. The 9 essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Non-Essential Amino acids:-These are made by the body itself but some of these can be termed ‘conditionally essential’ as well. That is because external dosage becomes essential under conditions of physical stress or trauma, when the body cannot produce a sufficient amount to meet demand. Some conditionally essential amino acids are: glutamine, arginine, cysteine and ‘taurine’.
What It (Possibly) Can Do
Not all supplements act the same way on every consumer. Effects of supplements are very subjective, that’s why we used the word ‘possibly’.
1. Strength Gains:-It can act similarly to Creatine, increasing cell hydration. Not only will this make muscles appear fuller but also provide indirect stimulus for anabolism.
2. Fat Oxidation:-In some studies, acute ingestion of 1.66 g of Taurine before exercise resulted in a small but significant increase in fat oxidation during sub-maximal cycling in endurance-trained cyclists.
3. Improved Pumps:- Taurine has been shown to participate in the excitation-contraction coupling mechanism in skeletal muscles, which means that it affects the transmission of an electrical signal into muscle fibers. This has obvious importance in ensuring optimal muscle performance, which eventually leads to enhancement in gains.
4. Improved (Aerobic) Athletic Performance:- A study published by Japanese researchers in 2003 examined 11 men aged 18 to 20, who were told to perform bicycle exercises until they were exhausted. After taking taurine supplements for seven days (each time, before their workout), the men showed significant increases in VO2max (the maximum capacity of a person’s body to transport and use oxygen) and time until exhaustion sets in. The researchers credited the improvement to taurine’s antioxidant activity and protection of cellular properties
5. Taurine and Stress:- Taurine has the ability to calm the CNS, or central nervous system. It can work to reduce anxiety and stress levels as well. Low taurine intake can leave your central nervous system prone to stress and chronic high stress levels. As I mentioned in the start, since it’s a conditionally essential amino, its requirement can go up when an athlete is under physical or mental stress.
Dietary Sources Of Taurine
Fish , Meat ,Chicken, Egg, whole milk and cheese
How To Supplement With Taurine
Consume 1-3gm a day, 30 minutes before workout.
Other Important Things About Taurine
• Apart from its performance-enhancing benefits, it is also being heavily researched as an anti-diabetic compound due to its effects on various organs of the body of most concern to diabetics (kidney, eye, and nerve health) as well as controlling blood sugar while reducing some forms of insulin resistance.
• Due to the multiple benefits it offers, it is a supplement which old people/Vegans/Athletes with medical conditions discussed above can benefit highly from.
• More research is needed in healthy athletes and particularly for strength athletes and bodybuilders to determine the complete effects of taurine.