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Taurine: Definition, Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage

You’ve probably heard of taurine from it’s use in energy drinks. Because of that - many people have a negative connotation of the compound - while in reality - it has several performance focused functions.

So what exactly is taurine, how does it work and should you be taking it? Let’s dive in.

What is Taurine?

Taurine is an organic molecule that offers performance enhancing benefits and is most commonly found in energy drinks.

Due to a mis-understanding of the scientific literature, taurine sometimes gets blamed for the more unhealthy ingredients in energy drinks, but in reality - it’s primarily a beneficial performance enhancing compound.

What Are Sources of Taurine?

Taurine is ever-present throughout your body and is found in foods like meat, fish, diary and milk products.

You can also find it commonly throughout other supplements and is particularly found in energy drinks - Impossible Energy for example contains 1g of taurine to help improve athletic performance.

Taurine Benefits for Performance

While Taurine has somewhat of a mixed reputation due to it’s use in energy drinks - it has a pretty solid performance track record:

Improved Blood Flow

Taurine has been show to improve blood flow when supplemented at 1500mg of taurine/day.

Fat Oxidation

Supplementation of 1.66g improved fat oxidation in endurance cycling athletes.

Improved Exercise Capacity

Taurine has shown to help improve exercises and endurance capacity across several studies.

Recommended Taurine Dosages for Performance

For performance standards, 1-6g/day of taurine has been tested.

It’s worth noting that unlike some compounds like creatine, you don’t have to take taurine every day to achieve the benefits (known as creatine loading).

Based on current research, you can probably take up to 3g of taurine / day without any sort of major risks.

For improved performance - 1.66g taurine

For reduced muscle soreness - a daily intake of 2g of taurine along with 3.2g of bccas.

For more standard benefits - like improving blood pressure - it’s typically recommended to take 1.5g split across 3, .5g doses.

Taurine Supplements

While taurine is sometimes supplemented on it’s own, it’s very water soluble and for that reason is often used in either energy drinks or pre-workout formulas.

However, you can usually buy capsuled taurine supplements - they are usually sold in 500mg-1000mg doses.

Taurine in Energy Drinks

While you can supplement taurine manually, taurine is primarily seen in energy drinks. It helps improve blood flow and can improve athletic performance.

Side Effects of Taurine

While Taurine seemingly gets a bad rap around the internet due to a series of urban legends and the association with unhealthy energy drinks - taurine is typically a

Multiple studies show that 3g or higher is a sustainable intake of taurine on a regular basis (although because of the novelty, lifelong studies have not been done).

Due to the association with unhealthy energy drinks and other urban legends - many people seem to think that taurine can cause heart damage - which does not seem to be the case from research - as taurine can actually improve cardiovascular health.

This misunderstanding primarily seems to be a mis-reading of the scientific literature.

However, the side effect profile of taurine seems to be pretty standard when it comes to supplements. The most common side effects are typically:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

These are relatively standard side effects that can happen with most supplements and are exacerbated if you take it on an empty stomach.

FAQs on Taurine

Is Taurine Bad For You?

While taurine is common in energy drinks that contain other compounds that aren’t performance

Is Taurine Bull Sperm?

No. The term taurine does come from the Latin name “taurus” which means Bull (and which is what gives Red Bull it’s name). However, this is only because the compound was originally discovered by being extracted from bull semen. While this is the origin - it’s important to note that this is not how it’s currently extracted.

Taurine is a natural molecule found in many other places and most taurine in supplements and other products is lab-made and is also found in animal tissues like meat, fish, and milk.

How much Taurine is in Red Bull?

An 8.3oz can of Red Bull contains 1000mg of taurine (or 1g).

How much Taurine is in Monster?

Monster energy drinks contain about 1000mg of taurine (1g) in an 8oz can.

Taurine Research & Citations

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