There are even (false) rumors out there that Taurine comes from bull sperm. Well, rest assured that everything’s fine and dandy when it comes to the inclusion of this micronutrient in your favorite drink.
Taurine is an essential nutrient to many of our body functions. Most notably, it can boost your performance, which can certainly come in handy during workouts and other physical activities.
This is why Taurine has become a common ingredient in energy drinks. If you’re still curious about what else Taurine can do for you, read on!
What is Taurine?
Taurine is an amino acid used in foods such as meat, dairy products, fish, and dietary supplements, produced by the body from the amino acid called cysteine.
Since Taurine is naturally created in the human body, a balanced diet supports all you need. It plays a vital role in brain and heart function as well.
However, you can also take additional Taurine through consuming products and supplements that contain the nutrient. In the case of energy drinks, the Taurine added to them is synthetically produced.
Why is Taurine Included in Energy Drinks?
Taurine is used in energy drinks because it helps you to relax.
Taurine is considered to have antioxidant properties. Like caffeine is a stimulant in energy drinks, most people think taurine is also a stimulant, but it isn’t.
This ingredient is included in popular energy drinks, stimulating the brain as a nervous system depressant.
When you consume taurine, it resists the neurotransmitter receptor responsible for triggering excitatory outcomes in your brain. In simple words, it helps you to relax.
Some studies show that taurine improves a person’s athletic performance. If it is combined with caffeine, it improves mental performance.
Taurine enhances heart function and benefits patients with type 2 diabetes too.
Is Taurine Hazardous?
Taurine is quite safe to ingest if you consume it in moderation.
The recommended daily intake of Taurine is 3000 mg per day. Going over this limit can result in diarrhea and constipation. There are even reports that link excessive Taurine to several types of kidney diseases.
Moreover, some researchers also claim that Taurine can increase depression in some people.
But overall, Taurine is safe to consume and the reputed side effects don’t really have much evidence behind it. While the few cases may be true, not enough research has been done to really ascertain that Taurine can cause side effects in most people.
Benefits of Taurine
As previously mentioned, Taurine can help you relax and can even boost your mental and physical performance.
However, there are more benefits that you can get from Taurine:
- Increases metabolism
- Improves eye and ear health
- Protects your heart
- Increases nerve growth
When Should You Take Taurine?
Since you will most likely get your Taurine from energy drinks, the best time for you to take it is about half an hour before your workouts.
This will ensure that the Taurine and caffeine are already in your system as you get into your exercise regimen. Perfect time for your physical and mental capabilities to experience a boost!
But if you’re not a gym nut, you can take Taurine in the mornings before you go to school or work. As I said, 3 mg of Taurine is the recommended limit, so if you take it in the morning, then the Taurine will most likely be out of your system come nighttime.
Taurine in Energy Drink Side Effects
While it may sound great that Taurine is added to energy drinks for extra benefits, it’s actually not clear if its presence actually makes much of a difference.
Caffeine is already the primary energizer in these beverages and much of the alertness and focus comes from its effects as a stimulant.
A study conducted on the effects of Red Bull, which contains 1 gram of Taurine per serving, on physically active adults had inconclusive results. Some reported an improved physical performance while others did not.
However, other studies have also claimed that when Taurine is mixed with amino acids, it can lead to a decrease in fatigue after workouts.
Best Energy Drinks with Taurine
Here are my top recommendations for energy drink brands with Taurine!
Other notable mentions
Taurine is an essential nutrient that supports many of your body’s functions. You can actually get Taurine from meat and other foods, but energy drink brands have also started adding them to their ingredients list.
The primary reason why Taurine is in energy drinks is that it is reported that it can help you relax and even improve your mental and physical performance. However, there isn’t much evidence to prove that this is true.
Nevertheless, the amount included in energy drinks is safe and can be a nice addition if you regularly exercise.