tickPart of the Amino Acid group
How does it work?
Taurine is an amino acid (a building block of protein) found naturally in your body, mainly in nerve tissue and muscle. Taurine is also found in food, most notably meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and fish.
Who is it used for?
As a sports supplement, taurine can be taken alongside creatine. It's also a popular ingredient in many energy drinks, helping to ward off dehydration in the heat.
How does it work?
Although it is classed as non-essential, taurine is sometimes considered to be a "conditionally essential" amino acid. Under certain conditions, such as a regular exercise program, the body may not be able to create enough taurine to meet the extra demands. Stress, both physical and mental, can deplete body levels of taurine and increase overall taurine requirements.

One of the major roles of taurine is to control fluid balance in the body [2]. Taurine is frequently used in sports drinks to enhance the water content of cells, and is thought to help ward off dehydration during exercise in the heat.

Studies also show that Taurine reduces the damage to muscle tissue caused by exercise, giving it an important role in speeding the recovery process [1]. Taurine is also thought to have "cell volumizing" effects similar to creatine, helping to increase cell hydration and accelerate the rate of protein synthesis (muscle growth).

Taurine is also found in many energy drinks, and has been shown to reduce sleepiness, boost energy, increase alertness and improve reaction times [3, 4]. A group of Austrian researchers have also found that three key ingredients (caffeine, taurine and glucuronolactone) have "positive effects upon human mental performance and mood." [5]
How do I use it?
The standard dose of taurine is 1000 milligrams, taken with caffeine and glucuronolactone, whenever a physical or mental energy boost is needed. Smaller amounts (50-100 milligrams taken 1-3 times daily) can also aid muscle repair and recovery.
What results can I expect?
Taurine has a small but beneficial effect on muscle recovery.
What can it be combined with?
Taurine is effective at boosting energy when combined with caffeine and carbohydrate. It's also a popular addition to many creatine-based supplements.

1. Zhang M, Izumi I, Kagamimori S, Sokejima S, Yamagami T, Liu Z, Qi B. (2004). Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men. Amino Acids, 26, 203-207
2. Cuisinier C, Michotte De Welle J, Verbeeck RK, Poortmans JR, Ward R, Sturbois X, Francaux M. (2002). Role of taurine in osmoregulation during endurance exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 87, 489-495
3. Reyner LA, Horne JA. (2002). Efficacy of a 'functional energy drink' in counteracting driver sleepiness. Physiology and Behavior, 75, 331-335
4. Warburton DM, Bersellini E, Sweeney E. (2001). An evaluation of a caffeinated taurine drink on mood, memory and information processing in healthy volunteers without caffeine abstinence. Psychopharmacology, 158, 322-328
5. Seidl R, Peyrl A, Nicham R, Hauser E. (2000). A taurine and caffeine-containing drink stimulates cognitive performance and well-being. Amino Acids, ;19, 635-642

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