Taurine. You’ve probably seen it advertised in bright colors on the sugar loaded energy drinks that line the desks at the office or school library. For a while, people were convinced it was sourced from bulls or oxen, but don’t let the rumors fool you. Although it was originally found in Ox bile, hence the name Taurine (Taurus is Latin for Ox), the amino acid has since been found to be produced in the human body, and can now be produced synthetically. Let’s take a look at why Taurine is such a popular ingredient, and why supplementing without resorting to energy drinks might be in your best interest.
What is Taurine?
Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that although it is made naturally within us, supplementing can have additional benefits. It is found all throughout the body, and is the second most common amino acid found in fast-twitch muscle fibers. Taurine is also found in high concentrations in the brain, intestines and heart. Your diet can be a great source of this amino acid, especially if you consume fish and meat. Most notably, however, Taurine has made a name for itself by being included in energy drinks for its ability to help with focus, mood, physical endurance and speed.
Benefits of Taurine
From a bodybuilding standpoint, Taurine has a number of potential gain promoting qualities. First off, this amino acid helps to regulate muscle contractions. When more muscle fiber is utilized in a contraction, the result can mean more strength, and in turn more opportunity for gains. The more muscle being used can even lead to a bigger and better pump! Also, Taurine has been shown in studies to increase speed and endurance. While the exact science behind why this increase occurs is still unclear, the results suggest that supplementing with Taurine can give you a notable competitive advantage.
Taurine also helps to increase cell hydration by acting as a cell volumizer. By improving the hydration status of muscle tissue cells, they will both function at a higher level and make the muscle appear more full.
Furthermore, Taurine helps to improve focus and the overall feeling of well-being. By “altering the actions of inhibitory neurotransmitters like GABA,” Taurine promotes brain performance with an increase in focus and a decrease in anxiety. According to Norm Shealy MD, PhD, founder of the American Holistic Medical Association, 88% of his patients who experienced anxiety or depression had a Taurine deficiency. That’s not to say other factors could have contributed, but that is a pretty alarming statistic!
Supplementing with Taurine
True Nutrition suggests 1 serving of 2.5 grams of Taurine 1-2 times per day.
So there you have it – Taurine is an amino acid with a wide variety of benefits that can be realized with proper supplementation. While it’s true that the energy drinks on the market today typically contain Taurine, the other ingredients and sugar content might not be in your best interest diet-wise. As always, it is our goal to simply keep you informed with the most accurate and truthful information so you can make the best decision for your body.
True Nutrition was founded on the belief that you deserve the highest quality protein and supplements at a fair price. No fillers, no misleading labels, no BS. All the fancy packaging and over the top marketing campaigns utilized by other supplement companies are largely in place with a focus on the bottom line, rather than YOUR best interest. Don’t be fooled! True Nutrition is, and always will be focused on helping you smash the goals you set! Dig deep! Stay Motivated!
Yours in health,
Albrecht, J. and A. Schousboe, Taurine interaction with neurotransmitter receptors in the CNS: an update. Neurochem Res, 2005. 30(12): p. 1615-21.