Taurine is a non-essential amino acid and is found in high concentration in many parts of the body, including skeletal muscle. It is naturally found in a variety of food sources, including meat, milk and seafood. As a result, people who follow a vegan diet will often consume the lowest levels of taurine naturally – and thus might find supplementation beneficial.
It is frequently used in energy and pre-workout formulations.
How it is made?
Taurine is derived from the amino acid, Cysteine, like other amino acids but lacks a carboxyl group that usually belongs to amino acids.
It is naturally synthesised in the pancreas, via a process called cysteine sulfinic acid pathway. Due to consumer demand, commercial production of the substance has become popular, with the introduction of chemical synthesis.
What are the benefits?
The perceived benefits of Taurine are linked to physiological improvements – specifically cardiovascular function, muscle efficiency and cognitive stimulation. It is believed cardiac muscles are strengthened in the presence of Taurine, and skeletal muscle becomes more responsive to exercise, with improved capacity under duress.
It is also believed Taurine can help open up pathways to the brain – not too dissimilar to Caffeine, in this respect. It’s a popular go-to supplement for people who want to increase focus and alertness.
When should I take taurine?
Taurine is best taken prior to exercise or at any time of the day when additional focus is needed.
How much should I take?
1g per serving is typically enough. Take 1-3 servings daily, as needed.
Taurine is generally considered to be safe when used correctly. It often gets singled out for its inclusion in energy drinks, but it is normally a combination of ingredients, such as caffeine and glucose, that can lead to health problems if misused over an extended period of time. Like anything, moderation is key.