Taurine is a common ingredient in many energy drinks so naturally people who are unfamiliar with taurine assume that it is some kind of stimulant which makes sense in theory. However though, taurine is not only not a stimulant, it is believed to have relaxing properties.
Taurine is in actuality an amino acid that is used by our bodies to carry out a variety of processes including the synthesis of larger protein molecules. Taurine is beneficial in that it is an antioxidant and fights against harmful free radicals that are present in our bodies.
Taurine also offers better performance for athletes in that it stimulates the muscles more as well as relaxing effects which can help those who suffer from neurological disorders.
Taurine has had a bad reputation as of late because of the negative press that energy drinks have been receiving. Drinking energy drinks that are full of stimulants like caffeine can have serious health effects and can even lead to death.
This is the case for not only people with pre existing health conditions, but in healthy individuals as well. It is no wonder why there is a negative stigma around taurine, yet taurine itself is not responsible for this stimulation and can in fact be beneficial.
One of the main reasons why many people take taurine is because of the boost to athletic performance that it provides. Again, may people incorrectly assume that taurine is a stimulant because it is found in many energy drinks, however it doesn’t benefit us in that manner.
Taurine is most effective when it comes to long distance endurance events like marathon running, and has been shown to cut off a few seconds from the athlete’s finishing time. A few seconds may not seem like much, but in the world of professional sports when the difference between first and second place is a matter of milliseconds, it is a huge advantage.
Not only did taurine improve the finish times of these endurance athletes, but it also had no other negative effects on the cardiovascular or circulator systems making it safe for use in these situations.
Another reason why people use taurine as a supplement is to fight metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a disease where the way in which your body breaks down and synthesizes food is abnormal, and thus almost every bodily process is altered as a result.
People who have metabolic syndrome are at risk for many different diseases and sicknesses such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance. It is believed that the key lies in taurine’s ability to lower triglycerides and cholesterol which relieves the problems associated with cardiovascular problems and obesity.
Taurine is also taken by many people because it is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants fight against free radicals which can cause problems in the body including cancer. Taurine is especially effective in those with compromised immune systems, like those suffering from HIV and AIDS.
In patients with HIV or AIDS, taurine was shown to improve the antioxidant levels of the patients which helped them improve in regards to recovery time.
The best sources of taurine come from meat and dairy products so if you eat a balanced diet you shouldn’t need a supplement. However if you looking to take more taurine for performance boosting ability for example, then taking a concentrated supplement of taurine would be a good suggestion as well.
The only thing to worry about in regards to your taurine consumption is that there is an upper limit that you shouldn’t surpass each day, that being about 3,000 milligrams per individual. Your body excretes taurine through urine thus via your kidneys, so don’t exceed this amount if you want to keep them healthy.
To give you an idea of how much this is, there is about 100-300milligrams of taurine per 100 grams of weight of meat. Typically a serving of meat is about this size, so you would need to eat over 10 servings of meat this size to surpass that 3,000 milligram mark, which is a pretty decent amount of meat.
If you don’t like meat or dairy, seafood is another alternative which provides you with 800 milligrams of taurine on average.